Darwin Animal Doctors


Category Archive: Monthly reports

  1. Brazil – Protectors Without Borders

    The first in our series, looking at our projects around the world…

    We’re starting in Brazil – Protectors Without Borders. https://www.facebook.com/protetoresemfronteiras/

    The creator of Protectors Without Borders, Paula has been an Animal Protector for 24 years, starting out on her own, looking after the stray dogs in her community: feeding, vaccinating, castrating. As an individual, using her own funds, there was a limit to what she could do alone, but she wasn’t stopping…

    Over time more protectors got involved, each contributing what they could to the collective group; resources, experience, medication. The group is able to discuss animal adoptions, requests for help, and are able to ensure help arrives quickly and in a targeted manner. Each protector works with their own animals but has the support of the group.

    Protectors Without Borders now has links with their State Representative so abuse and mistreatment can be reported and investigated.

    Within this amazing group of animal protectors, each individual will often care for 30-50 animals, helping one another out where necessary and holding raffles and adoption fairs for the many animals they rescue and treat each month. This can be up to 150 animals a month needing temporary or permanent homing.

    It is an amazing thing they’re doing, all for the love of animals!

    Whether it’s strays collected from the streets like this poor Dachshund type:

    Or puppies abandoned on their doorsteps:

    There will always be dogs, and cats needing their help!

    Of course, our COVID-19 Campaign continues, helping ensure superheroes like these are able to continue despite the current difficulties!


    -Tod and Piggy, Presidents, Darwin Animal Doctors


    Piggy update for the week:

    Piggy has started his chemo this week. He’s taking a lot of medication that makes him sleepy but he has a lot of friends with him to help with the recovery process, and he even has this little squirrel visiting! As always, his spirits are up and he’s enjoying life! Thanks to everyone for your support!

    Leave a Comment
  2. All About Sun bears

    This week is all about sun bears. Not only Ucok, the orphaned sun bear our partners are helping care for in Sumatra, but also a bit more about sun bears as a species too. We keep talking about these lovely little creatures that can be found all across Southeast Asia, but now it’s time to really get to know these elusive creatures.

    We’ve seen a lot of this pretty little bear cub over the last few months, and we’ve been seeing him steadily growing, and indeed out-growing his enclosure, but when he came to BKSDA (that’s the Nature Conservation Agency of Indonesia), having been seized from the illegal wildlife trade, he weighed just 3.1kg. As a cub of approximately 3 months old at the time, he should have still been feeding on his mother’s milk for another month or so, but ultimately spending another 2 years under his mother’s guidance.


    Unfortunately sun bears, like other bears in Asia are poached for their gallbladder and other body parts for ‘medical uses’ although it has been proven to have no medical value at all. More recently, as a ‘cure’ for COVID-19, again, with absolutely no scientific value. Poaching, and the illegal pet trade, along with habitat destruction has led to the classification of sun bears as a species as vulnerable.


    Nursing female sun bears will often be killed and their cubs sold into the pet trade, as happened with Ucok, so BKSDA’s vets had the dilemma of how to feed this poor little baby. Their solution, at least until he had grown a bit, was porridge and goats milk, and he grew well on it, weighing in at 5kg by the beginning of March. An adult sun bear will grow to between 35 – 80kg!

    As he grows, his diet will change. Sun bears eat a diet of fruits, berries, roots, insects, small birds, rodents, lizards and honey, and already at 8 months old Ucok is learning to enjoy solid foods.


    The vets at the BKSDA Wildlife Rescue Center TWA Sibolangit have been doing a great job trying to teach Ucok normal behaviours, however sun bears are nocturnal animals and need to be taught to hunt and be wild by their mums. In the wild they would spend the first 2 years of their life learning from their mother and unlike Borneo which has dedicated sun bear rescue and rehab centres, the BKSDA in Sumatra has none.

    So while his return to the wild looks uncertain for the moment, ISCP, our partners in Indonesia are doing what they can for this inquisitive and mischievous little bear, who may well live for another 24years.

    Our aim is to help ISCP continue to support BKSDA in Ucok’s welfare, like this recent food donation. What better for a growing sun bear than lovely fresh fruit!!!


    Our #GivingTuesdayNow Campaign is still running, and even the smallest donation will mean the world at the receiving end, so take the opportunity now to follow the link below..


    and Help DAD Crush COVID!


    -Tod and Piggy, Presidents, Darwin Animal Doctors


    Weekly Piggy Update:

    “On Thursday last week Piggy had surgery to remove three masses, samples of which have been sent to the lab. We’ve all got our fingers crossed that they’ve removed a large enough margin for the masses to be gone forever.

    He had a drain in his side for a few days so has been rocking his t-shirt look! The drain is now out, but he is scheduled to begin non-intrusive pill-form chemo.

