1. What is Embark?

    Embark is Otara’s personal CSR project aiming to promote the well-being of animals by creating awareness, raising funds and simultaneously organising individual projects in conjunction with other animal welfare associations, sterilizing, vaccinating, treating street dogs and finding kind homes for them.

    The initiative has already benefitted thousands of dogs in a series of sterilisation and vaccination programmes, employing the Catch, Neuter, Vaccinate and Release method recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

  2. What does Embark do?

    Embark's focus remains on working with street or community animals and their surrounding populations. Embark does not work to support owned dogs, or dogs in animal shelters.

    Our key activities include anti rabies vaccinations, sterilization surgeries, puppy re-homing campaigns, and caring for injured street animals.Each of these activities is supported by a comprehensive and consistent campaign of education. An overriding objective for Embark has been to change attitudes and mindsets amongst the public. To date, this has been achieved by raising awareness of the importance of animal welfare, and advocating practical approaches to connecting and enjoying community animals.

    Our campaigns:

    1. Free Mass Sterilization / Individual Sterilization and vaccination requests - to tackle stray dog overpopulation and help reduce the spread of rabies.
    2. Puppy Re-homing - Helping to find a good and caring home for abandoned or stray puppies.
    3. 'Saving the Injured'- Helping accident victims and treating critically ill street animals.
    4. Education and Awareness - On responsible animal ownership, rabies eradication, dog-bite prevention and animal welfare issues.
  3. How does Embark fund its programmes?

    Embark’s work is primarily funded by sales of Embark merchandise, with a small portion of funds coming from donations.

    Embark as a brand has released a wide range of clothing, jewellery and accessories featuring endearing logos of beloved pooches, which was launched to engage shoppers in the cause. A percentage of gross profits from the sale of Embark merchandise goes toward funding all our treatment, vaccination, sterilization, education, and awareness raising activities.

  4. Does Embark help other animals as well?

    Embark’s work is primarily with street and roaming dogs. The contact details of organizations or individuals who might be able to help in the case of other animals are posted on our newsletter and website.

  5. Does Embark run an animal shelter?

    No.

    Embark does not believe that housing a street dog in an animal shelter is a permanent or viable solution to overpopulation & rabies transmission.

    As an example, consider you need one acre for 100 dogs to be sheltered humanely. At about Rs. 1,000 per month per dog (and this is being conservative, it will often cost more). This means for 5,000 dogs (estimated roaming population for Colombo) you need 50 acres of land and Rs. 5,000,000 per month to maintain the shelter (Staff to cook food, kennel cleaning, bathing and tick control , medications, exercise, electricity, gas, water, transport, petrol, maintenance and repair plus many more costs). This assumes that all dogs are sterilized (which again costs money), will not reproduce in the shelter, and the shelter does not get any more dogs from households that keep dumping pups and dogs.

    Don’t forget you have to do this for at least 10 years from the time you take on the first pup and prices will increase with inflation. This is just for 5,000 dogs in the Colombo city; the amount is a great deal higher for the entire country.

  6. Does Embark help with abandoned puppies?

    Yes.

    Embark does not run a shelter for puppies purely because they can get sick from each other when kept in close quarters. Therefore we DON’T take puppies in. However we do help with veterinary care for these dogs if foster families require same. Embark requests and encourages foster caring, this is the safest and the most wholesome way to safe guard their lives and find homes through our adoption day. And revise the current point at No 6. with text below

  7. Does Embark help with re-homing puppies?

    Yes.

    Embark helps to re-home rescued street puppies that have been dumped or born into the streets. Since Embark does not maintain an animal shelter, we depend on volunteers or members of the community coming forward to temporarily foster any puppies that have been rescued. Thereafter, Embark can help find these pups a great new home after the initial veterinary care has been provided.

    *** All pups given to new homes are handed over with all vaccines given and females sterilized. Hence pups just off the streets cannot be accepted.

    ***People who rescue pups cannot just pass them on to Odel. As mentioned above, Odel / Embark does not run a shelter. Embark encourages the people who have rescued pups to temporarily foster them whilst Embark provides free veterinary care till they are old enough for adoption. Someone with puppies who wishes to re-home them through Embark needs to register with us by calling our hotline at least 2 weeks prior to an Adoption Day.

  8. I am interested in temporarily fostering puppies, how does this work?

    A key part of the re-homing process is fostering. Give us a call on our hotline, or drop us an email if you are able to temporarily foster one or more puppies - providing them with the shelter, food and love they need.

    Once fostered, Embark can assist in re-homing these pups by advertising and giving the pups a chance at finding a home at our adoption days.

    During the time the pups are fostered, Embark is able to provide all of the medical support necessary to ensure that the rescued puppies are healthy and ready to go into their new homes!

  9. I would like to adopt a puppy, how do I go about this?

    You can send us an email to [email protected] or call our hotline on 0773 429 025. A member of the team can then take you through the process of picking the perfect puppy for you and your family!

    We have an adoption day on the last Sunday of every month which is also a great opportunity for those interested in adopting a rescued street puppy! You can come by, spend time with and see all the puppies in need of homes, and take home your new best friend. (Visit our website or our facebook page to be informed of any changes).

  10. How can I volunteer?

    Give us a call on 0773 429 025 and send us an email with your name and contact details to [email protected] . We will include your name in a roster and be in touch with you shortly.

    There are several ways volunteers can support and get involved in what we do.

    • Help raise awareness on the importance of sterilization and vaccination
    • Help us work with schools to educate kids on sterilization, vaccination and dog-bite prevention.
    • Help promote responsible pet ownership
    • Help a litter of rescued street puppies by fostering, or by encouraging others to do so
    • Help save a street dog’s life by adopting, or encouraging others to adopt
    • Help out at events like the adoption day, sterilization clinics, fundraising events etc
    • Help us raise funds
  11. How do I make a donation?

    • Donations can be made through the Embark Tills and at cashier points at all ODEL outlets. 
    • Donations can be made online via credit card at http://www.odel.lk/store/embark
    • For bank transfers:
      A/C Name - ODEL FOUNDATION TRUST
      A/C No - 2066400017
      Bank Name - UNION BANK OF COLOMBO PLC
      SWIFT CODE - UBCL LKLC

  12. Can I get advice on pet care?

    Yes, you could speak to any member of our team, or speak directly to one of the veterinary clinics we are partnered with. You can call PetVet Clinic – 2 599 799 or Best Care Animal Hospital on 773 400 800.

  13. Can you recommend a good vet?

    Yes.

    PetVet Clinic
    421/5 Malalasekera Mawatha, Colombo 7
    2 599 799

    Best Care Animal Hospital
    241a, Nawala Rd, Nawala
    773 400 800

    For any other information, please call our hotline 773 429 025

  14. How can I stay up to date with what Embark is doing?

    For Embark updates, latest news and ongoing campaigns you can visit our website www.embark.lk, read our newsletter, and follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/embarklk ) or twitter (www.twitter.com/embarksl).

  15. How can I contact someone from the Embark team?

    You can call on our hotline 0773 429 025 or email us on - [email protected]