I interviewed the director of Animal-Kind International for a profile of my blog, streetdogstory.com. Having spent the last decade overseas in countries with serious street animal problems and knowing how difficult it is to find reputable organizations to which I can donate, I am double impressed by both the concept and the efficacy of AKI. They have done a careful vetting of animal charities in some of the most devastating (for dogs and cats) situations in the world, allowing would-be donors to be certain their money is being well-spent. When I published the interview on my blog, I got many comments from people who had excellent experiences with AKI and with the charities they represent. I strongly recommend this group as an exemplar of one getting it right.
What makes this group different from many others is that 100% of your donation goes directly towards helping the animals. I was impressed when promptly after my donation, I received a personal thank you. Animal-Kind International assists many small, relatively unknown rescue groups & often these shelters/clinics are the only ones in that particular country. In the AKI newsletters, I enjoy reading the recipients' thank you notes which state exactly what the money was used for. Someday I would love to visit one of the projects they support.
I am not sure how I found Animal-KIind, but Karen Menczer does a great job of publicizing groups in developing countries that need assistance. I have donated to a group in Malawi, where i served as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and with Karen's help was able to visit a forest dog sanctuary in Istanbul. Animal-kind International does a lot with very little.
I could sit here and go on about the wonderful things AKI does for animals, the countless strays they save, but we all know those stories, we've seen them most of our lives. Animals are the ones people always forget. The ones who can't speak for themselves, and so, organizations like AKI speak for them. However, what is truly special about AKI is that they speak for the animals that are the most forgotten, the ones on the outskirts of the world, in countries torn with war/conflict/poverty. In these countries, people mostly focus on the people, getting them food, shelter, water, which is understandable of course, but there is a tendency to forget that there are animals suffering in these countries too. I can't justify one life over another; a person's over an animal's, so I am really grateful for organizations like AKI who don't forget the animals in these countries like Bosnia, where I'm from, or Honduras. In Bosnia dogs are beaten, have acid thrown on them or simply shot. While many people are suffering in Bosnia after the war, this does not justify this abysmal treatment of animals. In Bosnia it is typical to hear: "Animal rights? Forget animal rights! What about human rights?!" - this alone gives you a clear picture of where things stand in post-war countries. Thank you AKI for not forgetting that animals feel pain too, regardless of where they are! You're truly amazing and the work you do is truly life-changing for these animals, and honestly, gives me hope. Thank you!
If animals in Kingston Jamaica could talk they would pick up a phone and call Karen Menczer to say THANKS FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS! And.. IF they could get visas, she would have thousands and thousands of grateful dogs, cats, goats and every other 4-legged animal at her door to hug and kiss her! Animal-Kind International is wonderful, simply wonderful....we won't forget her, ever.
A few years ago I decided I wanted to do something different for my birthday. So I asked my family to make a donation to Animal-Kind International instead of buying a traditional gift. As an animal lover, it is the best gift I have ever received to know that my family and friends' donations went to support such a worthy cause.
I have had heart warming experiences with AKI, with both their Honduras and Uganda shelters. They help an area of the world where humanity is suffering so animal life is usually lowest on the priority list. Without AKI these animal populations may be forgotten or severely underfunded.
Animal-Kind International is an awesome organization. I personally know people who donate their life to this program. I have visited Africa multiple times, and I know how important this organization is to the small villages where animals are living below the survival line. This organization deserves 10-stars. Trust me! Dori Dumont, Vancouver WA