    Despite everything, he’s still smiling and loving every moment of life. He’s still getting all his outdoor time, lots of walkies in his wagon and support and love from all. The vets working with him have been fantastic despite the heavy pressures they are under at the moment. Thank you to everyone for their support!”

    Leave a Comment
  3. Piggy’s News

    During this week, we’ve had some very sad news. Our very own Piggy had a visit to the oncologist’s late last week, and the results were heart-breaking. His mast cell tumor is back and requires more surgery, and his small cell lymphoma has graduated to intermediary size.

    He is having a surgical consultation to remove his second mast cell tumor, and beginning chemotherapy right after that for his intermediate cell lymphoma. It will also require radiation therapy.

    Despite the bad news, Piggy is, as always, upbeat and in good spirits, and he enjoyed the car trip home from his all-day oncology exam, and the sunset that evening, as he always does.

    Tod and friends are determined to keep fighting for him and keep him happy for as long as possible, the way he inspires children everywhere to keep fighting through their hard times. He’s determined to enjoy every second of the world, and we are all determined to ensure that he can.

    While the news is absolutely devastating, our goal, Piggy’s goal, remains the same: to continue to help communities and animals around the world, through education and our many projects.

    Right now our main campaign is still the COVID-19 campaign, and our #GivingTuesdayNow campaign continues. We still have some time left to reach our goal, that will be matched by GoFundMe if we achieve it, and your support is and will be, greatly appreciated.


    Please join everyone at Darwin Animal Doctors in wishing Tod and Piggy all our love and support at this time! Thank you so much! And stay safe wherever you are.

    -Tod and Piggy, Presidents, Darwin Animal Doctors

    An Extra Cute Piggy image of the week:

    Leave a Comment
  4. Tanzania Update #GivingTuesdayNow

    Over the course of the last month, we have been sharing with you what our partners around the world have been doing in the wake of the pandemic, and the worldwide changes caused by COVID-19.

    We’ve seen how the team in Morocco have focused their efforts on rescuing thousands of farm and domestic animals dumped on the streets.

    In Indonesia, our partners are not only working against increased poaching but also to investigate and shut down wildlife markets that spread zoonotic diseases in the first place. In doing so, they are rescuing countless animals from these markets.

    And at home in the USA and UK, our seamstresses are making masks for frontline healthcare workers.

    Globally, in Africa, Asia, and in Latin America, our partners are educating locals on the causes of COVID-19 and how to stop its spread.

    Today, with #GivingTuesdayNow taking place tomorrow! we’re sharing with you our latest report from the wildlife rangers we are supporting in Tanzania. Some of the pictures in this report are more graphic than we usually share, but we want you to understand the realities being faced by our partners in Tanzania.

    Unfortunately many of the rangers have found themselves out of work due to the lack of financial support from the tourist industry during the lockdown, for example the Chem Chem lodge which is a leading source of patrol support in Burunge Wildlife Area.

    Without their daily patrols, human/ wildlife conflicts are increasing, with incidents between the community and invading elephants, zebras, and buffalo happening at least five times a week. This has already caused both human and wildlife casualties, and, without the presence of daily patrols, the number of reports of animals in the local villages is increasing…

    We are fundraising to get the rangers back to work to stop these conflicts to protect both vulnerable human and endangered wildlife populations.

    Your #GivingTuesdayNow contributions will go towards this, and our other COVID-19 projects, so with your help we can help protect communities and wildlife everywhere, we can help protect the health care workers, we can help stop the spread of these deadly zoonotic diseases, and we can help make a difference in the face of the pandemic..


    Thank you all

    -Tod and Piggy, Presidents, Darwin Animal Doctors

    Cute Piggy image of the week:

    Leave a Comment
  5. #GivingTuesdayNow

    Giving Tuesday has announced an extra day of global action, #GivingTuesdayNow, in response to COVID-19. This will take place on May 5th as a day of giving and unity.

    Over the years we’ve been overwhelmed by your generosity on Giving Tuesday.

    In 2018, Giving Tuesday donations helped fund our Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic programs, which finished their first years in 2019 and still operate with our partners.

    Proteccion Animal Cabrera, our local partner in the Dominican Republic, not only work tirelessly to protect stray dogs and cats, but they are some of Piggy’s oldest friends, and worked with at-risk children to implement Piggy’s Animal Guardians program.Dominican Republic The children, with their amazing teachers, completed a 6 week pilot of Piggy’s humane education program in 2019, working hard to bring critical thinking and creativity to rebuilding community!

    The program continues in the Dominican Republic as this year they’ve completed eight more sessions in a small mountain school. An additional two groups have started the program but have yet to finish due to the shut down. Hopefully, with just a couple of session left, they will be completing the program just as soon as they’re able!

