Everyday, we receive many queries and calls over the Jaagruti helpline complaining about how their Residential Society’s Welfare Associations (commonly abbreviated as RWA’s) putting up notices ‘banning pets’, coming out with ‘no pets allowed’ clauses in their society bye-laws, ‘asking people to abandon their pets’, ‘mistreating street dogs’ etc. The article below by Rishi Dev of Citizens for Animal Rights, is a must-read for all those facing such a situation. This article explains as well as empowers you with information to fight your own respective battles in this regard for your sake and for your pet child..who has no one other than you in this world to fight for him/her or their rights.
In 2010, the Central Mumbai Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum gave a strong directive to a group housing society who was charging a pet owner resident monthly fees for using lifts. The court clearly said – “Dogs are part of a family hence they have the right to use the lift just as any other member, and we cannot decide who is a family member and who isn’t, each family decides for itself.”
Before this in 2008 a similar order came from a lower court that clarified that pets are part of family and cannot be restricted from living or using the residential complexes.
In 2012, the Gurgaon Municipal Corporation was the first of their kind to issue strict notices to all CGHS and RWAs in Gurgaon, warning them not to formulate rules and regulations against pets and that any such move is in conflict with the law. The notices clearly stated – “Such a move may lead to dissolution of the RWA and prosecution of its office bearers, says the letter. It is illegal to remove animals from the area through security guards employed by RWAs. Nor can they intimidate residents who may be feeding those animals. Under stray dog management rules 2001, it’s illegal for an individual, RWA or estate management to remove or relocate dogs. The dogs have to be sterilized and vaccinated and returned to the same area. Vaccinated and sterilized dogs cannot be removed by the municipality too. Under Section 506 of the IPC, it’s a crime to threaten abuse or harass neighbors who feed animals.”
So what is origin of these laws protecting dogs and cats from humans who treat them unequal?
The system of law in Indian is a tiered system, based on Arthashastra from 400 B.C. & Manusmriti from 100 A.D. wherein the central philosophy was tolerance & pluralism. This is the reason the constitution declares India to be a sovereign socialist secular democratic republic, assuring its citizens justice, equality, and liberty.
The hierarchical system of Indian constitution thus forbids the lower hierarchies to overrule or override the higher orders, laws, directions or acts. This means that if Supreme Court says ‘yes’ to something, the ‘no’ by the high courts’ gets automatically nullified. This hierarchy comes down to the lowest local urban body or court. In India most courts have already ruled in favor of the animals in all respects. Hence any organization, individual or body ruling or following actions against such orders are automatically breaking the law and in contempt of the constitution and the honorable courts.
There are laws and constitutional provisions directly allowing people to take care of animals, whether inside or outside their places of work or living. The laws clearly protect people and their animals from all kinds of discrimination. The Indian constitution states them very clearly via various sections. Article 48-A - “The State shall endeavor to protect & improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.” Article 51-A deals with the fundamental duties of the citizen. Article 51-A(g) states – ” It shall be duty of every citizen of India to protect & improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.” Article 19 deals with the fundamental rights of the citizen. So “Right to Protect the Environment ” comes within Article 19. After the Stockholm Declaration in 1972 the Indian Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976 inserted for the first time specific provisions to protect & improve the environment. I.P.C. Section 428 and 429 provides severe punishment to people resorting to dislocation, abduction and acts of cruelty towards community animals or pets. Ministry of Public Grievances notification and a similar notification by Animal Welfare Board of India dated March 2008, provide immunity to animal feeders and restrict government employees or bodies such as Resident Welfare Associations from harassing people who try to feed or help animals. Article 25, 26, 27, 28 provides religious freedom to all citizens and preserves the principle of secularism in India. According to the constitution, all religions are equal before the State. Citizens are free to preach, practice and propagate any religion of their choice in their own way. Keeping or feeding animals is a part of the same right. The other acts which protect animals are The Environment (Protection) Act – 1986 & Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.
