Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Be the Change, Bird Rescue and Treatment, Do you know?, Games people play, Information that empowers!, Religion, Take Action!, Videos, Videos on Animals

Kite flying…and birds dying: Understanding the connect + bird helplines in Mumbai, Baroda and Delhi

Credits: This article has been posted here thanks to the information circulated by Charu Shah through the Facebook Group ‘Awareness on  Kite Flying’, Neha Patel (from Baroda, Gujarat), Nilesh Bhanage (from PAWS Mumbai), Fauna Police (at Delhi) , Wildlife Rescue (at Delhi)

Every year, the festival of Makar Sankranti (falling this year on 14th January 2011) is celebrated with a lot of joy and cheer, but hardly few people know that this joy causes death to many innocent birds.

People use manja/kite string made of glass, so that the kites they fly don’t get cut easily and fly higher, but what they don’t realise is that the same threads responsible for killing a lot of birds every year while crippling others for life.
This glass manja (glass powder treated string or also called Chinese string/manja)gets entangled in the trees and cause death not only on that particular day, but for months after that.
The legs or wings of the birds that sit on those trees, have nests therein or fly past its branches get entangled in this manja, and stay there, sometimes hanging upside down for days …on end, bleeding, and dying a slow miserable death.The most common bird to fall prey to kite flying in the city of Delhi is ironically a raptor bird, known as Kite (to learn more about this, read this article till the end). 

Apart from regular birds like sparrows, pigeons, crows, some exotic birds, who have migrated from far off places across the world, also get entangled in the web of glass manjas and loose their lives.

Not to mention here that many humans also get their throats and fingers slit because of these manjas hanging lose all over the place.
So if possible, please celebrate the festival spreading cheer and not death! 

(Design Courtesy: Fauna POLICE)

Attached below are come contact numbers for bird rescue in Mumbai (Maharashtra) and Baroda (Gujarat).

All these numbers have been verified by Ahimsa in malad and by Charu Shah, so please forward this piece of information to all your contacts, and please try to save a life this year!

Please note that some of these people listed below may not have an ambulance service to come and take the injured bird, but YOU CAN (and should) definitely take an injured bird you spot to either of these people and request them to administer it medical treatment and take care of the bird until it is fit to fly again.

For injured birds in MUMBAI, please contact
•Mr Jain (Borivali- takes care of injured birds,no pick up)- 28063705
Hiren Shah (Malad)- 9820271492
Ahimsa (Kandivali)- 288804195/ 9833962399
•D.K. (Malad/ Kandivali East)- 9820948506
•Jayesh (Malad/ Kandivali West)- 9702440194
•Rajesh Doshi (Goregaon/ Jogeshwari)- 9892465888
•Karuna (Parle)- 65151313/ 65141313/ 9819100100
•Manish Vora (Parle East)- 9819142001
•Nimit Vora (Parle East)- 9819133735
•Vimal Shah (Parle East)- 9821303057
•Sureshbhai (Parle West)- 26127035
•Sunil Shah (Santacruz/ Parle/ Andheri East)- 9821588894
•SPCA (Parel)- 24137518/ 24133598/ 24135285
•Manav Mandir (Worli Naka to Colaba)- 23080319
•WSD (Cuffe Parade to Mahim/ Sion)- 64222838
•Vardhaman Sanskar Dham (Ghatkopar/ Powai/ Vashi)- 65252573
•PAWS (Dombivali)- 25820571/ 9820161114/ 9869376238
•Thane SPCA (Thane)- 9322271966/ 32612344
•IDA (Deonar)- 32681418/ 9320056581
(Vashi)- 32681419 /9320056585
•Fire brigade- 101

More bird helpline numbers shared by Nilesh  Bhanage from PAWS
PAWS Helpline – 9820161114 / 9920777536
Thane – Avinash Bhagat – 9892061899
Dombivli – Nilesh Bhanage – 9820161114
Kalyan – Samir Nevgi – 9930232710
Ulhasnagar – Neetu John – 8080208363

Bird Helpline Numbers in Vadodara (Gujarat) : 9377666964 , 9898693659 , 9925058137 , 9904716996

Why do so many Raptors get injured in Delhi because of kite strings?

