Animal Friends Blog
Maun Animal Welfare Society, known locally as MAWS, was formed in 2003 and officially registered as a charity in 2007. Based in northern Botswana on the fringes of the Okavango Delta; the world’s largest inland delta and one of Africa’s most wildlife-rich areas. The Delta is a RAMSAR site, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa and as of 2014, the 1000th World Heritage Site.
Maun has a human population of 55,000 people plus a whopping 40,000 dogs that are domesticated, semi-feral and feral. Most of these dogs live within unfenced properties and roam freely. With little access to sterilisation, this results in uncontrolled breeding and perpetuates the cycle and spread of diseases.
MAWS has a clinic in Maun manned by veterinarian volunteers from all over the world. Our clinic averages 500 inpatients each month and we offer everything that you would expect from a vet in the UK; but we also have some added African challenges, such as snake bites, scorpion stings, dogs that got a little too interested in porcupines and of course, power cuts.
Maun is a growing frontier town, with very few services, you will find cattle, horses and donkeys freely roaming the streets. We are the first response for injured animals and livestock, who are often hit by cars and left at the side of the road to die alone and in pain. All of our work is free of charge to the poor and vulnerable people of Maun, our only ask being we de-sex and vaccinate animals when we treat them.
Education is so important
MAWS promote the alleviation of animal suffering through education initiatives which encouraging responsible domestic and farm animal ownership. This is hugely important here as the Botswana Animal Cruelty Act was written in 1936 and has been amended only once since then, in 1966. We regularly receive animals that have been neglected or abandoned. Where possible we rehabilitate and find forever homes for them in our community.
MAWS also undertake Mobile Clinics to rural villages surrounding the Okavango Delta and beyond. Providing sterilisation and vaccination of dogs and cats in areas where veterinarian services are non-existent.
As a grassroots charity, we always encourage the communities in which we operate to support us as much as they can, but it is not enough. It would not be possible to continue without international generosity from organisations like Animal Friend’s Pet Insurance.
Written by Fiona Hatton from Maun Animal Welfare Society.
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