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Project information

Helping to save Africa's painted wolves

Rabies and canine distemper are decimating packs of Endangered painted wolves/dogs throughout Africa.

One source of infection are the domestic dogs that live on the edge of protected areas.

Vaccinating these dogs helps them, the people and the African painted wolves.

May 2019 - December 2019

Charity information: Wildlife Vets International

Wildlife Vets International logo
  • Need


    1) African painted dogs have a huge home range and often come into contact with domestic dogs. These dogs carry diseases which could potentially wipe out packs at a time and make significant changes to the overall populatin of African painted dogs.

    2) Snares are one of the painted dogs biggest threats. Partners Painted Dog Conservation often rescue dogs from snares and have to perform on the ground first aid. Severe cases are brought into the rehabilitation centre before being re-released.


    1) Provide veterinary advice and expertise to the Zimbabwean State Veterinary Department for vaccination and minor injuries clinics in partnership with Painted Dog Conservation (PDC). We vaccinate against canine distemper and rabies, which directly protects the human population. We offer a neutering service which is widely taken up. The clinics are part of a suite of services PDC offers the community under the banner of painted dogs.
    2) WVI provides training and equipment to the field teams.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Increase the welfare of the domestic dog population


    » Run a series of vaccination, neutering and minor injuries clinics in the communities

    What success will look like

    Vaccinating over 2000 dogs in the community lands and a lack of disease outbreaks originating in the community.

    Aim 2

    Increase the welfare of the human population


    » Vaccinating against Rabies in the domestic dogs will reduce the incidence of disease in the human population.

    What success will look like

    Vaccinating dogs against Rabies has an instant effect on the number of incidences in the human population. It is currently very low and we would like it to stay that way.

    Aim 3

    Protect wild carnivores from canine distemper and other diseases


    » Vaccinate over 70% of the domestic dog population in the area concerned.

    What success will look like

    Vaccinating over 70% of the population will ensure 'herd immunity' that will protect both the dogs and the people in the communities.

    Aim 4

    Increase the local veterinary capacity


    » Provide an opportunity for Zimbabwean veterinary students to practice neutering of dogs.

    What success will look like

    The number of Zimbabwean qualified and student vets that accompany the clinics. They will learn 'on the job'.

  • Impact


    As part of a suite of services PDC offers the local community in the name of painted dogs, one long term success would be that the vaccination and small injuries clinics to grow in popularity and hopefully cover a greater area around the park.
    While the threat from disease is difficult to see,there are plenty of examples of the devastation it brings (Canine Distemper). A success will be the lack of disease outbreaks and the recognition that wildlife medicine is core to successful conservation


    There are risks of creating a disease outbreak by using various types of vaccines. these are mitigated by not vaccinating the painted dogs, only the domestic dogs where masses of research has been done on how they react and the probability of them developing the disease (minimal).
    Another risk would be not vaccinating enough domestic dogs. This is mitigated by strategic planning by PDC and having the clinics as part of their suite of services offered to the local community.


    Reports are written after every batch of clinics that are run and distributed to donors. During the project, WVI will be putting information on Facebook, Twitter and their website, with blogs if the vets have time to write one! Donors are listed on all reports, press releases & project website page

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £39,250

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £1,719 Zimbabwean team salaries for vets, drivers, clinic staff at the domestic dog clinics
      £2,000 vaccines Rabies and Canine Distemper Virus vaccine bought in country
      £4,020 antiparasitic treatment worm and flea treatments, donated by pharmaceutical companies
      £1,600 veterinary consumables everything from syringes, neuter kits, disinfectant, suture kits, cotton wool, antibiocs . Donated
      £23,585 International team 2 expert vets, 2 vet nurses, 2 trainee vets
      £6,326 development time spent making the clinics happen

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Private individual £1,000 Conditional
  • Background


    Zimbabwe is an important country for painted dogs and the Hwange National Park is a reasonable haven for wildlife. Painted dogs roam over huge areas and will inevitably come in to contact with domestic dogs, people and their diseases. A significant amount of land outside Hwange is owned by very poor communities. These communities struggle to survive in the harsh landscape through subsistence farming.


    Local communities can not afford to take their animals to a vet and so there are no vets available to the communities. They are, by law, supposed to get their dogs vaccinated against rabies every year. By doing the vaccination and neutering clinics every two years, we are significantly increasing the health and welfare of the domestic dogs and their owners. The reduction of disease in the area will benefit the wild carnivore population as well.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    WVI has worked in partnership with conservation organisations to save endangered species for 14 years. We support activities that achieve the following:
    - Build recognition that veterinary expertise is an important part of successful conservation
    - Increase local capacity
    - Provide the right veterinary expertise
    - Achieve a long-term conservation gain and increases both human and animal welfare
    WVI has been working with Painted Dog Conservation since 2010 and this partnership will continue.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Jane Hopper

    Jane is an experienced wildlife vet and is the project leader. She is bringing together the clinics and the disease surveillance of wild carnivores.

    Peter Blinston

    Executive Director, Painted Dog Conservation. Peter and his team will organise the clinics in Zimbabwe. They have links with the local community.

    Dr Dube

    Head of the Regional Zimbabwean Veterinary Department. Dr Dube will oversee all the clinical work in Zimbabwe.

Steve Leonard castrating a domestic dog

Steve Leonard castrating a domestic dog