Hence, anyone taking care, keeping pets or street animals has natural immunity in the law. There are many orders pertaining to street animals by many courts. But in the recent times many RWAs have shown their autocracy over residents keeping pets. Keeping the same in mind the Animal Welfare Board of India and many municipal corporations have time and again written to the Registrar of Societies (ROS) and their RWAs to refrain from these undemocratic actions.
An RWA is a private, representative body which has no legal sanctity. It is just a group of people who have come together and formed a club. Their resolutions and bye laws are not legal mandates and especially if they violate the fundamental rights of a citizen or even more goes against an existing court order. Such RWAs can be legally prosecuted and if need be can face fines or imprisonment or both. Such precedence has been set before. If any resident faces such harassment from RWAs, must immediately approach the local magistrate and file a complaint of harassment and violation of their fundamental rights. The complaint must also be sent to ROS asking them to dissolve the RWA with immediate effect. AWBI must also be approached for taking appropriate legal action against such RWA members.
In this post, we are sharing with you one comprehensive document that compiles all the laws, news-clippings and court orders/rulings, pertaining to street dogs
Please download this document by clicking here: A Dossier of Indian Street Dog related laws and court rulings
Save it, take print-outs and read it well.
These are updated laws, rules, orders pertaining to DOGS, their feeding and other rights. Most dog lovers don’t bother to read them and end up getting harassed while the law is strong and clear. Please keep a copy ready and if possible submit one copy in your local police station and the RWA, so unfortunate encounters can be averted beforehand.
A point wise synopsis is also written in the beginning of this document.
We thank Citizens for Animal Rights for their effort in compiling this document and sharing the same with us. By posting it here, we are sharing it further and hope you all will share it widely too and feel empowered.
Remember: Your responsibility however doesn’t end with just feeding them, please also ensure that these dogs you care for are sterilized and vaccinated…since you are friendly with them, can touch them, it is much easier for you to collaborate with the NGO run Animal Hospital (that runs the local Municipality supported ‘Animal Birth Control’ Programme for street dogs) near your home to help undertake the sterilization of these dogs, it is just a one time exercise and will prevent you the agony of seeing pups dying (of illnesses and car accidents) in front of your eyes ever so frequently.
Animal Welfare Board of India has decided to issue Identity Cards to Street Dog Feeders/Colony Care Takers of Animals who are taking care of animals in their locality.
A proforma of registration form can be downloaded from this link- http://awbi.org/awbi-pdf/caretakers.pdf or please click below.
Please download the form and send the duly filled in form along with the following:
ANIMAL WELFARE BOARD OF INDIA
(Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India)
Post Box No. 8672, 13/1, Third Seaward Road, Valmiki Nagar,Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai – 600 041
A news report on the same in Indian Express dated 21st January 2013, by Senior Correspondent Kamala Kelkar, is posted below. Please hoever note that the process may take less or more than a couple of weeks for you to receive your cards, as mentioned below
People who care for street dogs will soon be getting government-issued identity cards. The new ID cards are expected to do away with harassment faced by many such persons from the general public, when they try to feed canines on the road.
In a move that animal activists termed “unprecedented,” the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has decided last week that anyone who voluntarily cares for strays — dog feeders and colony caretakers who tend to animals in their locality.
It Board has put up a one-page registration form (can be downloaded free of cost) on its website awbi.org, for those who want to get these ID cards.
The applicant needs to fill in personal information such as name, address and experience. Once the application is submitted, the ID card would be processed and mailed to the applicant, board member and legal advisor Anjali Sharma said.
“The card would have the person’s name and an attestation that he/she is doing a right and lawful deed and the Animal Welfare Board supports it. This lends credibility to the person,” Sharma said.
The AWBI is a legal advisory body that was formed under the Animal Prevention Act of 1960 to protect the animals.
Sharma explained that the goal of the card, which does not provide any exclusive rights, was solely the welfare of animals and caretakers.
