A knock at midnight.... Dr Antonino opens the door to find a friend with a grievously injured dog. She had been cruelly tethered at a "RW Fahi" (dog meat) restaurant in Dili awaiting brutal slaughter and somehow managed to struggle free. She limped on her front legs - dragging behind her the rear limbs that were reduced to gangrenous, worm-infested stumps - to a nearby house, and there her luck changed. Her rescuer knew about TOHA and that's why she was taken to Dr Antonino at the TOHA shelter.
There was no option other than amputation of both hind legs so Dr Antonino took a deep breath and carried out the surgery immediately. The dog survived. In fact, she soon revealed a gentle and loving character, allowing Dr Antonino to pick her up and cuddle her as she recovered from the surgery.
The plight of this dog summed up all we are trying to do with TOHA. We are against "dogmeat" restaurants, against inhumane slaughtering, against cruelty, against keeping livestock in squalid conditions. We are for compassion, for empathy, for gentleness, for respect, for animal welfare - whether pets or livestock.
So this dog has been adopted as the TOHA mascot - and of course, she has been named "TOHA". She will live at the shelter and become a "spokesdog" for the organisation; living proof of the brutality we are trying to eradicate, of the essential good and forgiving nature of our canine companions and of the value of each and every creature's life. Now, we will have to find a way of fitting prosthetics to TOHA so she can get around and help us in our work to spread our message to the Timorese people.
|After the surgery with Dr Antonino|
|My name is TOHA|