Animal Welfare Of Luxor’s story began in 2004 when Pauline and Graham Warren moved from England to Luxor. Shocked by the lack of veterinary treatment and the poor state of the animals on the west bank they set about trying to help the animals wherever possible. By 2007 they were working as an unofficial voluntary organisation caring for these poor animals. In 2008 AWOL was registered as a charity in England and AWOL vet Dr Mohamed joined the team in Luxor. He and Pauline travelled almost daily around the villages in the dirt, dust and searing heat treating sick and injured animals wherever they were needed. Today AWOL operates from a new, small medical centre on the west bank which was completed in January 2013.
AWOL’s aim has always been to educate and inform rather than admonish and scold. Many of the injuries we see are caused by ignorance and lack of education rather than cruelty. The west bank is an extremely poor area and many villagers are uneducated and illiterate. It’s not that they don’t care for their animals; they just don’t know how to. AWOL offers advice to the animal’s owners and strives to educate them and the children of the villages in the hope that the next generation will better understand the needs of the animals. We provide free replacement equine tack and dog collars to replace the unsuitable materials used which are often the cause of injury. AWOL does not charge the local people for its services; they have no available money and need help themselves.
AWOL needs as much support as possible as the demand for our services greatly outstrips our resources. By helping the animals of the west bank AWOL also helps the owners. Many of these animals are the family’s only means of generating any income. Without a fit and able donkey the family cannot harvest their sugar cane and are unable to generate income to buy food and clothes.
The rural west bank is an extremely poor area. Houses are still made of mud and roofed with palm branches. There is no sanitation and luxury is an unknown word. It is not surprising that in these circumstances animals often suffer from neglect. There is no money available for veterinary treatment or medicines.
This is why AWOL’s work is so important; there is no other charity on the west bank to help these animals. There is no safety net for them. There is only AWOL; a very small charity working under extremely difficult conditions. We treat thousands of animals every year and there are many more which need our help. Our greatest wish is that one day we will have the funds and resources to treat many more animals of the west bank.