Morris Darbo says he was born with such a great love for animals, he couldn’t bear to see them suffer. That’s pretty tough when you’re growing up in Liberia, a country so poor that people took to eating dogs during the African nation’s two civil wars, and some still do.
Animals are routinely abused and neglected in Liberia, more out of ignorance than malice, Darbo says. “I said to myself, I have to do something to bring awareness to people that animals have feelings,” he recounted on a visit to New Mexico in May, where he gave presentations about his work founding the Liberia Animal Welfare and Conservation Society.
Attitudes are passed down in families, Darbo says, so his group initiated a humane education curriculum that has reached thousands of schoolchildren in Liberia, thanks to funding from a group called Animal-Kind International founded by Karen Menczer of Jemez Springs. Menczer met Darbo in Liberia and invited him to Albuquerque while he was at a Humane Society expo in Las Vegas, Nev.