What do I do if I see a dog on the street?

  • Is the dog wearing a collar?
  • Is it friendly and healthy?
  • Does it seem like it might be lost?

If yes to any of these, it is very likely the dog has escaped and possibly got lost. If that’s the case, we recommend you to:

  • Ask around the neighbourhood you found the dog in, particularly security guards, local businesses and local cell and village leadership. They might know the dog and where he or she lives.
  • Take a picture and post it on community forums: try Living in Kigali, Expats in Rwanda, Kigali Pets and Rwanda Dog Lovers on Facebook.
  • Reach out to local veterinary clinics, dog trainers and dog walkers to see if they recognise the dog.
  • Reach out to us at WAG as we might also know the dog, and we can help you post on social media to find the dog’s owner.
  • If you are able and willing to, try to get the dog into your compound or house to keep him or her safe until the owners can be found.

However, if the dog looks malnourished, sick or in bad condition, he or she may be a stray dog. Be cautious when approaching unknown dogs on the street. Stray dogs can be unpredictable so do not put yourself or others at risk. We recommend:

  • If the dog is showing any signs of aggression, appears dangerous, or does not approach you, do not approach it.
  • Instead, contact your local cell and village leadership. WAG is currently unable to take in aggressive dogs from the street.
  • If the dog is showing any strange behaviour such as lack of coordination, salivating, shaking or is not able to walk, it may be sick or rabid and should not be approached.
  • If that is the case, contact a veterinary clinic or WAG and we will investigate the situation alongside local leaders.
  • If the dog has been hit by a car or has significant injuries and needs medical help, please contact WAG with the location and as many details about the situation as possible.

If the dog is showing normal signs of behaviour, approaches you and is friendly, try to get the dog somewhere safe if you are willing and able to. This could be a room in your house or in your compound. Contact veterinary services to do a check-up on the dog. Contact WAG and we will offer you support or try to find a foster home if we have capacity to do so.

I am no longer able to keep my dog. What can I do?

If you are no longer able to keep your dog, we recommend the following:

  • Contact friends, family and colleagues to see if they are able to take your dog in. You could post on your social media to reach a wider audience.
  • Use networks on social media such as Kigali Pets, Rwanda Dog Lovers, and Living in Kigali to advertise your dog and find a suitable home. When using these networks, post lots of photos and a detailed description of your dog, including their likes, dislikes, age, health history and character.
  • Make flyers and ask local veterinarians and pet shops if they can put the flyer on their reception desk. Use lots of pictures and a detailed description of your dog!
  • Contact WAG and provide a detailed description of your dog and photos. We may be able to help by linking you to adopters or posting on our social media. We can also provide you with our adoption application questions to help you vet potential adopters.
  • Before rehoming your dog, ensure that they are sterilised and fully vaccinated. Contact WAG for more information on how you can get this done.
  • If you are leaving Rwanda, we encourage you to try to take your dog with you. Please check out our travel advice for more information! 

Someone I know is abusing a dog. What can I do?

It is against Rwandan law to mistreat or abuse domestic animals under Law Nº68/2018 of 30/08/2018. If you know of someone who is mistreating an animal, please contact the police and your local cell or village leaders.