 

Poster Courtesy: PAWS

 

 

 Delhi is one of the largest  producers of meat, as a result of which large amount of meat scrap gets dumped across various corners of the city in illegal slaughterhouses spread across the city. The extinction of Vultures acted as a boon for Black kites (Milvus migrans) and gradually, there was a rapid rise seen in the population of Black Kites.

In India, people love to fly paper kites with the help of sharp glass coated strings/Glass Manja. This string acts like a ‘naked sword’ in sky and generally cuts everything  which comes in its way whether it’s a bird or any human being. There have been many cases in which this ‘Manja’ has killed many human beings with fatal wounds on their throat.


We request you to kindly consider giving up kite flying or if you still love flying kites, fly them using a coton string, referred to as ‘saddi’  in Hindi .

For the glass string that gets tied on poles, tree branches also acts as an inevitable injury and death trap for birds of all species as they get entangled in them.

Once caught in these glass manjas, these birds are find it extremely difficult to break free and in the effort that they make to free themselves from these mesh of strings, they end up damaging their wings and other body parts, like damaging their toes.

If ever you spot an injured bird of prey like Kites, Eagles or any other non-vegetarian birds, please dial the following Helpline Numbers in Delhi – 9810029698, 9810129698,

—For all other kind of birds, like Crows, Pigeons, Owls etc.,contact : 9810639698, 986855222, 9212111116

Posted in Animals, Do you know?, Jaagruti's interventions, Medical treatment of Animals, Pets

Home remedy to cure dry, flaking skin and lice infestation in dogs

With the onset of such chilly winters in the city, here is a simple home remedy we at ‘Jaagruti’ have used to treat dogs suffering from dry, flaky skin which can if ignored really leave the dog irriated and sleepless at nights:

 
1. Warm good quality coconut oil (like Marico’s Parachute) and massage it on to the dog’s scalp. You will realise as you do this that dogs love to have their hair massaged this way and some may even try to lick and taste the coconut oil, which does no harm anyways to them.
 
2. As you massage the dog’s hair with coconut oil, you will see a lot of the dogs hair shedding so make sure that you make your dog lie down on a mattress/bed sheet that you could conveniently wash later, without getting your fancy bedcover or upholstery spoilt.
 
3. Use a fine flea comb to comb through your dog’s hair and all the bad hair will shed alongwith the dandruff and the scaly scalp leaving your dog’s coat and hair neat and shining!
 
You may have to repeat this process for a few days till all the flaky skin and bad hair are removed from his scalp and don’t worry if this oil massaging leaves behind a few bald patches on your dog’s scalp as those hair will regrow if you continually massage your dog’s calp with coconut oil a few times a week through the winters.
 
Do not try bathing your pets too hard in winters as that will only make their skin more dry and itchy..
 
In case your dog has lice or lice eggs ( a common problem with puppies), you can preceed the above mentioned treatment with the following:
 
Give the puppy/dog a bath with Mediker anti-lice treatment shampoo, taking care that the shampoo doesn’t go into the dogs eyes and use luke warm water to rinse it off, then blow dry the dog’s hair if its a young pup and after the hair have dried, repeat the above treatment with coconut oil as that helps trap teh lice and then they can be easily removed once you pass the flea comb (with fine bristles) gently through the dog’s hair coat.
 
We at ‘Jaagruti’ have seen the above mentioned treatments working very well with dogs/street dogs, however if the situation of your dog is serious as per your judgement, please take your dog to a registered veterinarian in your city.
 Thanks. 
If you have further queries or nice home remedies to suggest for animals, please mail us at contact@jaagruti.org
 
Posted in Animals, Inspiration, Poems

What does it take to rescue an animal? – A poem by Bhavani Sundaram

This poem is the first in the series of many poems penned down and shared with us by Ms. Bhavani Sundaram to inspire you in sustaining your efforts to rescue an animal in distress…

A heart of gold to accept all animals in whatever state they come in

A heart of steel to be able to say no when there just isn’t room for one more dog

Knowing that you cannot save them all

Patience with breeders who don’t seem to care, won’t help saying it’s not their problem

Patience with those dogs that may never get adopted

A smiling face as it’s the only way to hide the agony, pain in one’s heart

A team effort where everyone contributes and works as for for one goal

Willingness & Openness to work for animals

Last but not the least a compassionate, loving heart….

