By Sonya Rehman I first heard about the Lucky Animal Protection Shelter (LAPS) via Twitter. At the time, I was desperately looking for a home for a stray dog who lived in an empty plot next to a well-known eatery in Islamabad. Betty was a sweet-natured dog who had suffered immensely after losing all her … More Peshawar’s Animal Whisperer
By Sonya Rehman On a weekday, the vicinity outside the Islamabad Zoo (once known as Marghazar Zoo) is crowded with families and their children milling about, buying toys, snacks and drinks from the kiosks set-up near the entrance. However, the zoo’s bright yellow main gate is closed and every now and then, hopeful visitors walk … More Does Freedom Await Kaavan, ‘The World’s Loneliest Elephant?’
By Sonya Rehman Nuzzling into my leg, he looks at me solemnly awaiting a pet, a cuddle or a belly rub. Paddy, a chubby Maltese is the epitome of innocence. Looking at him, it’s hard to imagine that this little cloud of fluff was abandoned on a summer day, this year, in the ground of … More A Home For The Abandoned
By Sonya Rehman Now playing across Pakistani cinemas this month, the new animated production, Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor, made in collaboration with WWF Pakistan, is not only a visual delight for cinemagoers, but also highlights a crucial issue: wildlife conservation. At the heart of the story is protagonist Allahyar, a young boy who … More Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor Wows Pakistani Audiences
By Sonya Rehman It was a death-defying rescue that took months to execute – 13 gaunt, ailing and injured zoo animals (lions, tigers, Asian black bears, hyenas and two huskies) were in desperate need to be saved from an abandoned zoo, the well-known Aalim-al-Sahar (Magic World) in the war-torn city of Aleppo, Syria. Once home … More Compassion Across Frontiers
By Sonya Rehman The images were gruesome and heartbreaking: hundreds of corpses of stray dogs were flung off garbage trucks and lined up on a road to be disposed off in August, in Karachi. Poisoned in a bid to curb the stray dog population in the city, the move by the municipal authority was cruel … More A Tiny Bit Of Compassion?
By Sonya Rehman A day before we picked her up, her brother was killed by a speeding vehicle. He was too adventurous and had strayed from the pack. With her remaining three puppies, the emaciated mother dog had lucked out – she had sought refuge on a green belt near an army check point in … More Our True Test
By Sonya Rehman From a change.org petition that garnered thousands of signatures, to immense pressure from animal lovers and animal rights activists both at home and abroad, Kaavan, the 29-year-old maltreated elephant in Maraghazar Zoo, in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, was recently unchained after 27 years in confinement. Gifted by Sri Lanka to Pakistan in the 80s, Kaavan’s only … More Cher Pushes For The Release of ‘Kaavan’ – Islamabad’s Loneliest Elephant
By Sonya Rehman Growing up in a house full of pets gave Ayesha Chundrigar an informal, intuitive education in empathy and respect for animals at a tender age. She was only 9-years-old when she began volunteering at an orphanage during her summer holidays, and much later, at the age of 15, taught at various kachi … More Animal Welfare: St(r)ay Safe
By Sonya Rehman Pakistan’s first-ever “Dolphin Show” opens to the public on the January 15. To be held at the Maritime Museum in Karachi, the organizers were due to host the event last year, but the plan had to be called off due to security concerns. Featuring Stephen the beluga whale, Boris the dolphin and … More Pakistan’s Controversial Dolphin Show
By Sonya Rehman She was spotted by my mother in FCC Park, in Gulberg, Lahore. It was early August during Ramadan. An emaciated dog, curled up in one of the green belts – she was fatigued due to severe malnutrition and starvation, too weak to lift her head. A man in the vicinity had walked … More What a Miracle!
By Sonya Rehman Published by Markings, ‘BHV Zoo’, by Karachi-based photographer, Amean J, is a somber, melancholic depiction of the animals that inhabit the Bahawalpur Zoo. Set against stark, white pages, the black and white photographs illustrate a forlorn, ghost-like ambience of the zoo, with animals who wear expressions of abandonment, and resignation to life. … More Lives Forsaken at the Bahawalpur Zoo
By Sonya Rehman Outside my office, on the bulletin board, hung a distressing poster. A boy was selling his 2-year old dog (not sure of the breed) for Rs. 50,000. On the poster, the boy stated that he hoped to find Spike a ‘good’ home. I almost turned around and walked back into my office, … More I’m Sick of my Puppy, You take It
By Sonya Rehman There’s a very fine line between art and sensationalism. You see, it’s a lot like journalism – the more ‘out there’ and sensationalistic the subject matter, the greater the ‘impact’. From racy themes, wild brushstrokes, loud colours, and scandalous topics, art (like journalism) can often be tainted, exaggerated and made overtly vulgar … More This is NOT Art