“Most people don’t realize that sterilization and vaccination of stray dogs would be possible only through feeding and befriending dogs,” Sharma said.
In December 2011, the Delhi High Court had passed an order voicing its approval for designated “dog feeding spots” for stray canines in the city. It passed the order on a petition which sought to protect dogs from “intimidating” residents, so they could be fed without any hassle.
Rishi Dev, founder of Citizens for Animal Rights who has written a book on “Urban disputes over animals”, said this was the first time that the government was supporting such an initiative.
Sharma hoped that many would come forward to apply for the cards. “They are performing a duty,” she said. “And it’s a legitimate exercise.”
To read the Online version of this news story, please click here
Excerpt from this story is quoted below:
The Indira Gandhi International Airport here has initiated measures like using recycled papers at its premises in a bid to become a ‘green airport’. After putting in place some of the green initiatives like rainwater, use of natural lights and efforts to reduce emissions, the airport operator, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), has now decided to use recycled papers in its offices. For this, DIAL has entered into an agreement with an NGO ‘Jaagruti’, which will recycle the waste paper generated in its offices and get the notepads or A4 sheet made from the recycled paper.
“The collected waste paper would be systematically graded and transported to the recycling mill. There it would be processed to make different quality of recycled paper by using Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) bleaching technology,” a DIAL spokesperson said.
This would save 17 trees, 26,281 litres of water, 264 kg of air pollution, 1,752 litres of oil, 4077 KW hours of energy, 82.62 cubic feet of landfill space, he claimed. As a part of the initiative, DIAL shared one tonne of paper waste for recycling to Jaagruti. “DIAL is committed to conducting its business in an environment-friendly and sustainable manner at IGI airport by minimising the impact of our activities on the environment and community. Environment Management is an integral part of our business strategy towards achieving credibility and business sustainability,” DIAL CEO I Prabhakar Rao said.
If you or the organisation you work with want to associate with ‘Jaagruti’ under our Paper Recycling Initiative to recycle your waste paper, please contact us by filling the form below or calling us on +91-9818 144 244 or writing to us on email@example.com
In August 2011, we at ‘Jaagruti’ began our humble initiative to recycle institutional waste paper in a non-monetary (i.e ‘free’) recycling service which borders on an in-kind exchange programme, where institutions and organisations get back 100% recycled paper (or products) back to use in their work/study space, depending on the quantum and quality of waste paper given by them to ‘Jaagruti’ for recycling.
8 months since we started, it gives us all at ‘Jaagruti’ immense satisfaction at the number of institutional tie ups we have been able to establish under our ‘Waste Paper Recycling Initiative’. In the process, we have also helped make individuals from across various academic institutions, corporates and organisations aware on the benefits of following the principle of ‘Reduce. Reuse and Recycle‘, and helped save many tonnes of waste paper getting recycled again to make fresh paper, without cutting any trees! (As otherwise, producing 1 tonnes of paper would require 17 full green trees to be cut)
To understand how paper is recycled and the need for doing so, please see the short film below:
As part of the ‘Paper Recycling Initiative’ undertaken with ‘Jaagruti’ by Netaji Subash Institute of Technology (popularly known as ‘NSIT’), a prestigious Engineering College under University of Delhi, the sheets of recycled paper were given back to the institute were further deftly stitched into notebooks and registers by ragpickers at Matiala in Dwarka area of Delhi. The same products, made by ragpickers were put on sale at the College’s Annual Festival to raise help raise resources for them. The SIFE Chapter(Students in Free Enterprise Chapter) of NSIT also entered this Project of theirs, christened ‘Project Pratham‘ into the Dell Social Innovation Challenge (see screenshots below)
If your organisation/company is interested in getting yor waste paper recycled, we at ‘Jaagruti’ can help you, please contact us on +91-9818144244 or mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a query below:
23 September 2011: We found Hasmukh sitting next to an electricity metre box in the service lane on the road a kilometre off our place. On our next round that evening, he was still sitting at that spot, panting. On checking with the chowkidaar (security guard) there, our worst fears came true. Hasmukh couldn’t stand up on his hind legs and thus couldn’t walk. Hasmukh was not a street dog of this area, and as we learnt he used to stay across the road and since the chowkidaar and ragpickers found him dragging himself on the middle of the main road, they kept him this side.