Posted in Animal Laws of India, Animals, Be the Change, Games people play, General/Animals, Information that empowers!, Inspiration, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, News Reports, Pets, Relationships

Dogs are family, can use lifts for free, rules court

In August, this year when we at ‘Jaagruti’ received a call from the Gulati family in Faridabad alerting us to the fact that their colony RWA was disallowing them to take their dog ‘Pixie’ in the building lift, it prompted us to do some research on such cases in India, following which we had come out with this article explaining how people could act in such cases.

Yesterday, however brought good news to many a residents fighting this battle for their dogs with their colony RWAs with the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum at Mumbai giving a judgement in favour of the D’Souza family and saying that, “Dogs are part of family, and they can use lifts for free”

Please read the article below in Times of India dated 30th November 2010

(Times of India_30th November 2010)

The below story Courtesy: Anand Holla and Mumbai Mirror gives more details on this ruling of the court.

Dogs are family, can use lifts for free, rules court

This judgment by a Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum at Mumbai will help make life much easier for pet owners in multi-storeyed apartment complexes facing harassment from their RWAs regarding use of lifts by pets.

Mahim society asked to stop charging residents for letting pets use building elevators. Consumer forum says if milkmen can use it, so can dogs

The status of dogs in housing societies have been elevated. In a judgment that will set a precedent for housing societies on how to treat pets, the Central Mumbai Consumer Redressal Forum has rapped a Mahim society for charging one of its member Rs 500 for each of his two dogs using the elevator.

The D’Souzas had been paying Rs 500 a month so their dog Barney could use the lift

Noting that pets are members of the modern, urban family, the forum ruled there is no reason why pets can’t use elevators when outsiders, including service providers such as milkmen and vendors, have access to the facility without any charges.

The family in question — the D’Souzas — resides on the 10th floor of Our Lady Of Velankanni And Perpetual Succour society. The D’Souzas, 58-year-old Allwyn and Eleanor, 52, were shocked by the resolution passed during the society’s general body on August 10, 2008, charging Rs 500 per month for each pet using the lifts. The move hit the couple hard as they would use the elevator to take their pet dogs Barney, a labrador, and Dash, a mongrel, for a daily walk.

When the family protested, the society management justified the decision by saying the pets cause “nuisance due to the stench and threat, causing inconvenience to the members” and that “extra electricity (was) consumed due to unnecessary trips by the lift because of the dogs,” among other factors.

The D’Souzas were left to fend for themselves as the other family in their building that had a pet stayed on the third floor and took to stairs after the diktat. Challenging the society’s decision, Allwyn D’Souza moved the consumer forum while continuing to pay Rs 1,000 every month “under protest”, along with maintenance bills.

D’Souza’s lawyers Udav Wavikar and Rashmi Manne contended before the forum that pets are pampered and loved as much as any other family member, and hence, should be considered part of the family. Invoking religion and mythology, the lawyers said a dog is considered an incarnation of a deity in Maharashtrian culture.

The lawyers further argued that forcing dogs up and down 10 floors amounts to sheer cruelty. To bolster his case, Allwyn collected signatures of society residents to attest that they had no complaints against his dogs. The society, however, said the dogs dirtied lifts by either urinating in them or soiling them, and there was the danger of them biting other residents. The society also argued that dogs are not members of the D’Souza family, and the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act doesn’t include them in the bracket of family members. It claimed the forum had no jurisdiction to hear the complaint.

However, the bench of Nalin Majithia and Bhavna Pisaal observed last week, “We don’t find the society’s view correct. The D’Souzas pay all normal charges and to charge them an extra Rs 500 towards each dog is illegal, and is an instance of unfair trade practice. In Indian culture, dogs are common pets and usually treated as lovingly as other members of the family.”

