We recently moved to Weligama, Sri Lanka. Weligama is a small beach town on the South Coast of Sri Lanka known for its perfect beginner surf waves. Each season hundreds of travelers visit the area for the ocean’s waves and to experience the local Sri Lankan culture.
From one end to the other, the Weligama Beach is around 2.5 miles long and can be easily walked in the early morning or late afternoon. Our family chooses to go down in the mornings to walk our dog, or in the late afternoons for a sunset beer with rice and curry.
During our visits to the beach we have met many of the dogs that live on the sand. Some of them have people looking out for them, such as the surf boys who own small surf board rental stands, or the guys working at the local restaurants by the waves. Other pups wander around looking for a tourist to befriend in hopes of getting the end of their pizza slice, or a fishermen who might throw them an extra catch of the day.
Unfortunately most of these dogs are not neutered or vaccinated. At least once a month a new litter of puppies is born on Weligama Beach, which makes the cycle of neglected and un-owned dogs continue on the beach of Weligama.
What are we doing to help?!
We are working with Ceylon Paws to hold sterilization days to spay and neuter as many stray beach dogs as we can. We are helping raise money for Ceylon Paws sterilization days, and we are also offering our home for the pop up clinics.
We are vaccinating litters of puppies that we find on the beach. The beach puppies that have a mom dog around stay on the beach. It is very hard to re-home dogs in Sri Lanka - if there is a mom with her puppies we keep them together on the beach so she can look after them and feed them. When the puppies turn 8 weeks we take them into the local clinic for their medical vaccinations. We repeat this 3 times until they have received all of their initial medical care.
Unfortunately many of the beach dogs still get sick from tick-born fevers, malnutrition, or other canine diseases such as Parvo and Distemper. Sometimes the ones we are looking after simply disappear without a trace and we rack our brains where they could have gone.
Thankfully there are many happy dogs that spend their days on the beach with their pack. The ones that run in the waves and play freely on the sand. These are the lucky ones, the strong ones that have figured out how best to survive and have fun.
We are doing the best we can to help the dogs on Weligama Beach that cross our path. There are many happy dogs that live on the beach, and they make everything we are doing for the beach dogs worthwhile. When we see Hank galloping over to say hi, or Coco wagging her tail when we call her name - that’s the reason we are doing what we do!