If you are wondering why we named him Hasmukh (which means ‘Smiling face’ in English), thats because that was the first name that popped up in our head as we saw him with his lower canine sticking out from one end of his lower jaw :)
We were not interested in packing Hasmukh off to an animal shelter, which is for us always the last preferred option. We lifted him in and brought him to a safe and secluded neighbourhood park, which was clean and not being used by either humans or other street dogs. We made him a nice cosy bed of grass there and fed him that night and decided that we will do our best to get him standing on his feet using the best possible medication underneath open the open sky than make Hasmukh feel depressed amidst hundreds of other sick animals lodged at a shelter.
24 September 2011: Morning time, we went to feed Hasmukh and found big ants stuck around his genitals, a fearful sight and painful because Hasmukh had no sensation of all of them sticking around there, we removed the insects and applied medicines over him to keep the insects away. Amidst all of this, the positive aspect was that Hasmukh was eating well and by the afternoon meal, we knew he loved milk, cheese and pedigree while he had trouble digesting rotis because of his deformed jawline.
We requested the vet to come over that evening and check on him as we didn’t want to put Hasmukh through the trouble of being driven in that condition…it was pitch dark when the vet came and when he did the pin prick test on his hind legs, Hasmukh could not feel any sensation at all!
A couple of painkillers and a multivitamin injection were administered to Hasmukh and we decided to get the course repeated every two days and observe and feed him in the meantime.
27 September 2011: After the previous injections, Hasmukh had become more active, he was sitting in attentive doggy poses the whole day and even growled a female dog that came too close to him away…we were happy by the progress he was making. On 27th night, we repeated the dose of injections.
28 September 2011: At a Street Dog Anti-Rabies camp, we discussed Hasmukh case with another trusted vet of ours and gained in optimism when we learnt that a paralysed dog can be brought to feet by giving him a course of homeopathic medicines for a month, which can also be aided by an allopathic medicine named Methycobal (to be given morning and evening). Excited and optimistic, we got the medicines that very night.
29 September 2011: The fickleness of life came to the fore. We went to feed Hasmukh that noon and saw a sight that scared the wits out of us. He had a big gaping wound with pus…on the pelvic region of the right hind leg just next to the tail and there were flies hovering around that portion, fearful that maggots would infest him, we got him to our home and took him to our trusted vet (Who had prescribed the homeopathic dose the previous day). It was in that visit to the vet, that all our optimism gathered through the previous day came to nought, the vet examined his back portion and told us that as per his analysis, he had a spine fracture and it was due to that spinal fracture, that Hasmukh’s hind legs had been rendered immobile, though we did believe that from day 1 till now, he had started feeling few sensations back…The vet gave his verdict, Hasmukh should be put to sleep if the spine fracture gets confirmed, his life would be full of misery otherwise.
Shocked! We asked our vet two questions…what was that big gaping wound that had come up on his hind leg? “Its a bedsole”, the vet answered…”it will not get healed”, he said and rather such bedsoles will gradually form on different portions of the legs in times to come as bedsoles happen when the body is immobile”.
Our next question, can a spinal fracture be healed? And our vet answered, “No, not even in humans…though there are surgeries these days for humans, but the chances of surviving the surgeries are remote and the risks too many as even one nerve getting hurt during the operation, can paralyse the whole body”.
Our hopes crashed that night and we got Hasmukh home back with us, and gave us a cushiony mattress, food and lots of love over the next two days. We wanted him to live the best days of his life.
…on 1 October 2011, the whole evening, Hasmukh for the first time, made us hear his voice, he was talking or crying in pain, we would never know…but he wanted us to sit next to him and only then would he be quiet else he would start those voices again.
