OTJIWARONGO, Namibia – 28 December 2020 – After receiving multiple reports of Livestock Guarding Dogs (LGDs) being placed on local farms by persons not associated with Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), the organization wishes to advise the Namibian farming community of a dog breeding scam. Anatolian shepherd and Kangal puppies are being sold directly to Namibian farmers as LGDs, but CCF has no association with the breeders or the puppies. These dogs are not a part of CCF’s LGD programme, and they have not been trained to guard livestock. CCF’s sources have reported the price of the puppies from the unknown breeder is between N$3000-N$5000. The standard placement fee for a CCF LGD is much lower, so puppies priced at this level do not come from CCF.
CCF will assist any person who believes they have been unknowingly tricked by this scam. Farmers can review the criteria below, then contact Calum O’Flaherty, CCF Livestock Guarding Dog Programme Manager, at 081-603-0683 to determine if they have an authentic CCF LGD. Farmers with concerns can also contact Dr Laurie Marker, CCF Founder and Executive Director at 081-124-7887 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Does the dog have a microchip? Any veterinarian can scan the dog to see if it has one. All LGDs placed by CCF are microchipped with their own unique number, and these numbers are only known to CCF staff. With the information provided by the veterinarian, CCF can advise if it is an officially placed LGD.
- Did you get two puppies at the same time? CCF will only ever place one LGD on a farm at a time. This is done so that the dogs grow up bonding with the livestock and not with a sibling.
- Is your dog spayed or neutered? All LGDs placed by CCF are spayed or neutered. This is done because the dogs are working dogs, and they are more focused on their guarding job if they are altered. CCF is also concerned with stemming the unregulated/unmonitored breeding of dogs within Namibia and mitigating unregulated cross-breeding with LGDs from CCF bloodlines.
- CCF’s dogs are currently placed on farms at a capped cost, which is calculated to be affordable for the farmers. CCF promotes affordability for long term care of its LGDs.
- After an official placement, CCF staff perform 3-month, 6-month and 12-month follow-up visits to check on the LGDs. Visits are conducted on a yearly basis thereafter to ensure that they are working well and are healthy. CCF staff advise and assist on the vaccination booster shots and the deworming of all LGDs placed by the organisation.
CCF is seeking tips and information to help identify the source of the Anatolian shepherd and Kangal puppies. CCF is willing to work with individuals that have received these puppies to advise on their care and training.
Cheetah Conservation Fund
Conservation Fund (CCF) is the global leader in research and conservation of cheetahs and dedicated to saving the cheetah in the wild. Founded in 1990, CCF is an international non-profit organisation headquartered in Otjiwarongo, Namibia, with a project for East African cheetah based in Hargeisa, Somaliland. CCF is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020, making it the longest running and most successful cheetah conservation organisation. For more information, please visit www.cheetah.org.
About CCF’s Livestock Guarding Dog (LGD) Program
Since the LGD program began in 1990, CCF has trained and placed over 650 Livestock Guarding Dogs in Namibia, South Africa and Tanzania. The dogs guarded the goats belonging to Namibia’s Founding President, HE Dr. Sam Nujoma, and LGDs were placed at two of Namibia’s agricultural colleges, so students could learn more about predator-friendly farming techniques. Farmers who employ a CCF LGD report an 80-100% reduction in livestock losses, and while the dogs were intended to protect livestock from cheetahs, CCF’s research shows that LGDs are equally effective in guarding against other predators like leopard, jackal and caracal.
NAMIBIA: Calum O’Flaherty, Cheetah Conservation Fund 081-603-0683 or email@example.com
INTERNATIONAL: Susan Yannetti, Cheetah Conservation Fund +1202-716-7756 or firstname.lastname@example.org