18 August 2016

Animal homelessness and its consequences are an international issue. In a time that humanity claims to have the most knowledge it’s ever had and the greatest awareness of planetary issues, animals – our beautiful housemates – are being abused, neglected, and are left homeless.

From the first International Homeless Animals Day on August 20th, 1992, years have gone by. Nobody can say for certain if the situation has gotten better or worse.

Vafa Animal Shelter, as the first and largest shelter in Iran, is witness to this struggle and this sad story. If we believe in god, or humanity, if we believe any religion or if we are atheist, the miserable life of a homeless animal should be cause for empathy and compassion.

It is time to look in the mirror and see ourselves as a self-centred creature and think twice.

It is time to ask a very serious question. What is our role on earth? To use all the resources, or to share them with other beings?

It is time to discard all the old superstitious nonsense about animals.

It is time to think about the next generation and how they will deal with what we have destroyed.

Just in the past couple of months, we at Vafa Animal Shelter, have rescued more than 100 abandoned puppies. Some of them saw their mothers separated from them, abused and killed. Some of them never saw their mothers. Some were found in a bag beside a road. Some were tied to a tree or a pole without food or water. Some of their ears or tails were cut off.

International Homeless Animals Day is a good day to think twice and start acting differently. This day is a new opportunity to make up with animals. It is a good day to see the world in a new way. A bowl of water and a bit of food can be an ice breaker between you and your neighbourhood cats or dogs. A bowl of water and a bit of food is all it takes to start making a friend – a friend who will love you forever.

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