AnimalMatter is a Non-Profit Organization primarily founded (Oct 2018) to educate young children about Animal Welfare and their Rights. We conduct regular interactive audio-visual sessions at schools to build awareness and create empathy towards animals.
It is our mission to foster a positive and nurturing relationship between children and animals from an early age with the core message — “Be Kind to Animals”
No one is born with the hatred towards animals; it is their circumstance and surroundings that mold them in a negative manner. At AnimalMatter we believe if the young generation is taught how to love and respect animals, when they become parents, they will teach their children the same thing as well – thereby breaking this vicious circle
Message from Our Co-Founder :
Raeed Muhammad Zainuddin
“Those who can harm a defenceless animal, can harm a human too.” – I strongly believe that building awareness and creating empathy is the key to breaking this cycle of violence against animals.
AnimalMatter initially started by collaborating with Sathee Samaj Kalyan Samity (www.satheekalyan.com). The SSKS is a non-profit organization which provides free-of-cost education to 1000+ underprivileged children in Dhaka. Working with SSKS, we developed a short program that aimed to create an understanding about animals, how to approach/handle them, what to expect from them, what not to do to them, how to love and be kind to them etc.
The end objective of the module was to teach young children kindness and respect for the animal. We believe, if the young generation is taught how to love and respect animals, when they become parents, they will teach their children the same thing as well – thereby breaking this vicious cycle.
It is our ambition to roll out the school module to all major schools and colleges across Bangladesh and start a revolution of kindness towards animals.
According to Dhaka City Corporation, there are an estimated 500,000 stray dogs roaming the city that are in need of basic care. Instead of looking the other way, AnimalMatter is working with local communities on a pilot basis to provide these homeless dogs with food, shelter, and basic health care.
One of the first initiatives taken by AnimalMatter during the COVID-19 Lockdown of 2020 is a program called “Be My Friend”. Together with the local citizens of Banani-Gulshan area AnimalMatter placed 15 food dispensers in public areas where dogs with empty bellies can find a free meal and clean water. The dispensers are made of simple PVC pipe and are filled with dry food donated mostly by the people of the area. AnimalMatter will be in charge of making sure the dispensers are filled regularly and offering a friendly hand to the dogs they meet there
One of the major contributing factors leading to animal abuses in Bangladesh is that the Cruelty to Animals Act of 1920 in Bangladesh was extremely weak; it was limited, vague and barely enforceable. But, it was the only law in effect in Bangladesh for almost a century, which stipulated that perpetrators, if found guilty, can face only six weeks in jail and a measly Taka 200 in penalty, which is roughly US$ 2.50. This is such an insignificant punishment that it hardly discourages anyone from committing these crimes. Even the law enforcement authorities did not take this issue seriously and often turns a blind eye to the perpetrators.
But fortunately, the Parliament of Bangladesh has recently enacted the new Animal Welfare Act of 2019, replacing the century-old Cruelty to Animals Act of 1920. This new Act contains a more comprehensive enumeration of cruel and unjust treatment of animals and substantially raises the penalty for the same, while also keeping room for further elaboration through rules and gazettes. This law is a substantial leap forward in the recognition of the need to treat animals with kindness. The Act has been promulgated with the objective of ensuring proper treatment and responsible rearing of animals and of preventing cruel treatment. The law greatly focuses on the treatment of domesticated animals, specially farm animals. An impressive aspect of the Act is that it refers to the standards of the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE) in identifying ways and means of establishing Animal Rights and Welfare in Bangladesh.
At AnimalMatter, we work with the local municipality and law enforcement authorities to raise awareness about Animal Rights in vulnerable localities and ensure strictly application of the new law.