2 October 2011: We had planned to get Hasmukh’s Spinal Cord X rays done and we did. Only to see the terrible condition in which his spine had been fractured. See below, the overlapping fractured bones and the 1 inch gap between the fractured overlapping portions.
Hasmukh stood no chance of recovery and his bedsole was only increasing in girth. To relieve him off his pain and suffering, with a stone on our hearts, we decided to let him go. All animals go to heaven is what we believe and so would Hasmukh, we knew.
A lingering question pained us no end…How did Hasmukh fracture his spine so badly? Clearly because a senseless driver in hurry had not bothered to look underneath his car where Hasmukh might have been resting on that fateful day, the car romped over him.
Rest in peace dear Hasmukh.
The ten days that you spent with us gave us a lesson for life. Your patience was admirable, your spirit indomitable and needless to say, your smile was lovely and thats why we named you ‘Hasmukh’.
And to all of you reading this, just remember to pass this word on, that the next time you turn your car’s ignition on to embark on a road journey, please spare a moment to peep underneath your car to check if an animal like Hasmukh is resting underneath your car, next to the tyre or flat on the ground under the shade of the car.
Try to shoo that resting animal away by blowing a horn or making some other strange noise to scare him away, atleast that will ensure that the beginning of your road journey is not the end of someone’s journey of life.
Please drive safely.
Author: This story has been contributed by Rishi Dev (Citizens for Animal Rights)
Four cooperative group housing societies in sector 10, Dwarka are facing a new kind of menace from two street dogs, Dolly and Chotu. Both of these dogs have lived outside these four apartments for almost 8 years now, making them the only two dogs in a human population of 2000. Initially there were only a handful of people feeding these dogs and taking regular care of them. But then something happened which changed many a perceptions.
Dwarka still being gripped and plagued with daylight petty crimes like chain snatching, eve teasing, carjacking and so on, is one of the easiest places for any thief to run and hide. Two years back, on one of such evenings when two ladies were taking a walk outside one of these society gates, two thieves on a bike came from nowhere and snatched the chain from one of these ladies and drove away. Within a split second both these dogs, who were sitting outside the gate of the society ran after this bike. Dolly being faster than Chotu approached the bike from the front, almost running in front of the bike slowing and confusing the driver, albeit risking her own life, while Chotu being the tough one ran behind the bike, intimidating the pillion rider, who was transferring the fear on to the rider like a domino effect.
After almost 800 meters of chase, the bikers lost control and fell down. They left the chain, the bike and ran away before people could catch them. Surprisingly both these dogs didn’t bite them or chase them further. They stood there for almost a minute till the residents reached the spot and claimed the bike and the chain. It was later discovered that the bike was also a stolen one.
Since that day onwards everyone in the colony started loving these dogs. They now fight over who feeds, or over feeds these two dogs, because everyone wants to claim their ownership on them. The residents recollect that in the last 8 years there has not been a single case of theft, robbery, crime around these blocks, not excluding zero dog bites. Beyond these four apartments there have been many such cases of crime, but every time there were attempts to infringe into these four apartments in the night, these dogs have barked the hell out of the night guards who are often found sound asleep. The supervisor of the guard agency called “Rakshak”, has instructed all his guards to keep these dogs around while they choose to sleep inevitably. He swears by their dedication all the time. The rickshaw pullers and the other informal shops in and around this area pamper Dolly and Chotu and often treat them equal to their children. They are always ready to face any impending danger which may befall upon these two creatures. For the thieves these two dogs may be proving to be a real menace, but these canines care the least as they are busy playing other roles which are almost invisible to the residents.