    In Puerto Rico, our partners at the Las Cabachuelas Nature Reserve in Morovis, along with students from our local school partners, took part in our rebuilding program, building sustainable gardens and hands-on science labs.

    Puerto Rico

    They continue to build new gardens, and continue to manage them, and Piggy’s humane education program is in its second year of teaching!

    Giving Tuesday 2019, just last December helped fund our first campaign of 2020 when our amazing community developer Sarah Wang went to Sumatra to work with schools, NGO’s, Rangers, and communities from all over Indonesia. Local NGO's and community leaders learning first aid in the Leuser Ecosystem rainforestDuring the course of her Youth Rangers Program, hundreds of teachers and students learned everything from First Aid, to wildlife conflict resolution, to jungle trek communication and safety, and humane education teaching techniques, and we saw the culmination of her work in early March when Stay Wild’s Youth Ranger students graduated phase 1!The video for her campaign can be found here: campaign:


    Not only that but 2019 Giving Tuesday also helped fund our school programs around the world, which resulted in people turning away from deforestation as with these local farmers in Sumatra:

    Our main focus at this time are, of course, our COVID-19 Campaigns. We want nothing more than to see our partners and wildlife around the world safe and protected, but we are also looking forward to that glorious day when our many postponed campaigns and projects can continue again.



    -Tod and Piggy, Presidents, Darwin Animal Doctors

    Leave a Comment
  6. Sumatra Campaign

    A month ago, we updated you on the amazing rehab story of one little sun bear in Sumatra. This week, we’re going back to Sumatra to look at the challenges our partners Stay Wild and ISCP are facing amid this pandemic. Their work fighting wildlife trafficking in Indonesia is more vital now than ever, as this is also the fight against the spread of zoonotic disease like COVID-19.

    In the wake of economic shutdown and the close of the Leuser Ecosystem park, it seems people are becoming more brazen about poaching and trafficking wildlife. Sun bears are, tragically being hit particularly hard, since the devastating promotion of China that sun bear bile can be used to combat COVID-19:


    We are seeing, through patrols like those organised by Stay Wild, more bear and monkey snares being brazenly set in the open:

    Snare, Sumatra

    And we are seeing the heartbreaking effects of these snares:




    The images and video link above have been taken by our partner Stay Wild, captured on one of the wildlife camera traps which we donated to them.

    Our program with ISCP works to rescue and rehabilitate all wildlife, like sun bears, poached and trafficked in the area of Gunung Leuser National Park, in cooperation with the BKSDA Indonesian wildlife reserve:

    Sumatra, Sun bear

    We need to work with these partners we have in Sumatra, coordinating teams to stop the sources of poaching and the black markets, but we need to protect our teams as well. These ISCP team members are rescuing animals from the black markets in PPE given to them by the BKSDA to protect against zoonotic disease from the markets:

    Necessary PPE

    We want to provide them with as much protection as possible, so they are able to safely protect, rescue and rehabilitate as many vulnerable animals as possible, whilst also continuing to educate the local communities on the risks that arise from poaching, the black markets and contact with wild animals.

    Our COVID-19 campaign is continuing to raise money to help keep this work going:


    -Tod and Piggy, Presidents, Darwin Animal Doctors


    Cute Piggy image of the week:

    Leave a Comment
  7. Street Shepherds Campaign

    This week we want to tell you all about our Moroccan campaign. Our local partner, RAPAD-Maroc is working to address the huge education and animal care problem that has come about surrounding COVID-19.

    Among the torrent of false information viewable on TV in Morocco is the claim that you can catch COVID-19 from your cats and dogs and farm animals. This has led, as we shared with you previously, to the mass dumping of farm and domestic animals. The sudden appearance of hungry and increasingly aggressive animals everywhere is a second public health crisis all of its own.

    Donkey Rescue, Morocco

    Abandoned Dogs, Morocco

    The current situation in Morocco is a military enforced stay-at-home order but RAPAD-Maroc is one of very few groups given government permission to operate on the streets- they’re working basically alone, and what they’ve done is to create the “Street Shepherds” campaign.

    Street Shepherds, Morocco

    Street Shepherds, Morocco

    The Street Shepherds are going out every day, caring for the animals as best they can, to prevent them from dying in droves on the streets, and from becoming too aggressive as they begin to starve.

    They are working with media and the government,

    In the Media, Morocco

    In the Media, Morocco

    As well as teaching directly on the streets, to inform communities exactly how COVID-19 is spread, and how the communities can help.

    Street Shepherds Team, Morocco

    We need help giving them the resources to save these thousands of animals who had homes until very recently, and to spread the word all throughout Morocco to stop even more animals from getting dumped in droves!

