AWPA Shelters

The AWPA provides sanctuary to over 500 dogs and cats in two no- kill shelters that are located in Dehiwela and Kahatuduwa.

While it is agreed that the best place for a dog or cat is a loving home, there are numerous street dogs and cats who do not have this privilege. And it is indeed pitiful to see them on the streets foraging in the garbage for food; with unattended injuries, infested wounds, broken limbs, and limbs awkwardly healed and suffering from mange. It is with this in mind that the AWPA runs its two shelters.

Sammi was found on the street with his front paw literally ripped off, writing in pain with a festering wound where his paw should have been. We called in our mobile vets, who told us he didn’t stand much of a chance as he was advanced in age, but we really wanted to give him a chance. He recovered beautifully and is now a happy resident of our Dehiwela shelter. He is so jolly and sweet, that we often forget the horrific trauma he faced just a couple of years ago. 

Preethi was run over and found screaming in pain by the staff at the Preethipura Home for Elders, who took her to a vet. Both her back legs required amputation and extensive surgery and therapy for recovery, which was more than the staff could manage, so they called us in and we took over the case. She has recovered marvelously after all the surgeries and has become a cuddle hound. No amount of petting is enough for Preethi – she snuggles close to you each time you stand around, will follow you around the shelter and basks with joy when she is touched. She hobbles quite well with her two front paws, but a home setting with a garden would be the ideal setting for her, where she could run freely with a cart.

Committee members visit the shelters weekly. to monitor shelter operations and ensure that the animals are well cared for. Dogs are brushed; scrutinised for skin issues like mange; manicured and pedicured and checked for ticks and other signs of illnesses. The special needs dogs are bathed and medicated as needed. Finally, a hearty dose of TLC is showered on them before leaving. Volunteers from our membership assist us, but the numbers of volunteers are few and we appeal to you to come and spend time with our dogs and cats. To volunteer, please see How you can help.

Separate enclosures are allocated for puppies and kittens in our shelters. There are endless requests to take in new residents and we do our best to accommodate all such requests. We appeal to you that you please adopt from the AWPA and not buy a pedifreed animal. Give a homeless animal the chance to thrive in a good home. Children love puppies and kittens and children are indifferent as to what breed they are… it all depends on what they learn from adults.

Dehiwela Shelter ‘Animal Transit Home’

Opened in 1968, the ‘Animal Transit Home’ is an improvised shelter for dogs, with a separate fully enclosed area for cats.

Kahatuduwa Shelter ‘Sathva Sevana’

In 2004, the AWPA was fortunate to receive extensive donations which made it possible for us to embark on an ambitious project to build our second shelter: ‘Sathva Sevana’ meaning ‘Shelter for Animals’ located at Kahatuduwa. Mr. Percy Colonne and Mrs. Nalini Colonne, the philanthropic benefactors very kindly donated the land. 

The AWPA relies on personal donations from the public and animal lovers for funds. We are lucky to be supported by a loyal group of individuals sending in one-off, monthly or annual donations and from receiving danes (memorials/alms giving) from well wishers, but we do not have a structured regular income system.

The AWPA does not have the capacity to do this on a regular basis due to space issues at the shelters and funding restrictions. Sterilisations can be done through a referral system with our contracted veterinarians, where only the surgery that is funded. This too, is subject to availability of funds. Please email, write or call us to arrange this.

The AWPA has cats and dogs of all ages. The animals vary in, color, disposition, gender, and size. We have big ones, small ones, old ones, young ones, black ones, brown ones! So basically we have them all. When you’re ready to adopt, it’s a lot like the expression, “A kid in a candy shop” when you try to select an animal.

Please email or call us, and our Committee Members will be happy to guide you. It is just a simple screening process to see if you can manage owning a dog or cat, and then how we get them to you.

The AWPA will never refuse this. However, please think hard before both adopting and before giving up your dog. It’ is very stressful for animals to relocate, so we must minimize any trauma caused by this. Furthermore, once a dog or cat has got used to a home settling, they find it very difficult in the shelter, where they are exposed to a whole new world of germs and have to deal with 150+ other dogs/cats in their everyday setting

This is not possible due to the fund and expertise restrictions.

