YANGON ANIMAL SHELTER
Yangon Animal Shelter is registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Refer to: CH49815
After learning about YAS and its amazing efforts to offer dogs a safe haven from being poisoned, beaten or killed living in the streets of Yangon, I knew I wanted to volunteer there. At YAS I spent most of my time loving on the dogs and attempting to learn all of their names. One day, a dog that I’d never seen before came right over and stood on my lap. He didn’t have a name because he’d been afraid of people for a long time. I started searching for him each time I came to visit, to make sure I gave him some attention and eventually, brought Kamran, my fiancé, to meet him. Shortly after, we began talking about adoption and bringing him back to the US when we relocated. A month later, we’d rented another apartment in Yangon where we could stay with Rambo. The entire YAS team were so supportive throughout our preparation to bring Rambo back to the US. They followed up as soon as we’d landed to make sure that we were okay, and to let Kamran and I know how happy they were for us to all be together in our new home.
We’ve now had Rambo about 9 months and it’s impossible to overstate how thankful we are to have him in our lives. In the last 9 months he has learned to walk on a leash, how to play with toys, how to cuddle and give kisses. He has learned that he loves belly rubs and licks of ice cream, and that he hates vegetables. He is such a great dog, and we are eternally grateful to YAS for saving him, for loving him and for helping us to make sure he got home safe.
Just more than a year ago, my family agreed to foster a puppy from the Yangon Animal Shelter. We eagerly awaited our new arrival, not sure of what these local dogs were like and what kind of pets they would make. A small black puppy arrived at our house, timid and thin with healing wounds on her face that led us to wonder about what kind of life she had led before she came to us. We heard that she had been very sick and that her mother and siblings died. The first night the puppy cried when she was left alone, but she felt comfortable sleeping near us. In the days that followed we worked hard to encourage her to eat, at first a huge challenge. Over time, with vitamins, food and love, she started to grow. Eventually it became clear that she wasn’t a foster puppy anymore, she was our dog and we would keep her.
Our sickly little puppy turned into a fabulous dog called Zero, a funny name that came from her coat being “as black as a can of Coke Zero.” Zero is devoted to her family, wanting to be very close to us all the time. She is athletic, playful and rambunctious. She loves to run and chase birds and our cats. She enjoys life and after a day of play, she likes to curl up near your feet on the sofa and fall asleep, knowing she is safe and loved.
As soon as we moved to Myanmar, my son Gregory asked if we could have a dog. My husband and I had run out of excuses having moved into a house. We started our search for "our dog." When we heard about Izzy, she was a 1 year-old puppy that had been fostered by an Embassy family, and put in a loving home. However, her owners had to leave the country unexpectedly and everyone was trying to find Izzy a new home. We took Gregory to meet her...and it was love at first sight for both of them. They became family very quickly. Izzy plays soccer with Gregory and watches as he does his homework; Gregory gives her baths and many treats. Izzy has added even more joy to our lives, and has earned the love of a 6 year old, who now calls her "Izzy Darling."
Grandma And Grandpa
When President Obama visited Burma, the Burmese government wanted to “clean up” the area where he would be meeting, and that meant getting rid of the stray dogs. The ambassador at the time, Derek Mitchell, and his wife Min, were huge supporters of efforts to humanely deal with the stray dog problem in Myanmar. They did not want to see these dogs poisoned, so called upon YAS to remove the dogs and take them to our shelter that had just recently started.
Many of the dogs we rescued had puppies or were pregnant. One of the dogs, was so old and skinny that we weren’t even sure if she would make it. She started gaining weight, and then got bigger and bigger and we realized that she was pregnant. We were very worried that she was not strong enough to bear puppies, but she somehow did. The puppies all thrived, but one day one of them could not walk. For some reason, which we could not figure out, his front legs were paralyzed. He could hardly lift his head off the ground. If he were to try and drink water he would have drowned.
Consequently, the only choice was for this helpless dog to come home with me. With medicine and massage therapy he slowly started to walk again, but he walked like and old grandpa, thus his name became “Grandpa”. A short time after I brought home Grandpa I was given a very sick kitten, whose chances of survival were also very slim. She was very sick and walked just like Grandpa, so we called her Grandma. The two became best friends and would hobble around together and sleep together. They also got stronger and healthier and were soon playing and acting like a normal puppy and kitten, but the names that no longer matched them have stayed. A true story of survival and success!
Mom with puppies found on the street
On their way to the shelter
Settling in at the shelter, their new home
Toby's story coming soon