Welcome to the Painted Dog Research Trust (PDRT)

Painted Dogs (also known as African Wild Dogs) were once common throughout sub-Saharan Africa with estimates of over half a million animals ranging across thirty-nine countries. Today they are classified by the IUCN as Endangered with approximately 5,000 animals across no more than 9 countries. Zimbabwe is at the heart of their range, making Zimbabwean packs a crucial link in the conservation of this species.

Painted Dogs are highly social with strong familial bonds. They are one of the few examples of a species that cares for their sick and elderly. Pack members care for injured individuals, bringing them food until they are well enough to travel. Elderly animals stay with the pack and are cared for their entire lives, even after they can no longer hunt. Often, a "doctor" dog is assigned as a caretaker, regurgitating food, cleaning wounds, and caring for pack members until they are strong enough to keep up.

Painted dogs are completely in sync with each other and in balance with their environment. Their community is one that humans should strive to emulate. Under natural circumstances, they have everything they need to survive within their pack. But in today's world, they need help.

Humans are their only real predator and the main threat to their survival.

Starting in the 1800s painted dogs were viewed as vermin and mercilessly hunted. Today, they are extinct in many countries. They cannot defend themselves against habitat loss, road kills, diseases spread by domestic dogs or wire snares set by poachers for bush meat.

Won't you help?