Justice for Animals Sri Lanka is a non-profit group that looks to provide a platform for all animal welfare groups and individuals to unite to create a more just and compassionate world for animals.
The patron of Justice for Animals is Sri Bodhiraja Foundation President Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera, with Renuka Nagodavitha and Tashiya Captain serving as joint secretaries. Justice for Animals is an organisation entirely funded by donations of well-wishers.
The Morning Brunch reached out to Justice for Animals Treasurer Tashiya Captain to learn more about the spay and neuter project that the group is currently leading. The spay and neuter project is headed by Captain, who works with the veterinary team Vets For Future to organise spay and neuter pop-up clinics around the island where the team spays and neuters stray cats and dogs as well as pets of those who are otherwise unable to arrange for their pets to be spayed or neutered.
Justice for Animals advocates for sterilisation and vaccination campaigns to reduce stray cat and dog populations as a means of ending the suffering of innocent animals born homeless without shelter, medical care, or food.
Captain explained the importance of needing to spay and neuter pets and strays not just for the sake of the animals, but also for the sake of the carers. To this end, Justice for Animals pop-up spay and neuter clinics do their best to sterilise as many strays as possible in the area of their visit, and also encourage those who need support in getting their pets sterilised to come in.
The pop-up clinics work with locals in a certain area, with the Justice for Animals team linking with specific animal-loving locals who look out for and look after the strays in their area. Once an area has been defined and Justice for Animals is able to organise a pop-up clinic, the Justice for Animals group visits the area with the locals, watching strays and taking them back to the clinic for sterilisation.
The locals who collaborate with Justice for Animals in this regard are people who know the area well and also know which strays are located where. This is done very carefully so that after the sterilisation, the strays can be returned to the exact same spot and into territories in which they’re comfortable so that they have the fullest chance of smooth recovery. Spaying and neutering are surgical procedures, after all, and any stray who is sterilised should be given the best possible chance of complete recovery.
Captain also explained that there is a real need for animal rights organisations to step in and get involved with sterilising strays because even though the Government puts in a lot of money to sterilise strays under the Rabies Control Programme, there are gaps that still create a population problem, like how the Rabies Control Programme only provides for the sterilisation of female dogs, despite the fact sterilising male dogs will noticeably reduce the incidence of dog bites and the fact that male dogs that haven’t been sterilised can still reproduce and cause increases in the population regardless.
Justice for Animals has hosted pop-up clinics across the island, including in Dodangoda, Kalpitiya, Chilaw, Puttalam, Anuradhapura, Thanthirimale, and most recently Gothatuwa. All Justice for Animal clinics take place based on when enough funding could be acquired to do so.
So far for 2020, Justice for Animals has been able to organise approximately 1,600 sterilisations for both male and female cats and dogs, with their target for the year being to carry out 3,000 sterilisations. At their most recent pop-up clinic in Gothatuwa on 21 June, Justice for Animals carried out 92 sterilisations.