Don’t Disgrace Them, Love Them

Posted on May 25, 2009 in Society

-Apurva Desai

Early morning, we start our fitness schedule; we go to our well-manicured parks and lawns, to jog for half an hour daily. How many times have we been hounded by those silly stray dogs, which we want to just get rid of, at that moment? We are just filled with loathing and hatred for them, right? “What do they think of themselves, poking their nose, anywhere they want to?” is what comes to our mind.

But, have we ever tried to delve deeper? Street dogs have been prevalent in Asia, including India, and even bits of Africa, for the past 14000 years. They come from the Pariah Dogs, who have also started their habitation with us, the humans. Mongrels, or street dogs, as we commonly know them, are not some silly dogs. In fact, a new study has shown that mongrels are better than pedigreed dogs in respect of spatial awareness and problem-solving abilities.

While many of us, the youth, think that keeping a pedigreed dog is a matter of prestige and honour, it is not the case. Street dogs are a menace to the urban society, to the development, agreed, but a little love, affection and care can change it all. Street dogs are ignored and dejected because of the various problems associated with them, like rabies, dog bites (especially when they are mating or guarding their new ones), and of course the usual barking and hounding. All this can be curbed with some simple help from all of us.

Killing of the dogs is not a solution, as India is a developing country, and there is yet no proper garbage disposal, the slums are still prevalent. When the dogs of an area are killed, the garbage still remains there, (which is an excellent source provider for the canine’s belly) and therefore, new dogs come, there is more fighting, more mating, and hence the dog population is ever increasing rather than decreasing. Thankfully, the government recognized it, and killing was banned in 1992.
Dogs are now neutered and put back into the same area, so that fights (which arise due to mating) are decreased, and the population is in check too.

– What we as Samaritans can do, is rather than spending our hard earned money on buying pedigreed dogs, adopt these cute mongrels, who are better at adapting to Indian climate changes than the pedigreed ones.

– We can get the dogs living on the streets or in our colony vaccinated from time to time.

– Provide them with your stale food, which otherwise goes into the dustbins. Dogs make great friends, and what’s a better way to start?
– If you can’t adopt, whenever you see an ailing animal, pick up your phone and dial your nearest animal shelter and drop the dog there.
– If you’re driving, are on a highway, and find an ailing animal, don’t just drive away, Stop and help! Here’s how:
-Be ready to rescue the animal: make up your mind, make yourself mentally prepared.
-Think about your safety first, and then consider the animal: Make sure, wherever you park your car, is safe and you are not in the middle of an about-to-be disaster.
-If possible restrain the animal: Use caution while approaching it. Restrain him with anything you can lay your hands on. Don’t use scary objects, as it will scare them all the more and they might turn violent.
-While approaching, speak calmly: Remember, you are there to soothe and rescue him, not scare him off. Frightened animals are more prone to any sudden movements.

-They will bolt away as soon as they sense some danger.
-Try to lure them: Strong smelling food might just do the trick.
-Wait with him in the car: Call the local police or animal control agency. If some help is coming, lure him in the car, or drive away to some nearest animal shelter.
-Be willing to assume financial responsibility: If the dog is severely wounded, be willing to pay for its safeguard. You will be reimbursed later by the agency.

– Search for your nearest animal care centers, and keep their number handy. A simple way is dialing Frendicoes: 011-66364799 (India) and asking for help or, using the yellow pages.

– Try to volunteer for help, and provide homes for the 25 million stray.

If each one of us decides to help, it will surely be a heaven for the poor homeless souls.