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Dogs for humanity!

Rachel, Shumi, and their dog in Zimbabwe, 2020. Photo: John Hewat/CARE

Rachel, Shumi, and their dog in Zimbabwe, 2020. Photo: John Hewat/CARE

Earlier this month, we celebrated International Cat Day to honor CARE’s feline friends, who, we said, serve as symbols of grace, independence, and comfort for people around the world. It’s only fair, then, that we take time to also celebrate International Dog Day, which falls every year on Aug. 26.

In honor of our loyal canine companions, here are a few stories from the 111 countries where CARE works that pay tribute to the dogs in our lives, who often serve as more than just pets and companions, but symbols of courage, friendship, and unwavering love for people around the world.

As an organization committed to human welfare, we acknowledge the incredible emotional support that dogs provide, and the happiness they often infuse into our lives.

On this International Dog Day, we want to pause and reflect on the ways dogs enhance our emotional well-being and create a sense of belonging, even in the starkest times.

Please join us in commemorating International Dog Day by sharing your own photos and tales that illustrate the special relationship between humans and dogs. Use the hashtag #DogsForHumanity, and help us celebrate this bond that fosters trust, kindness, and solidarity.





Photo: Sarah Easter/CARE

After the deadly earthquake struck on Feb. 6, 2023 in Türkiye, Hüsameddin’s family were forced to live together in a tent city in the province of Hatay.

In the confusion and struggle of the earthquake’s aftermath, Hüsameddin’s daughter, Melek, found a stray little black puppy in the tent camp.

She called it Kumur, which translates to “black coal,” and it brought a much-needed smile to Melek’s face.



The Dog


Photo: John Hewat/CARE

In 2020, CARE staff spoke with then-18-year-old Rachel, who lived with her two-year-old daughter Shumi in rural Zimbabwe, which was enduring the worst drought the country had seen in a decade.

Rachel and Shumi’s home was isolated from even their closest family, who they regularly need to call upon for support. Rachel had dropped out of school early to get married, and she quickly became pregnant. Soon afterwards, her husband left to find work in South Africa.

“My typical day starts when I wake up at 6 am,” Rachel said. “I go to my plot of land until 9 am when I cook for my daughter.

“Shumi copies me and tries to plough the fields with her hoe.”

“I love to see her play. Shumi loves to play with her dog. The dog is just called ‘The Dog.’ Shumi loves him.”

In the time since CARE’s visit with Rachel and Shumi, Zimbabwe’s people have continued to suffer from food insecurity and other issues related to the climate crisis. CARE’s work has focused on climate resiliency and infrastructure, focusing on the disproportionate impact on women and girls like Rachel and Shumi.

“We have had the dog for three months,” Rachel said. “Shumi is much happier.”





Yana and Askim. Photo: Lucy Beck/CARE

After the war broke out in Ukraine, Yana travelled from Odesa to Romania with her three-year-old dog Askim.

Volunteers in Odesa had helped find Askim a cage to help transport him, and a local resident offered to drive Yana and Askim in her car to Bucharest, so they could get the train onwards to Germany.

“My sister stayed behind, since her husband is in the army, and she doesn’t want to leave him,” Yana said. “Yesterday I was sitting the whole day thinking about what to do, I lost my job when the war started, and I need to look after and provide for Askim. He is used to good food, so I have to treat him well.”

“I left my home at 3 pm yesterday (March 15, 2022) and was waiting at the railway station in Ukraine until 11:30 pm to get a train to the Romania border.”

“I never thought this would happen to Odesa, but now it has. I never wanted to leave, and already I want to go home.”

“It is Askim’s first time to leave Ukraine. There were other dogs at the border crossing in Ukraine and they started fighting him, we managed to separate them and stop the fighting, but he had already dragged me over and through the mud five times. I am covered in dirt and have scrapes on my leg.”

“But I would never leave him behind, he is part of me.”



BONUS: Dogs of CARE!


"The Dog." Photo: John Hewat/CARE

As we were putting this story together, our dedicated staff couldn’t resist sharing photos of their own canine companions. We hope these candid shots of dogs reacting to a few of the pertinent facts of their humans’ daily work are a further testament to the joy and laughter that dogs bring into our lives every day.





