Malawi: Saving a family's beloved dogs after a burglar attack

For centuries, dogs have been by our sides to help will all sorts of tasks: everything from hunting and herding to fishing and farming. Today, “dogs with jobs” do so much more.

They can assist people with disabilities, guide the visually impaired, alert people to bombs and illegal substances and even detect life-threatening diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Not only that, but dogs provide people with companionship, a sense of security and of course, unconditional love.

Whatever it is, working dogs are trained to help people – and they love their jobs.

In places like Malawi, a dog’s “job” can be a little different.

Late last year, our team met some incredible dogs who were just trying to do their job – and protect their family – when they were attacked.

In the middle of the night, whilst their families were fast asleep, a trio of burglars entered the property. The dogs immediately sniffed out the intruders and sounded the alarm; barking loudly to defend the house. The burglars retaliated with bows and arrows, shooting both dogs. But even after being shot, the dogs didn’t give up. The burglars left empty-handed. 

Heartbreakingly, the brave dogs now needed veterinary help that their family couldn’t afford. They were told about our clinic in Blantyre, which offers free care to both owned and stray animals. This clinic operates thanks to your generous donations. Determined to save their beloved pets, the family carried the dogs on foot for over an hour to reach our clinic.

Our team were shocked to see the dogs with embedded arrows. The dogs were anaesthetised in order to take x-rays and assess the potential damage caused by the arrows. Remarkably, they had missed major organs in both dogs. The arrows were carefully removed and the wounds cleaned. The dogs were discharged on antibiotics and pain relief, and able to return home with their family.

The family was overjoyed. For without treatment, the dogs would not have survived.

Shockingly, a day later, a third dog came into the clinic with an embedded arrow. It was the same neighbourhood and the same story. The dog defended his home and refused to let the burglars into the yard. Again, the burglars were unsuccessful. The arrow was stuck in the dog’s shoulder muscles, giving the team the chance to save the dog’s life. He happily returned home five days later. 

In Malawi, lots of people own dogs and other working animals, which often roam free. Our teams work tirelessly to sterilise, vaccinate and treat any injuries, to help these animals – and their owners – live the best life possible. 

Make a donation today and be part of this life-saving work.

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