After you give blood in Sweden they’ll send you a text message when it is used to save someone’s life. New Story Charity will trace every dollar you donate and show you the house you helped to build. This direct accountability from action to impact makes a tremendous impact in terms of getting people to donate again. Sharing the results of donations helps to close the loop and makes the generous donors feel part of something bigger than themselves. And these examples made me realize I had missed a great opportunity to share the story.

Back in November of 2014 I started a campaign to conduct a rabies clinic in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. The post I wrote got 11.5k reads, and led 23 people to donate $1,031 to the Tsunami-Animal People Alliance of Sri Lanka (TAPA). Thanks to these donations TAPA was able to secure some additional funding and conducted a clinic in August of 2015. I’m a bit embarrassed by how long it has taken me to follow up on this campaign, and to share the news, so I hope all of the donors to this campaign accept an apology.

TAPA was able to spay/neuter 378 dogs in Trincomalee during a nine day field clinic. They also vaccinated 540 dogs against rabies, and provided 125 veterinary treatments, including treating wounds, injuries, and skin problems. All services were provided at no cost to the community and done to international standards. TAPA sent a team of of 12 well-trained Sri Lankans (vets, vet techs, and animal handlers) to the community to conduct the clinic. They utilized their mobile surgery bus, and set up clinics in seven different neighborhoods. About half the dogs were brought to TAPA by owners, and the other half were “community dogs” (street dogs) caught in large butterfly nets and brought to the clinic. After recovery, the community dogs were returned to the exact spot where they were caught. The territorial nature of dogs then keeps other dogs, who may not be vaccinated or sterilized, out of the area, thus promoting a stable and healthy dog population.

Here are some photos of the clinic:


 Catching street dogs in  large butterfly nets. The nets are much safer than catchpoles for the dog and the team.


Surgery prep under a pop-up tent outside the surgery bus

Releasing recovered dogs back to the exact spot where caught so they can resume their familiar territory.

Releasing recovered dogs back to the exact spot where caught so they can resume their familiar territory.

Thanks to everyone who helped me to make this clinic a reality. If you want to continue to support TAPA you can use this handy Amazon Smile link, and Amazon will donate a portion of all of your purchases.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to tell you about some other work happening in Sri Lanka that I really admire:
  • My good friend, Fr. Elil Rajan, recently left his position as the Director of the Jesuit Refugee Services in Sri Lanka to start the Jesuit Centre for Social Concern. Elil is focused on post war reconciliation and accountability – specifically Transitional Justice. As part of his work Elil conducted the first commemoration for the families of the atrocities that took place at the end of the war in Mullivaikkal.
  • The Arts Action Group, who I happened to meet through my work at Mentored, will be conducting a clinic in Sri Lanka to help children affected by the war.
  • Sarah Stodder has had two articles published in the Caravan (it’s the New Yorker of India), detailing post war land right issues and the transfer of power.


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