A community based initiative in Sri Lanka to keep our natural environment clean

Thalangama Wetland Watch

Around the lake


Responsible feeding of street dogs at the lake.

August, 2021

At the Thalangama lake, deliberately abandoned puppies and kittens are very common. They are dumped during the night and despite the efforts of local residents, only a few find a new home. Those who remain on the streets are hoping for someone kind to feed them. Feeding street dogs is a honorable task, especially under the Covid-19 lockdown when there are fewer lake visitors, half-eaten snacks and left-overs from lunch packets.

The following pictures taken at the lake over just one month show different ways of how street dogs are fed. Some options are better than others as many result in additional waste for us to remove.

For the “less demanding” stray dog: This system only needs a flat stone. Zero litter, thanks!

For the “ecologically aware” dog: Served on a leave: Zero litter, thanks again!

The 5-star eco-serving with decoration for the demanding dog. Zero litter, thanks again.

The 3-star serving for the less demanding eco-dog. We do not collect earth materials, like clay pots, but this one can become a dengue breeding place.

The lunch pack leftover. With best intentions for the dogs and a good way to avoid food waste, but who collects the plastic and paper sheets?

The take-away box version of the lunch pack, usually with a plastic lunch sheet.

The "dog restaurant": Food served on (paper) plates. Nice idea, but usually resulting in abandoned plates every 50 meter along lake road. Only a few responsible feeders collect the empty plates again.

"Eating like at home". Such a plastic ice cream box could be refilled daily, otherwise it is plastic pollution and a dengue breeding ground.

"Eat & Read": for the educated dog, like in a street café. However, once the dog is gone the wind is distributing these papers all over the place

Only for ‘royal dogs’, high cuisine on a ‘silver’ platter. This metal dish will certainly find a new home. No need for us to collect.

For a balanced diet: with an extra cup of yoghurt. All 50 meter we found such a well-though donation. And the yoghurt is indeed much appreciated and often eaten first or only. But who will collect all the plastic cups later?

For the technically advanced dog: These permanent structures can be refilled at the top and dogs can get the food at the bottom. There are several of these ‘gravity dispensers’ around the lake. However, over the last year, we saw them only 2 or 3 times filled. As dogs quickly lose interest in food which is a few hours old, the system might not fit our hot climate.

Responsible feeding

Feeding hungry stray dogs or cats is a wonderful task to do, but please consider using leaves as ‘plate’ or pick your lunch sheets, plastic bowl or paper up after the dogs are done eating. Look out for our green rubbish bins.

Some guidelines on what and how to feed stray animals can be found here:

If you want to learn more about dog feeding in Colombo, then read about ‘Uncle Nihal’ who deserves our all respect: https://groundviews.org and check also here www.facebook.com or the great work of Sahana www.sundaytimes.lk.