Dolly and Chotu are often seen chasing rats, snakes, monitor lizards and so on. Dwarka region registers one snake bite a day in Delhi. Dogs are predators for burrowed animals and such dangerous reptiles and are known to have been a keystone species by many ecologists in maintaining the epizootic balance of the region. Dolly does not produce litter as she and Chotu have been sterilized and inoculated for rabies by the MCD. This makes them less aggressive towards general humans unless anyone is a threat to the residents, these dogs now consider as their own pack leaders. So it has been a common practice for years now, to feed Dolly and Chotu in turns, so they recognize their own residents and protect each one of them from any potential threat including other dogs which are often driven away by Chotu even before they enter this colony.
Chotu is also a favorite of the children who pat, sit, and cuddle this big, dark brown, scary looking dog in the way they like. And while he enjoys his daily tummy rubbing treats, he pays them back with love and protection by accompanying many to their bus stops and metro stations in the morning. Many are seen talking to these dogs in their own language which is easily understood by these canines as if they were Homo sapiens themselves. Many strangers often find Chotu and Dolly barking endlessly at night or running after vehicles and complain of the same to the residents. But the residents shrug it away by telling each one, this chronicle of Dolly and Chotu without missing any detail and on every single opportunity made available to them. They now associate the running of dogs with that incident, clearly.
While the barking and chasing at night by Dolly & Chotu continues and may be a nuisance for strangers and thieves, but the residents enjoy such chases with a sense of belonging and ownership. And so it seems why the courts across the world have thus not been able to define the true meaning of the word “nuisance” for genuine reasons. Someone has rightly said, “neighbour’s envy may be owner’s pride”, so while we may endlessly continue to find correct answers to complex questions like, “How to end the dog menace?” or “What is really a dog menace?”, these canines nonchalantly would do what they have to do, in their own stride and thriving to be man’s best friend.
‘Magic’ is another of our rescued dog stories, for the story of his rescue and recovery is nothing but ‘magical’.
Last year when the Commonwealth Games 2010 ended, it was time to release the street dogs back into the games venue areas where they were picked up from and kept in at shelters for the period of the games.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s SSCBC (Society for Stray Canine Birth Control) decided then that to ensure transparency, the release of all dogs back into their respective areas will be photographed and video-graphed as evidence to comfort all that ‘no dog was dislocated from its original territories’ in conformation with the Animal Birth Control Rules 2001 (drafted under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960).
On one such Dog-release exercises happening in South Delhi, I had volunteered to be part of the Release Team and photograph/videograph the release of the dogs as per the details we had of their respective areas at the time of picking them up.
As we were releasing some dogs in the area of R.K Puram, a middle-aged lady came up to me and pointed to a dog that had taken shelter in a shop of his rag-dealer husband. She told me ‘Take him, he has lost his eye’. I asked what happened and went close by, only to see something that I had not imagined. The left side of this male dog’s face was completely chewn apart by maggots and so was his left eye and we all could literally peep into his jaw, see his tongue and it was to say the least, a painful sight.
I requested the MCD Dog Catchers who were accompanying me in the Release vehicle to help catch that dog, but this was not a rescue for the faint-hearted and they couldn’t catch him and he ran far far away.
Next day morning, we at ‘Jaagruti’ decided to make another trip to that area as that lady had shared with me that the maggot-infested dog stays in and around their shop only.
After a few minutes of searching for him, we were able to locate this dog, but now came the big challenge of how to win this dog’s confidence and pick him up to keep him in our car…we had done this before, but this time around we needed some help and help did come to us in the form of the rag-dealer husband of that lady, who was friendly with that dog and helped pick him up and place him in our car. We had used the tried and tested trick of covering his eyes with a cloth and tying a leash around his neck…but then mayhem was to follow as this dog kept running up and down in our car and was scratching his face with the windowpanes, visibly in pain with the maggots tearing into his flesh, oozing blood all over.
We then called upon the ambulance from the Animal Hospital we at ‘Jaagruti’ support through monetary and in-kind contributions and requested them to help us with this rescue case. To our good fortune, their ambulance was nearby…and then we were successfully able to transfer this dog from our car into the ambulance and off he was sent to the hospital.
In the case of any other animal hospital in any part of Delhi or the world, such a severe case of maggot infested dog would have perhaps been euthanized or as they say’ peacefully put to sleep’ and we at ‘Jaagruti’ were prepared to hear that from our trusted vet too, but that wasn’t to be as the docs decided to give it a shot and then began the ‘magical’ treatment of this dog, whom we chose to name ‘Magic’…perhaps because his recovery was magical news for us and also because the name of the dreaded maggots who made this dog’s life hell started that way as well!
As ‘Magic’ underwent treatment, on day 1 his maggots and wound were cleared, on day 2 he was put on drips because with all the maggot clearing medicines going into his mouth, he had stopped eating food through his mouth…the glucose drips continued till day 4 and then came the good news, that Magic had started taking his food himself..
Another month of treatment and recovery followed and on Day 40, he was released back into his area where he was welcomed back by the area residents, all astonished and pleased that he had recovered and so were we!
For all animal cases that we get to attend directly to at ‘Jaagruti’, we just prefer to give them a name rather than referring to them as an anonymous dog or any other creature. But that name is just for us so that on platforms like this blog, we can share that animal’s story with you. We make it a point not to call that animal being treated out with that name, lest the animal gets used to it and then has no one to call it out when he goes back to his/her life on the street after spending his days of recovery either with us or at a boarding or at an animal hospital shelter.
Now, to who is Desty?
Desty is the name we gave to a street dog who landed out of nowhere at our doorsteps a few months back, we were alerted to his presence by the barking and screaming of the other dogs that live on our street. Desty was a new dog, we hadn’t seen him anywhere near the stretch of our colony or the colonies adjacent to ours!
And visibly as we could make out, Desty was unwell. He resisted the barking of our area’s street dogs and made himself comfortable next to our doorstep, we thought he won’t make it and won’t eat, but then when we placed a bowl of milk next to him so that we could examine him, he gulped it in seconds as if he was thirsty for ages…we gave him another bowl and he gulped it again. He was clearly in no mood to go anywhere and he just stayed put over there for the next two days and we kept feeding him. He had no visible signs of injury, but then we noticed something, he was showing signs of twitching and was coughing, symptoms characteristic of early stages of Canine Distemper.
Since we were feeding him, he trusted us enough to lift him and put him in the car to take him to our vet for examination or perhaps when we now look back, we think this was what Desty had come to our doorsteps for!
As the vet examined him, our fears were proved true, Desty was indeed showing signs of Canine Distemper, but the good news was that this was perhaps the initial stage and as per our trusted vet’s advice, we shifted him to the isolation ward of the animal hospital we support and there, under the supervision of our trusted vet, began Desty’s ‘homeopathic’ treatment, a specially designed course designed by human homeopathic doctor by the name of Dr. Shukla who works out of Noida, comprising of homeopathic medicines like Distemperium and Agaricus mixed in strict-secret proportions by him and given every few hours.
Within a span of 10 days, Desty was fit and fine again and we decided to leave him on the street at the very car parking spot where we had first noticed him prior to him coming on his own to our house doorsteps!
We had opted to release him back on the street in the early hours of the morning, so that he could safely chart his way back to whichever area he belonged to and sure enough he did.
We kept thinking about Desty as we couldn’t locate him again after that morning, perhaps this dog was just destined to come to our doorsteps on his own to get himself treated of Distemper, a life threatening disease with no cure if not detected and cured in the early stages of infection. And that is why we chose to name him ‘Desty’.
We were in for another surprise a month down the line, we noticed Desty next to our home yet again, this time hale and hearty and even showing his teeth to the dogs that inhabit our street. We came out, noticed him and remembered him and then he looked at us and sprinted away…we guess he had only come to tell us that he was fine and happy now and to put us at ease.
It is these little inexplicable and often ‘divine’ moments of satisfaction and joy of seeing an animal you helped treat back on its feet again that uplifts our sagging spirits to keep on in our efforts to help those who can’t help themselves.