Painted dogs, also known as painted wolves, cape hunting dogs and wild dogs, are one of the most endangered mammals on the planet and the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) is committed to addressing the threats faced by this iconic species and offering them a sustainable future in the wild.

Adopting a holistic approach to conservation, DSWF Fights, Protects and Engages on behalf of painted dogs and other endangered species.


DSWF fights to protect painted dog populations through funding law enforcement programmes in Zimbabwe. Our monitoring and anti-poaching efforts in the Hwange National Park provide a blanket of protection for over 10,500km² of painted dog habitat. The anti-poaching teams spend thousands of hours every year removing snares from the bush, which would otherwise injure, maim or kill painted dogs. Since 2001, over 30,000 snares have been removed from the bush which could have killed up to 3,000 animals.


DSWF strives to protect painted dog populations through conducting community initiatives in the Hwange National Park and surrounding areas. These initiatives aim to foster positive associations between the local communities surrounding the park and local populations and help to mitigate human wildlife conflict, which has been such a prominent threat to the survival of painted dog populations in the wild.


DSWF believes that education and community participation is fundamental in ensuring a sustainable future for both people and wildlife. Acknowledging the importance of engaging with communities, DSWF funds an inspiring educational ‘Bush Camp’ programme which reaches more than 600 children every year, to encourage respect and co-existence for the painted dog. These educational programmes help children to understand the vital role that painted dogs play in the ecosystem and inspire an emotional attachment to nature. Children are absolutely vital in the long-term survival of these majestic animals and through educating our future leaders, we boost the painted dogs’ chances of survival.


How to Help Painted Dogs

Please help us protect painted dogs: