About Shirley

 

Shirley is an avid animal lover and lives with two adopted street dogs, Molly and Bittu, and one rescued Persian tomcat, Tony. For nearly two decades, Shirley has been quietly caring for street animals, doing what she can do to help.

Growing up in an animal-loving family, Shirley learned from her grandmother how to care for small animals and birds. As a child, Shirley helped nurture motherless kittens and wounded cats, eagles, crows, squirrels, parrots and rabbits, and opened her heart to the animals, who too often were sick, dying and abused. When older, she started venturing out and helping street dogs in her area.

While she wanted to become a veterinarian, as an only child, Shirley started work at an early age and taught children at home. Working part time, she finished her 12th year of education. Then, she began full-time work and assumed home responsibilities to take care of her mother. Once she started working full-time, returning to studies was not an option.

“If I were a vet today,” she says, “I would have helped spay, neuter and care for as many street animals on a pro Bono basis as I could, because it’s the right thing to do. While my path did not lead me to veterinary school, I’m still working to the best of my ability to help street animals and animals in need.”

Shirley also fights for animal rights in situations where people have bought, adopted or fostered animals and later abandoned them to the roads to die. Where she can help, she works to re-home abandoned or lost dogs by sharing posts, primarily via WhatsApp.

 In her years of working with street dogs, Shirley has worked with different vets, dog trainers and others experienced in addressing the needs of street dogs. Where she can provide direct assistance to animals suffering with skin wounds, rashes, vomiting and worms, for example, she does. She also provides daily food and water for many animals. Along the way, she shares her knowledge and experience with dog lovers and other volunteers who care for street dogs.

 Shirley has adopted dogs and brought them to her home, including Zen, a female Labrador who quietly passed away in 2014 due to old age. It was heartbreaking, but Molly, age six months at the time, and Tony, age five then, both rescues, shared the passing of Zen with Shirley and helped her through the loss.

 

{Separated from his Mom when he was only about two months old, Bittu was a street pup Shirley brought home from the streets in early 2017.}

 

                                                              (Tony, the tomcat  was rescued in 2014 after he’d been abandoned by his human                                                                                                            family and left to die.}

 {From Top: Molly, Molly and Tony, Tony (with a grumpy look), Tony and Bittu (just keeping each other company).}

Loss has tragically been part of Shirley’s experience working with street dogs, as she has seen more than 50 dogs poisoned or lost due to starvation and disease. At the heart of the problem, Shirley believes, is a failure of human compassion and, on the most basic level, a failure to provide aid, food and shelter for their fellow creatures.

She encourages others to feed and water street animals in their neighbourhoods. It makes a positive difference in many ways. When the dogs are fed, they sleep well, bark less and are healthier. When dogs bark in the night, some people want to poison and kill the animals, because they are disturbing their sleep.

 Trying to meet the needs of so many street dogs is demanding and tiring, but Shirley continues doing the work because of her compassion for the animals who suffer daily on the streets and her belief that they matter. At times, she has felt helpless and heartbroken at the plight and loss of so many animals for whom she cares deeply, sometimes for basic lack of food or a safe space to recover.

 Yet, she believes each one of us can make a positive difference in the world, and she has found her calling to help street animals and birds. What’s yours?

 Let her know. She would love to hear from like-minded people throughout the world and create a network of support.

 

 

Cheers! And God bless you.

 FB – Shirley’s Mission for Street Dogs / @hungrystreetdogs

Be part of Shirley’s Network when you contribute here. Thanks!