A helping hand for street dogs | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

A helping hand for street dogs

26 February, 2023

‘Lucas helps Dogs’ is a charitable organisation that has been helping dogs in Sri Lanka since 2019.

This week we reached out to the founder of Lucas Helps Dogs, Alena Warburton to talk about her recent work with dogs in Badulla with the organisation ‘Dogs of Ella’.

Warburton said that her friend Laura, a trustee of ‘Lucas Helps Dogs’ realised the sad state of street dogs in Sri Lanka, when they visited the country in 2019.

“We have never visited any other country with so many street dogs which nobody looks after them, we saw so many dogs being malnourished, mistreated, ill and it broke our hearts and we decided we need to help, thereafter upon our return to the UK and lots of brainstorming, ‘Lucas Helps Dogs’ was born and since then we spend every spare minute raising money for our small charity with every penny spent on Sri Lankan street dogs,” she said.

Lucas was the name of Warburton’s rescue dog, who is also the biggest inspiration behind this charity organisation. “I adopted him when he was 18 months old and already completely blind. He was the biggest fighter I knew, he was diagnosed with pituitary brain tumor, and was given six months to live. He was fighting strong by my side for over two and a half years. This charity is dedicated to Lucas to keep his memory alive”, she said.


Talking about the project they conducted in Badulla in collaboration with ‘Dogs by Ella’, Warburton said, “During this program we mostly focused on owners dogs, in one day we castrated 40 dogs, 10 cats, all of them received free rabies vaccination, four received skin treatment for mange and demodex, and we conducted three Transmissible Venereal Tumor (TVT) chemotherapy treatments for dogs with tumours. These TVT dogs will get follow up treatment in two weeks’ time.”

“We reached out to Doyel from ‘Dogs of Ella’ to help us with the logistics of the program and she was very helpful. However we liaised with Sri Lankan vets and organised and sorted out the entire clinic ourselves,” she added.

Warburon said that they conduct vaccination programs down south as well.

“Earlier this month we sponsored a one-day spay and neuter clinic at Ahangama and in two weeks we will hold a spay and neuter and TVT treatment clinic for around 30 dogs in Hikkaduwa. This clinic will be followed by another one in approximately four weeks,” she said.

Deadly issues

Warburton said that the government needs to come up with sustainable program for castrating dogs and cats. She added that this excluded Chemical Castration which results in deadly issues and only lasts for six months.

When asked if they wish to collaborate with other animal welfare organisations, Warburton said, “Mostly we work by ourselves with the help of dog lovers in the areas. We have a small group of friends here who also run clinics we fund when we are out of the country. We like to work with likeminded individuals who work for the benefit of animals in this country.”

Speaking of animal welfare in Sri Lanka, she said, although Sri Lanka is beautiful country its treatment of animals is rather poor. She was of the opinion that laws need to be changed to punish the offenders who harm animals and ensure that they do not repeat these crimes. She believed that education and awareness on the problem is as important and supporting animal welfare charities morally and financially in their invaluable work.