Located in Sakkara, Unleashed is the shelter that trains its rescues, in an effort to increase their chance of finding their forever homes.
“I’ve learnt more living with these dogs in the past four years, than I have in my entire life living with people,” says Unleashed founder, Sally Yassin. Launched in 2015, the dog shelter, located in Sakkara, aims to rescue, rehabilitate and train both stray and abused dogs. When Yassin, first established the dog sanctuary, her vision was to not only establish, but to also maintain the quality of services given to these stray and abused dogs.
Joined by Nour El Desouky in 2018, one of the steps Yassin takes in maintaining said quality is that she keeps the shelter at a certain capacity to ensure that each dog gets the attention required, which in turn allows her to give each of her lodgers to receive the attention and specialised care he or she needs. Equipped with a specialised team, as well as an on-site trainer who teaches the dogs basic commands, Unleashed doesn’t believe in merely giving the rescues a safe house or treating their physical ailments.
“Over here, we kind of believe it’s not just taking them off the streets and making them avoid the kind of harm they’d be subjected to otherwise," Yassin tells CairoScen. "We believe in the second part of their journey as well, which is actually increasing their prospect of finding a forever home in Egypt. Once we're done treating the dogs, our trainer starts working with them and teaches them the basics; so, for example, the team works on getting them to accept being put on a leash, which for a stray or abused dog, can be a horrific experience. We teach them how to accept water on their bodies and then with some dogs, we'll even begin teaching them a few tricks."
Sally Yassin (L) and Nour El Desouky (R)
Divided into a series of kennels with doors painted in bright colours, Unleashed affords its dogs a space to live as comfortable as possible, with each kennel getting its turn at 'play-time' throughout the day.
"There's something about going through this journey with these dogs," Yassin exlains. "They've taught me so much about mercy, about love and about patience."
Yassin, over the years, has seen cases of all sort pass through the doors of Unleashes; some have been severely abused as bait in dog fights, some simply abandoned by their owners, But Yassin and El Desouky's hard work quickly paid dividends, with one dog adopted every month on average, Unleashed manages to see one dog adopted per month, on average.
"I've seen dogs that should not have made it through, dogs that shouldn't have survived but they did. These dogs are now the most playful and they're giving our kennel the energy it needs. My dogs have given me a reason to believe in miracles."
Video and photography by @MO4Network's #MO4Productions