TAPA Visionaries

All our donors are visionaries. Regardless of donation level, all our donors share the same belief in our mission. They share our vision of providing a sustainable solution for humane animal population management, particularly for dogs and cats. Our donors understand that a healthy animal population is a key factor in long term recovery from the devastating tsunami. Our donors also understand that sterilisation and vaccination of individually owned animals as well as community animals (through Capture-Neuter-Vaccinate-Release) is a humane solution to the management of animal populations, while also reducing rabies and dog bites. In turn, TAPA provides an increased level of public awareness and demonstrates the value and the place that animals hold in society. We would, however, like to highlight several special supporters who were instrumental in the tsunami response (in alphabetical order).

Animal People, publisher of Animal People News, responded immediately after the tsunami to Sri Lanka's animal welfare needs. Funding from Animal People was on the ground within days, allowing our forerunner group, the Tsunami People-Animal Welfare Coalition, to get on the road assessing the animal situation, vaccinating and treating in the tsunami zone. Animal People also funded the expenses of vets from India to come to Sri Lanka and join the field sterilisation team as a learning experience. Animal People continues as a strong supporter of TAPA to improve animal welfare in Sri Lanka.

Best Friends Animal Society operates the well-known no-kill animal sanctuary in the United States, supported by the extensive Best Friends Network. Best Friends special tsunami funds collection contributed significantly to both the initial response Coalition and funding to get TAPA off the ground. Resources for shelters are extremely limited in Sri Lanka, and Best Friends' contributions in support of mass sterilisations have greatly reduced the numbers of homeless animals.

Humane Society International (HSI) made a substantial contribution to establish the Tsunami Memorial Animal Welfare Trust, now TAPA. HSI funded the forerunner field clinic in Sri Lanka's tsunami disaster zones and in the refugee camps, whose work TAPA now carries on. HSI also provided funding to assist the initial response Tsunami People-Animal Welfare Coalition in vaccinating. HSI continues to be a strong supporter of our work.

The J. Kirby Simon Foreign Service Trust is a charitable fund established in the memory of Kirby Simon, a US Foreign Service Officer who died in 1995 while serving in Taiwan. The Trust is committed to expanding the opportunities for community service by Foreign Service Officers and their families. The Trust provided seed funding for developing our "How To Avoid Dog Bites" leaflets in three languages for distribution in the tsunami zone. We were able to attract additional sponsors with the mock-ups of the brochures, eventually being able to publish over 100,000. A Hindi language version is now being produced in India, and the leaflet is being introduced in Nepal and the Philippines.

The Marchig Animal Welfare Trust awarded its prestigious Jeanne Marchig Animal Welfare Award for 2005 to the Tsunami Memorial Animal Welfare Trust (now TAPA). The award and grant were made in recognition of outstanding practical work in averting the mass-killing of dogs in tsunami affected areas through offering an alternative solution to population management and rabies control, thus bringing relief to tens of thousands of dogs as well as providing humane education through its daily activities.

Pfizer Animal Health (US) donated 50,000 doses of Defensor Anti-Rabies vaccine to TAPA for use by TAPA and other members of the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) community working in the disaster zone. The combination of vaccination and sterilisation has been a powerful tool in reducing rabies and improving the welfare of both the people and animals of Sri Lanka.

World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) (now World Animal Protection) made a substantial contribution to initially establish TAPA and its forerunner, the Tsunami Memorial Animal Welfare Trust. WSPA also made other substantial contributions to assist Sri Lanka during the recovery phase through funding for mobile clinics that plied the disaster zone belts providing veterinary services to underserved areas. WSPA also supported the initial response Tsunami People-Animal Welfare Coalition and implemented its own substantial vaccination effort in the Galle area.

Tsunami People-Animal Welfare Coalition, an ad-hoc group formed in the days just after the tsunami, provided an umbrella for all animal welfare NGOs, international and local, as well as individuals, to operate while retaining their individual identities. Thanks to local and international donations of funds and supplies, the Coalition was quickly able to field vet-equipped vans across the tsunami zone to learn first hand the situation of the animals, to vaccinate as a means to reduce concerns about rabies outbreaks, and to treat animals injured during the tsunami or in the aftermath. The Coalition provided logistics and support for every incoming international NGO so those groups could focus on their work. The need for the first response Coalition transformed into support for sterilisations through TAPA as a long-term solution to reducing rabies and dog bites and to humane animal population control in Sri Lanka.

Yudisthira – Bali Street Dog Foundation provided the initial response team for the disaster relief and sterilisation field clinic as well as its transition to the Tsunami Memorial Animal Welfare Trust, now renamed the Tsunami Animal-People Alliance. With the Bali Street Dog Foundation came spay/neuter and dog catching field experience unparalleled in Asia, including expertise in catch-neuter-release (CNR) surgery, maintenance of asepsis in the field, and complete field protocols. Yudisthira covered the initial field clinic team salaries, provided some of the initial medical supplies to set up the Disaster Relief and Sterilisation Field Clinic, and provided training for Sri Lankan and Indian vets.