Thousands of dogs and cats in Borneo have no owner to feed them or provide them with a safe place to sleep. When they are ill they have nobody to care for them meaning they are not able to get the treatment they need. Under these conditions, many would live just a few years during which they would struggle to survive.

IAPWA has worked in Sabah, Borneo since shortly after we were established in 2009. Our work has involved providing a lifeline to the many dogs and cats in need of help in the following ways:

Neutering, vaccinating and providing veterinary care to over 12,000 dogs and cats throughout Sabah

Providing veterinary services to the local animal welfare community to aid the dogs and cats they rescue and support

Finding supportive homes for hundreds of dogs and cats who are struggling to cope on the streets

Delivering outreach campaigns to provide veterinary support in remote communities within Sabah

Managing the Government Dog Pound (DBKK) in Kota Kinabalu from 2014 through to 2022

Delivering a range of education, awareness and community engagement sessions to the public

Contributing to the changes in animal welfare legislation throughout Sabah, Borneo

Providing emergency support where needed such as assisting with rescues and flooding evacuations

Supporting a sun bear sanctuary with some needs for their facility to help those they rescue and care for

COMING SOON: New Borneo Animal Welfare Centre

Following our extensive work in Borneo so far, our team are now embarking on our most ambitious project to date.
The project will see two years of extensive plans all coming together into the build and launch of a new Borneo Animal Welfare Centre from which we will run a comprehensive Dog and Cat Population Management Project, containing a range of programmes, some of which will be the first of their kind. We are so excited about the difference this project will make in creating a better future for the dogs, cats and communities in this region.
IAPWA aims to shift public perception of stray animals to companion animals and to strengthen the human-animal bond between owners and their pets so that people can enjoy the emotional and health benefits of pet ownership, and in turn, they genuinely care about their animals and are willing to provide for their welfare.

The Centre

IAPWA was invited to help tackle the increasing stray populations in the city of Sandakan, which is a hotspot for conservation and ecotourism.

The city is home to the Orangutan Sanctuary, the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, and the Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, which are all located within an hour’s drive of the city centre. IAPWA’s Borneo Animal Welfare Centre will be a part of Sandakan’s eco-focused heritage.

The Borneo Animal Welfare Centre will be spread over 7-10 acres of land, with the Veterinary Clinic (hosting our veterinary interventions) and the Education & Adoption Centre (hosting our RPO programme) near the main road at the entrance. The area behind the buildings is a beautiful, landscaped dog park which features walking trails, play-area enclosures, agility courses, and a picnic area for families. The entire facility is designed as a place where people can come and enjoy the companionship of their pet dogs, to promote the inclusion of pets as members of the family.

Our vision for the upcoming centre can be seen in the architectural drawings on this page, with a breakdown of the centre services and facilities below.

Dog & Cat Population Management

Running a comprehensive dog and cat population management programme alongside the municipality

Supporting local NGOs

Providing neutering and vaccination services to dogs and cats in the care of the local animal welfare community

Veterinary Services

Providing a range of veterinary treatment to dogs and cats; from skin diseases to wounds and injuries

Outreach Programmes

Acting as a base from which to deliver outreach sessions to access remote regions in need of veterinary services

Training Centre

Being a world class training centre from which we will be running a range of intensive training programmes for those working with companion animals

Adoption Initiatives

Finding homes for dogs and cats through our Adoption Programme

Education Initiatives

Launching a range of educational initiatives focused on responsible pet ownership; including our state of the art Dog Park

Financial Sustainability

Running a range of income generating initiatives to increase the financial sustainability of the programme as it develops

Community Engagement

Providing opportunities for the community to engage with and contribute to the programme

Monitoring & Evaluation

Managing a comprehensive monitoring & evaluation system to share our success

Joy Lee , Borneo Programme Manager

Joy lives with her two rescue dogs and has over 15 years’ experience in international animal welfare specialising in Dog Population Management (DPM). She previously worked as Senior Programme Manager for Humane Society International where she was responsible for their DPM projects in Asia, and World Animal Protection where she was their Member Society Development Manager, overseeing DPM issues in Eastern Europe.

Snowie's Story

Brave boy Snowie was rescued from the streets of Borneo with a severe case of the skin disease mange. This poor boy had sores all over his frail body and was incredibly weak and nervous when he first came into our care.

The good news is that after many months of veterinary treatment and support, Snowie is now such a happy, healthy dog who loves making friends with both dogs and people alike. Snowie has even found his forever home where he will now spend the rest of his days surrounded by a loving and supportive family after all he has been through.

Thank you to all of IAPWA’s supporters for giving dogs like Snowie a second chance in life.

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Other patients who now have a bright future thanks to our Borneo Project

Donate to help animals today

If you would like to make a difference to the lives of the animals we help within our programmes, please support our work with a donation today. With your contribution we can make an even bigger difference to those who need our help.