Claudia Armandi shared her story with Animaltalk:
My name is Claudia Armandi. I moved from Italy to Mozambique a couple of years ago for business.
As an animal lover, I couldn’t close my eyes to the many stray dogs in Mozambique. They are sick, skinny, and starving, trying to survive by eating things like banana peels or other fruit in rubbish bins.
I tried to find people who felt the same way and who had the same passion as me, to help these poor animals. It was not easy but I persisted, and over time I have met some really great friends who are willing to fight for this cause.
Together we created Animals SOS Mozambique to help animals in the central Mozambican city of Beira.
Even though Mozambique is very large, outside of the capital, Maputo, there are no animal protection organisations.
Local people have no respect for poor stray animals and we often come across cases of severe abuse. In short, we deal with issues that you would rarely expect to see in other countries.
Beira City Council tries to round up stray animals, but those caught are treated badly, kept in the city’s kennels without adequate food and water.
We have managed to raise some funds and with this and through our own efforts we have built a small sanctuary where we give a home to about 80 dogs and 60 cats. Unfortunately we have no choice but to have sick or injured animals which we are brought or that we find euthanized, since it is simply not possible to care for them in the local environment and with the limited resources we have. While it breaks our hearts each time, at least we know that in their final hours these poor creatures have been shown kindness and ended their suffering with dignity.
There is not yet a culture of adoption of stray or homeless animals. Most people prefer to spend large sums of money importing purebreeds from neighbouring countries rather than offering a home to a rescued animal. We are slowly trying to change this culture, but it takes time.
We are aiming to collaborate with the ‘Be wise, sterilise” campaign in South Africa to focus on reducing the numbers of homeless animals on our streets.
To carry on with our work any help is much appreciated. A contribution of any size can help us. Visit our website and find out how you can help us: www.animalsmozambique.com, or find us on Facebook at Animals SOS Mozambique.