Still a lucky dog: Bruno going strong

Posted on 19 May 2018 by

Dr. Emily Mudoga

As soon as you get to Joseph Mutui’s home, it quickly dawns on you that it’s a protected territory.

While there’s no fence to keep strangers at bay, Bruno, his full-time watch dog ensures you don’t go past the entrance uninvited.

At the heart of Makueni County, lies a tight knit family of 5 living with their two dogs Bruno and Simba. One year ago, Bruno was their only pet friend but they have since found her a companion and helper in Simba.

Bruno looks healthy and happy. We found her calmly strolling in the compound while watching who is coming in.  Joseph informs us that he couldn’t imagine his home without her. She is key to protecting his maize farm from squirrels.

Bruno looks healthy and happy. We found her calmly strolling in the compound while watching who is coming in.  Joseph informs us that he couldn’t imagine his home without her. She is key to protecting his maize farm from squirrels.

“I am very passionate about farming but our village is highly infested with squirrels. This affects the quality of our produce. However, since I got Bruno, she’s been very instrumental in protecting my farm. Early this year when I was tilling my land, she spotted a squirrel and was very fast in running after it.” Joseph narrates while smiling in contentment.

Vaccination : The key to a rabies free community

Bruno is now 2 years old. She is vaccinated every year during the county’s annual vaccination drive and in 2015, she was our one millionth vaccinated dog. She embodies an up-beat spirit and enjoys playing with Simba and her friend Kuluku. When not in the mood to play, she rests close to Joseph’s granary until the next adventure comes along or when Simba decides to disrupt her peace.

Joseph tells us that she hardly leaves the compound. This was not the case 2 years ago when he barely knew how to responsibly take care of a dog. Due to lack of enough food, Bruno would stray in the village in search of something to feed on and this would expose her to illnesses. Right now, Joseph at least feeds her with a balanced diet twice a day and ensures she has water to drink.

“Since World Animal Protection came in. I have learnt a great deal on how to best take care for my dogs. As you can see, they are very happy and content and this gives us joy and peace as well.” Joseph continues.

He is now a community health volunteer and educates his neighbors on responsible dog ownership with key emphasis on dog vaccination. This has seen a lot more people take their dogs to get vaccinated and acquire a vaccination card which is a great source of pride. Relationships between dogs and the community have improved as well.

“Young boys in Mikese village are very fond of their dogs. They go to fetch water at the rivers and take vegetables to the market in the company of their four legged fri.”

“In addition, Mutiso, our closest new neighbor recently adopted two dogs. He was once taking an evening walk when Rex and Mutiso couldn’t stop following him. This really excited him and he got motivated to take them in. Thy are now inseparable. It warms my heart to witness this improvement in our area.” Joseph continues.

Rabies cases continue to significantly reduce in Makueni county as the government sustains its commitment to improve the lives of dogs.

We’ve been working with governments in Africa to implement rabies vaccination and responsible dog ownership schemes since 2011 and show that it works to eradicate rabies.

 

 

 

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