  • First, make preparations at least six months prior to your deadline for rehoming the pet (pedigree dogs are much easier to be rehomed)
  • Speak to people who your pet is familiar with (it will be easiest on the pet to move to the home of someone known)
  • Offer to pay for the pet’s maintenance
  • Make a post on facebook/instagram, tiktok, draw up an e-flyer and urge your friends to pass it on
  • The AWPA maintains a list of people who would like to adopt dogs & cats, you may consult this list as well by contacting the number on this website
  • Place a newspaper ad, but ensure that you screen new potential owners who are unknown to you with a visit to their homes
  • Ensure that their property is properly fenced or walled
  • Ensure a dog friendly environment and that your dog will be cared for as well as you have cared for. 
  • Beware of unethical animal breeders who keep animals under cruel and unhealthy conditions with no concern for the wellbeing of the animal

The AWPA will be happy to do so. Please call or email us and we will make arrangements to make presentations on the prevention of cruelty, the benefits of owning dogs, the shelters we run, the importance of sterilizations, and a number of animal welfare related matters.

Please call or email us and we will be happy to direct you or to escort you.

10.00 am to 12.00 pm daily.

Please refer the Contact Us page.

Please refer the “Volunteer” page (link) for an idea of what we need help with.
The greatest help that can be given though, is to take in an animal from our shelters to your home. Please call or email us for details (contact us link)

  • Firstly, assess the general behaviour of the dog and determine how friendly the dog is.
  • If the dog is friendly, give the animal a small rice and meat/chicken meal with water. If the dog is not friendly, leave the meal and go away, they will appreciate it.
  • If you can, take the dog to a vet and get it vaccinated. Talk to the vet about sterilization and any further medical care needed. 
  • Please call or email us and we will help you rehome the animal

• Talk to your vet, friends and other people your pet would know
• Make a post on facebook and circulate an email flyer
• Advertise in the papers offering a small reward

The AWPA Shelter depends on the generous hearts of our volunteers and donors. We wouldn’t be able to care for and find homes for the animals without the direct help of hundreds of donors every year. Your help makes a difference as every rupee counts and no donation is too small for us. Every LKR. 100 goes a long way for us!

In today’s difficult economic times, your support is more important to us than ever before. When you share your time and money, you are saving the lives of the animals that need you.

Please  Donation 
Please volunteer (link)
Please  Register as a potential foster home

The shelter is managed entirely by the Committee of the AWPA, all of whom work on a voluntary basis. Care-takers are hired as and when required, please refer the Shelters page or call or email us.

We are a private, non-profit organization, not a municipal or government agency. The AWPAdoes not receive any tax support for any of its services, so we depend upon donations to operate. Please refer shelters page for details on our operations.

There is no set time limit for how long an animal can remain in our shelters. As long as an animal maintains general good health and a sound temperament, we’ll keep a pet until it is adopted

We are only equipped to care for and adopt out dogs and cats

• Firstly, try and speak to the owners/perpetrators nicely and try to make them understand why they are wrong to inflict cruelty on an animal
• Try and find a home for the animal
• If cruelty to an animal is repeatedly committed by someone, call the police

Please do your utmost to speak up for the animals. Violence hurts everyone. Every voice against cruelty to animals is important to support the cause and change people’s ideals

There is a link between animal abuse and human abuse.

No, the AWPA is not a boarding facility. We shelter and care for needy animals who are looking for new homes.

The AWPA has a no-kill policy for healthy, adoptable pets. Animals are only euthanized in a rare case of a painful and incurable illness, as advised by a veterinarian, when it is established that there is no hope for the animal. Healthy dogs are not put down.

The AWPA is associated with the RSPCA, UK, but does not receive funds from this organization.

Parvo at six weeks old
DHL two weeks later
Booster for both Parvo and DHPL two weeks later
Rabies two weeks after this
Booster for Rabies
Annual boosters for Rabies, Parvo and DHL


Remember, you must not bathe your dog for five days after receiving a vaccination.

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