Community Engagement

Domestic violence demands action for survivors and their pets.

See why
Preventing Cruelty


volunteers trained and ready to rescue marine mammals along the North Sea coast.

Understand why
Helping People Help Animals

When animals need help, people need help.

There is a human side to animal welfare. At ifaw, we meet people from around the world—whether they’re farmers, pet owners, or concerned citizens—and help them take better care of the animals in their communities. In more than 60 countries, we provide access to food, shelters, veterinary care, and best practices for improving the lives of animals.


million dogs and cats live with families living below the poverty line in the United States


million dogs live on the streets worldwide


percent of wars around the world broke out in biodiversity hotspots from 1950-2000

Intentional animal cruelty isn’t the norm. Most often, good people simply don’t have what they need to do the right thing for animals in their communities.

Dogs, who otherwise could not be fully cared for, are fed through IFAW programs and partners on the ground in areas like Indonesia. Photo: IFAW
Going Local

We help people help animals. We make veterinary care affordable and accessible for those living on the margins. We help survivors of domestic abuse find safe places to shelter with their pets. We rehabilitate dogs and prepare them for rewarding careers in conservation detection. We’re proud of what we’re doing together, but what sets us apart is how we do it.

Instead of working for local communities, we prefer to work with them. For example, in Bali we’ve built relationships with local students, local vets, and local government to help control preventable disease in areas prone to natural disaster. Through Programme Dharma, trained locals go door-to-door, talking with their neighbours about rabies vaccination and basic pet care. They organise community clinics and celebrate healthy animals. To date we’ve reached over 8,000 owners, vaccinated 5,500 dogs, and eradicated rabies in 30 communities.

In the Nothern Cape of South Africa – Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT)’s Hester de Wee signs in a patient for sterilization. IFAW partnered with EWT and Envirovet CVC to complete a sterilization campaign. Sterilizing the pet populations prevents a population explosion and rampant breeding which places a burden on a community already facing financial struggles. Photo: IFAW
Putting Respect First

In the far reaches of Northern Canada, 15 hours from the nearest veterinary clinic, packs of stray dogs were being regularly culled. While we believe all animals deserve our guardianship, we don’t believe in imposing our agenda. Instead, we work to build trust.

In Canada, we spent decades earning the trust of First Nations communities. Our Northern Dogs team worked side-by-side with First Nations peoples to change the narrative. Now, if you visit any number of these communities, you’ll find well-cared for dogs, dog houses engineered for cold weather and people and dogs thriving together.

IFAW’s veterinarian, Erika Flores greets a puppy in Nuevo, Durango, Mexico. IFAW in collaboration with its partner, Coco's Animal Welfare Clinic, sets up a temporary clinic in the mostly Mayan community to treat pets that would otherwise not receive vet care. Photo: Scott Anger/IFAW
Finding Common Cause

Wherever people are divided, animals can be a powerful force for healing. In Lopare, Bosnia, we partnered with the United Nations to solve a public-safety problem: abandoned, aggressive, free-roaming dogs. Bringing together local residents, teachers, veterinarians, farmers, pet owners, police officers—people who hadn’t spoken to each other since the Bosnian War—we facilitated a series of constituency meetings where people could safely let down their guard, share their perspectives and find ways to work together.

The results included a refurbished veterinary clinic, animal-handling training for firefighters and school curricula updated to address animal welfare. The community was also happier, stronger and safer as a result of our work together. As part of our Clinton Global Initiative commitment, we replicated this community-building programme in six communities in Bosnia. It was so successful that the United Nations Development Programme has taken it upon itself to fund and promote our model in six more communities.

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United States
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