There’s something special about baladi dogs. They’re playful, kind and affectionate, but you normally see them roaming the streets and sleeping on car roofs, not on leashes out for walks as pets. Challenging this idea, a dog shelter called HOPE for Egyptian street dogs is on a mission to challenge perceptions about baladi dogs and to encourage people to adopt these adorable little doggos.
In the leafy Abu Sir, just south of Cairo, if you listen out for and follow the excited barks of baladi dogs playing you can find HOPE. HOPE, which describes itself as an animal rescue centre with a mission to ‘rescue, rehab and re-home’ injured stray dogs, has over 400 happy doggos looking for new homes.
Open since January 2015, HOPE prides itself in taking in street dogs most in need of help, often suffering from quite serious injuries, who sadly most likely would not have been able to live a happy life if they had not found refuge and care with HOPE. With HOPE’s refusal to shy away from dogs needing quite serious medical attention, this of course comes at a great financial cost. HOPE reiterated to me that one of the biggest challenge they face is one of finances, only heightened by the increased costs of imported veterinary medicines and equipment so desperately needed by some of their dogs.
Often looked over by many, we seem to forget how great baladai dogs really are. They’re super smart, characterful, caring, playful, trainable and really good looking dogs. Surprisingly, however, HOPE told me that not many Egyptians opt to adopt baladi dogs, instead preferring certain foreign breeds, often not suited to Egypt’s hot and dry climate. Instead, many of their dogs are actually adopted by those in the USA and Canada.
It is touching to see the dogs at HOPE excitingly playing with each other, particularly those that have lost legs or suffered some other serious misfortune in their past life on the street. If you want to support the impressive work done at HOPE you can help in many ways. HOPE told us that if you want to help, you can adopt one of their lovely dogs looking for a new home, you can volunteer with HOPE, and you can also donate to help keep the project going.
Another way to help out is to also help spread HOPE’s message and help share their social media efforts. Changing attitudes towards baladi dogs and Egyptian street dogs by encouraging people to consider having one as a pet is an important and humane way to help with Egypt’s stray dog problem.
Interested in adopting a cute little doggo or popping by for a visit? HOPE is open for visits daily from 10 am until 4 pm. You can also find more information and keep up-to-date with HOPE’s activities on their Instagram and Facebook.