    Alongside our COVID-19 fundraiser (https://darwinanimal.bsd.net/page/contribute/global-covid-19-campaign),

    You can now also donate directly to our Morocco campaign. https://darwinanimal.bsd.net/page/contribute/morocco-covid-19-campaign

    These animals really do need you now, more than ever!

    Rescue Dogs, Morocco

    -Tod and Piggy, Presidents, Darwin Animal Doctors


    Cute Piggy image of the week:

    Leave a Comment
  8. Masks Campaign – COVID 19

    Our COVID-19 campaign has started! Unfortunately, because of these unprecedented times, all our events and planned field work this summer have been canceled. Our team around the world is currently pulling together to use all their time and resources to help in all the ways they can.

    Our seamstresses have switched from making Piggy’s plush toy merch (http://piggytale.storenvy.com/) to making masks to send to hospitals, clinics, and people sick with COVID-19 who are running out of masks. Many of the masks in use around the world are single use, so having these amazing, washable and reusable masks not only benefits the people we’re helping, but continues to do that little bit to help the environment too.

    Our seamstress Gina (https://www.supersoxshop.com/), just finished making mask number 200:

    Mask number 200


    And, this is just one of the hospitals to which we are sending masks for nurses. This is Wake Med hospital in Raleigh where tents are housing COVID-19 patients:

    Tent City, Raleigh


    This week, we are also sending masks to hospitals in Atlanta, hospitals in NYC, and to clinic nurses and COVID-19 patients everywhere who are running out of masks.

    Mask production, UK


    If anyone wants to donate online, now really is the best time! The link below will take you to the page where you can donate to our entire COVID-19 campaign, including the making of these masks: https://darwinanimal.bsd.net/page/contribute/global-covid-19-campaign

    Or if you want to donate towards just the masks in the US: https://www.gofundme.com/f/make-masks-for-donation

     Face Masks


    Mask Fabric


    Please help us! Without you, none of this amazing work would be possible, so now, more than ever we want to give you an enormous thank you! And stay safe wherever you are.


    -Tod and Piggy, Presidents, Darwin Animal Doctors


    Cute Piggy image of the week:

    Leave a Comment
  9. Global COVID-19 Campaign

    We are all very much aware of the global crisis affecting us all currently. Many of us are in isolation or lockdown, and not one of us could have escaped hearing news of the life-changing impacts of COVID-19.

    But all over the world our local partners are working tirelessly to combat the damage of COVID-19, stop it’s spread, and stop the spread of other zoonotic diseases.

    We’re launching the DAD Global COVID-19 Campaign! Helping to fight the fight to save countless lives.


    So what are our partners doing?

    In Morocco, RAPAD-Maroc are doing an incredible job taking care of abandoned farm animals. Their new campaign ‘Sheep Shepherds’ are looking after newly abandoned sheep, which were being attacked in the streets by newly abandoned dogs as people feared catching the virus from their domestic animals.

    Abandoned sheep, Morocco


    In Indonesia, ISCP helps fight the spread of zoonotic diseases like COVID-19 by stopping the illegal wildlife market and wildlife trafficking, limiting the human contact with these wild animals. We need their work now more than ever.

    Rescued Slow Loris


    In Ecuador, our amazing vets will be giving a free webinar on April 9th about COVID-19.

    Equador Sloth


    In the USA, our amazing seamstress and plush toy maker is making stylish face masks to donate to healthcare workers in the Northwest!

    Rescued Stylish Face Masks


    So here’s that link again where you can support our local partners in their fight against this global pandemic:


    Without you, none of this amazing work would be possible, so now, more than ever we want to give you an enormous thank you! Thank you so much! And stay safe wherever you are.


    -Tod and Piggy, Presidents, Darwin Animal Doctors


    And, of course, Cute Piggy image of the week:

    Leave a Comment
  10. World Water Day

    March 22nd was World Water Day, and we wanted to make it clear just how important water is to all our projects around the world.


    Wildlife is disappearing all over the world (and reappearing in wildlife markets which causes all sorts of problems like new disease spread!). The more it disappears, the more factory farming and palm oil take up our global drinking water supply. Subsequently water becomes ever more precious in rebuilding our wild places and communities around the world.


    In Morocco we have to make new wells to reclaim and rebuild wildlife habitat as well as supply water to our partners in the wildlife rehab project; RAPAD-MAROC.


    Water project Morocco


    Water project Morocco


    Water project Morocco


    In Tanzania our partners are in regions where people must travel long distances to get water for their communities and their animals. After doing so, the water is often dirty and unfit for consumption.



    Water project Tanzania


    It is up to us to help them to supply their projects with life-giving essentials like water.


    -Tod and Piggy, Presidents, Darwin Animal Doctors


    Cute Piggy image of the week:

    Leave a Comment