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Rufus the stray

World Stray Animal Day: meet Rufus

Today (4 April) marks the World Stray Animal Day, which is all about taking action for unlucky strays everywhere in the world - in the UK, in the streets of Romania or Cyprus, all the way to Brazil and war-torn countries like Afghanistan.

London-based charity The Mayhew Animal Home also has a growing international presence to help make a difference to stray communities abroad too. Mayhew International works to "promote animal welfare and the humane management of cats and dogs through vet-training programmes, rabies vaccination programmes to eliminate rabies in dogs and communities, and a network of long term community animal care initiatives" in several countries - including Afghanistan, where friendly Rufus was rescued.

Rufus in KabulBrought in as a stray at Tigger House, an animal shelter in Kabul, Rufus  had a severely infected wound on his hind leg. His attempts to relieve the pain by licking the wound kept making it worse, and infection could have cost him his life without the proper treatment. However, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs were doing little to help - forcing The Mayhew’s Afghanistan Project Manager, Dr. Mohammadzai DVM, to attempt something different.

Dr. Mohammadzai decided to treat Rufus’ wound with special Afghanistan natural honey, and soon saw signs of improvement. Now that Rufus has completely healed, and his friendly nature is shining through - just look at the video below! - he will soon be off to his forever home.

In addition to helping individual strays whenever possible, The Mayhew has recently signed a landmark agreement with Kabul City authorities to halt dog culling in the city and introduce an animal welfare strategy incorporating a "sustainable and planned rabies vaccination programme combined with a humane dog population control programme".

Similar neutering and vaccination programmes are being funded all over the world  by international charities, in order to humanely bring down the number of the stray dogs, ensure that they don't pose a health risk to people, and make sure fewer and fewer dogs will be born to wander in the streets like Rufus did.

Images by The Mayhew Animal Home.