Home and Abroad Animal Welfare - Sri Lanka
How other cultures embrace animal healing by Elizabeth Whiter

It never ceases too amaze me the many diverse and different cultures that are interested in animal healing. Never was this more apparent than my recent working trip to Sri Lanka. I was assisting Janice Downs founder of Home And Abroad Animal Welfare and a wonderful Sri Lankan vet called Dr Rohan. I took two of my advanced students Maddie and Janine with me to give spiritual healing to the many hundreds of dogs and cats that are abandoned and left dying on the streets of Negumbo, a town close to the capital Columbo.

Sri Lanka, formally known as Ceylon is a very beautiful island south of India. It is often referred to as the “jade jewel in the crown” as it is very lush with much tropical vegetation and of course it’s famous tea plantations that span the entire island. Even with rich fertile soils and every imaginable fruit grown for export this is still a very poor country and many of the locals can barely feed themselves let alone their animals.

I have been healing for so many years now that nothing shocks me as I have been privy to every kind of animal rescue situation from beautiful bitches used as breeding machines, to dogs being bred for fighting, the worst kinds of malnutrition in farmed puppies, and rabies running rampant in packs of dogs. Here in Sri Lanka stray bitches with pups wander aimlessly around looking for food and water and entire dogs compete for their affections.


So I was not surprised at all when we set to work in the outreach villages of Negumbo where the locals have very little money and live in small mud huts with no windows and a communal toilet for the entire village. Dogs run wild and live outside. Most are tied to trees. There is no collar and lead instead a makeshift piece of chain which invariably can cause wounds around the neck. They are covered in mange and have some of the worst dermatitis I have ever seen. They are malnourished, very skinny and huge ticks the size of garden peas hanging from their bodies.

The locals greeted us with much respect and were very enthusiastic to receive healing for their

dogs and themselves. There are many religious groups here and we worked with Catholics, Christians, Buddhists and Hindus. Everyone we treated believed in spiritual healing. However first and foremost it was our responsibility to inform the locals to take responsibility of their own dogs by looking after them properly with adequate food and have them neutered and spayed to help with the crisis situation of so many unwanted animals. Some of the locals were very superstitious and worried that if they neutered their animals this may have repercussions on their own children not being able to conceive and having families of their own.

I am eternally grateful to the many animal welfare organisations that care for animals all over the world. I am especially grateful to HAAAW for the wonderful rescue work they do here in Sri Lanka as they have established good solid relationships with the locals who rely heavily on their services. The locals cannot always afford to visit the vet so many dogs go untreated. HAAAW and Dr Rohan offer free spaying and neutering, worming and flea treatments and my operation the Healing Animals Organisation conduct healing on dogs, cats and their carers and assist in day to day duties. We are a united team and it works well.


We would leave early in the morning to avoid the searing heat that reaches temperatures of over 34C by midday. Many of the dogs that live here are involved in road traffic accidents and have broken bones and bruising. We patrolled the town in case we picked up any casualties or strays. By 10am we found two dogs and an abandoned puppy and headed back to the Dr Rohan’s clinic. On route we gave healing to them in the intimate surroundings of our very on Tut Tut (motorised three wheel vehicle)

Dr Rohan and his assistant carried the dogs into his surgery and examined them all carefully. The bitch was malnourished, dehydrated and appeared to have been beaten over her pelvis. The dog had two puncture wounds on his neck, probably by another dog whilst they were fighting over the female dog. Both dogs were infested with mange and lice. I quickly set to work to create one of my topical washes with fresh aloe vera and other oils I had with me. The clinic treated the dogs successfully and neutered and spayed them a few days later. The puppy, which we named Tiny Tim was malnourished and covered in mange. Dr Rohan asked Janine and I to supervise his rehabilitation and my colleague and I set to work by bathing and feeding Tiny Tim. Within hours of having some TLC, healing from Maddie, Janine and myself and food he soon perked up and made good progress.

One afternoon Janice invited me to be their guest speaker at the animal lovers club which she set up a year ago as locals were becoming interested in HAAAW’s work. These kind local people take in dogs from the street, feed them and call the local HAAAW members when a dog needs medical attention. It was a wonderful opportunity to share with the group the benefits of healing and prayer work and I hope they will take away this information and use it to heal their own animals.

This trip has been a very humbling experience for all three of us and we would not have missed it for the world. We treated over one hundred dogs in a space of a week and at least a dozen carers. We also treated dogs and cats for ticks, fleas, mange and worms. I feel very privileged to be working with Janice, Dr Rohan, Maddie and Janine in helping these beautiful animals achieve a better life. I am looking forward to returning to Sri Lanka and helping the local people continue to heal their own animals and themselves.

If you would like to join Elizabeth on an animal healing trip,
please contact us

Reply from Janice Downs founder of HAAAW

Elizabeth has been a great inspiration to us and it has been such a pleasure to have her here with Maddie and Janine. It has been an enlightening experience for all of us. Nothing fazed the girls who were calm, professional, compassionate and real team players. Spiritual healing definitely benefited all the dogs that we rescued on this trip. We were impressed with how relaxed the rescued dogs became after their healing sessions. At the clinic Dr Rohan was most impressed with how the animals responded to spiritual healing as well.

I am looking forward to Elizabeth’s next visit to Sri Lanka where she will be of great help to all of the dogs their carers and members of HAAAW