Painted Dogs in Peril – Update

From Peter Blinston, Painted Dog Conservation, Zimbabwe As you know I sent out an appeal for support in September of last year, and it is time I updated you on that. The appeal was prompted by an extraordinary drop in funding that threatened to impact severely on some of our key programme areas. The response was immediate and generous. A total of $223,000 was raised by the end of the year, filling the gap in our budget of $650,000 so that we could continue our major programs such as the Bush Camp, the Anti-Poaching Unit patrols and Conservation Clubs. We are incredibly grateful for your support during that challenging period and on going commitment to PDC, our goals and objectives, but above all the dogs. We are excited about our progress and expect 2013 to be another year of progress, but as always, one that comes with many challenges. These challenges come in all shapes and sizes, from dealing with being given notice to vacate a house we rent for staff to responding to reports of snared painted dogs. Happily on this last note I can report that the painted dog that was caught in a snare on the day I left Zimbabwe has made a good recovery and was successfully re-introduced to its pack last week. The greatest challenge we face, though, is to maintain the progress being made though our various programmes that will ultimately create an environment for the painted dogs to thrive. During our presentation we spoke about the many positive signs of attitudinal change amongst the surrounding communities: our focus now is on achieving more widespread behavioural change. As we mentioned at our recent event in Los Altos, our annual operating budget is more than $650,000 per year, which sometimes feels daunting. But when we break it down $5000 or $10000 goes a long way.  $5000 supports the entire cost of a camp for 45 children or a month's running cost for the Rehabilitation Facility. $10,000 allows us to strategically deploy our anti poaching units on a daily basis into poaching hot spots, to arrest poachers and remove thousands of deadly snares. We rely on your incredible generosity and committed support to help us continue our work to ensure a future for the painted dog year after year. We deeply appreciate your ongoing support for PDC's work and commitment to creating an environment for the dogs to thrive. Peter Blinston Managing Director Painted Dog Conservation Zimbabwe