Sanctuary Stories

Changing Perspectives in Tanzania, One Dog at a Time

Noodles is just one of 190 dogs at Every Living Thing sanctuary, but he represents the hope that things are getting better

Jessica Scott-Reid
Published in
5 min readAug 7, 2019


Photos: Every Living Thing

Noodles looks like what most locals would describe as a typical Tanzanian street dog: slim body, light-coloured fur, and big pointy ears. According to Brittany Hilton, founder of Every Living Thing animal sanctuary in Tanzania, however, Noodles is extra special. To Hilton, Noodles symbolizes changing cultural attitudes towards dogs in the region, and the great hope she has for the additional 189 dogs under the sanctuary’s care. While just a few years ago, dogs in Tanzania were used almost exclusively for guarding: kept in cages all day, let out only at night, and seen as aggressive, scary and disposable, Hilton says that is now changing. And Noodles’ story proves it.

Hilton, who hails from Toronto, Canada, originally set off to Tanzania with plans to complete an internship with the Jane Goodall Institute. What was supposed to be a six-month trip has turned into a six-year stay, including four years in the Goodall home, which Hilton says acted as her first animal shelter.

“I definitely got distracted from what I was supposed to be doing here with the…