"You're telling me some human girls aren't allowed to go to school?"

Gus just read this dispatch from Afghanistan that details the plight of girls there who are struggling against enormous obstacles just to get an education.

It’s a situation not uncommon around the world, which makes Gus sad, but you can join Gus in helping girls around the world achieve equality through CARE’s education programs.





"Wake me up when the Syria Cross-Border resolution is renewed."

Pippin knows that the critical UN Security Council resolution on cross-border aid into northwest Syria expired July 10.

The expiration came at a time when 90 percent of the 4.5 million people of northwest Syria were in need of humanitarian assistance to survive — a crisis that’s ongoing.

Pippin read up on CARE’s “open letter” to the Security Council, and then joined CARE supporters helping aid Syrians through resilience and recovery programs.






Hank loves people, and so he’s thrilled when he gets to bring a little joy into their lives. At the end of 2022, the United Nations estimated that 108.4 million people had been forcibly displaced worldwide — 62.5 million of which are internally displaced, and 35.3 million are refugees.

Hank can’t help all of these humans alone, so he needs your support aiding refugees around the world.





"There's enough food for all humans? But 1 in 10 of them still go to bed hungry every night?"

Jordy knows 820 million humans will go to bed hungry tonight, and two billion more don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Jordy also knows that globally, these numbers are getting worse.

Over the last three years, conflict and climate change have caused food insecurity to increase every year. Farmers struggle to grow the food they need to grow food for themselves, and to sell into markets for others to eat. If we don’t do something, 1.4 billion people could be hungry by 2050.

Join Jordy and CARE by supporting global hunger relief here.





"It's going to take you 300 YEARS to reach gender equality? That's like 2000 dog years!!!"

Ninja’s experience working with CARE has shown that achieving gender equality requires change across all aspects of human women and girls’ lives. This means addressing the root causes of gender inequality, so women and girls see lasting change in their power and choices, rather than just a temporary increase in opportunities.

CARE’s Gender Equality Framework – which acts as Ninja and CARE’s theory of change – guides how we approach this in our programs. We aim to promote change in all areas of women’s lives through building agency, changing relations and transforming structures.

Join Ninja here to learn more.





"Ah, yes. Tell me again, human, why you can't invest in climate resilience?"

Fiona believes everyone has the right to live on a healthy planet.

To reduce people’s vulnerability to climate change, CARE focuses on building the adaptive capacity of individuals and communities: the capacity to adjust behaviors, practices, lifestyles and livelihood strategies in response to climate changes and its impacts.

While Fiona also knows that ultimately humans have to phase out their reliance on fossil fuels, she feels strongly that targeted community-based adaptation projects are a huge help right now. Adaptation is critical to protecting millions of poor and marginalized people who are at risk of losing their lives and livelihoods as a result of climate change.

Fiona learned more about CARE’s climate work here, and you can, too!





"Human. Gender. Pay. Gap."

People! Really? C’mon! No treats until you fix this!





"The human-caused climate crisis means fewer walks."

NASA said July 2023 was the hottest month in recorded history, but it’s not rocket science. The longer we rely on fossil fuels, the worse the climate impacts will be.





"So you're telling me that there are more humans forcibly displaced by conflict today than ever before in recorded history?"

Scout just heard that on average, humanitarian crises are more complex than at any time in the last 15 years, and that they last nearly three years longer than they used to.

Conflict, migration, and climate change are the key trends driving these crises — with eight of the worst food crises in the world linked to conflict and climate change.

That’s the type of fact that makes Scout really think about “impact,” and how best to help those in need.





"I'm just sitting here wondering when human women are going to stop eating last and least in times of crisis."

Bailey is just perplexed by the fact that, despite women being responsible for 90 percent of preparing and buying food, they are eating last and least around the world.

Even when both men and women are technically food insecure, women often bear bigger burdens. For example, in Somalia, while men report eating smaller meals, women report skipping meals altogether.

Makes you wonder about human priorities, doesn’t it, Bailey?

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