The forum noted that no resident had ever taken any objection to D’Souzas’ pets. “In a populous city like Mumbai, there is always a shortage of space and multi-storeyed buildings are fast filling up the landscape. Several outsiders such as milkmen, newspaper and vegetable vendors, laundrymen, sweepers, etc, use the building lifts on a daily basis. In such a scenario, the society’s decision to levy charges on residents’ pets for lifts usage is inappropriate,” the forum held.

Ordering the society to return the entire amount it has collected from the D’Souzas along with nine per cent interest and Rs 5,500 towards mental and physical torture and legal costs, the forum held, “The society has indulged in unfair trade practices and it is incorrect on their part to charge the D’Souzas.”

From October 2008 till September 2010, D’Souza paid “dog fees” to the society. Allwyn said, “Our dogs were kept absolutely clean and healthy. We would take them out only twice a day and they never misbehaved with anybody, nor dirtied the lift or the society premises. Some members of the society passed this order only to harass us.” Happy with the order, he said, “This will come as a relief to many residents who are similarly harassed over their pets.”

Lawyer Wavikar said, “If pets dirty the premises, their owners should be made to clean up the place. However, charging residents for keeping pets is completely unjust. With the city constantly experiencing vertical growth, this landmark judgment will go a long way in settling the issue on pets and their rights to use building facilities.”

The society’s lawyer, Anand Patwardhan, termed the forum’s order as ‘perverse’ saying the case should have been decided by a co-operative court. “The society is fully justified in charging additional money as provided in the by-laws of the Co-operative Society Act. Consumer forums shouldn’t trespass the jurisdiction of other courts – in this case a co-operative court.”

While Dash died last year, Barney can now use the lift without burning a hole in his owner’s pocket.

Posted in Animal Laws of India, Animals, Do you know?, General/Animals, Information that empowers!, Take Action!

New Page added: Animal Helplines in Mumbai

After ‘Animal Helplines in Delhi and NCR‘ we at Jaagruti are happy to share with you all our new webpage titled, ‘Animal Helplines in Mumbai‘.

We hope to expand this list to an all-India level in times to come so that no one on the street ever feels helpless and ignores the sight of an animal in pain just because they find themselves clueless on whom they could call or take the animal to.

If you wish to list your organisation’s helpline number on this website, please do mail us at contact@jaagruti.org or post a comment underneath and we will make a note of it from there.

Thanks!

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animal Sacrifice, Animals, General/Animals, Stories from Ground Zero, Take Action!

Bakr-Eid: what happens to the goat?

This is one of the goats that would be sacrificed during this Bakr-EId. This photo was clicked while walking through the narrow bylanes of Chawri Bazaar in Old Delhi (Photo credit: Jaagruti)

Before you begin reading this, please allow us a moment to introduce Meera Ahmad (the contributor of the below post) to all of you.

Meera is a Ph.D student at University of Delhi and lives with her mother, brother Kabir and her canine companions in Nizamuddin. Meera is secular by birth, born to a Hindu mother and a Muslim father, her home is lovingly referred to as ‘Chintu Ghar’, the first time I visited her, I thought Chintu was the name of their first pet, but infact as Meera’s mother amusingly shared Chintu was their stuffed toy ‘Elephant’ whom they cuddled and cared for and were even willing to risk their lives for! (yes! yes! that is what Meera’s brother Kabir tried to do, when he jumped from the auto-rikshaw thinking that Chintu was in the bag that had fallen from her mother’s lap on the road). Perhaps it was Chintu, the elephant toy that made them realise that before they realised that their heart was filled with love for animals. Meera and her family look after and feed the many street dogs in Nizamuddin and at Lajpat Nagar as well, besides taking the responsibility of getting them sterilized and vaccinated at nearby animal hospitals.

When she saw a man taking his sick goat to an animal hospital yesterday, she was prompted to reflect over her thoughts on Bakr-Eid. Read on…

Bakr-Eid: what happens to the goat?

By Meera Ahmad

Yesterday, a man from my colony in Nizamuddin West took a sick goat to the nearby Friendicoes Animal Hospital

He said to the doctor: ” Please treat my goat so that it becomes well quickly. I have to cut it day after tomorrow.”

Animal sacrifice is the biggest farce and misplaced superstitious belief in the name of religion.

Today (17th November, 2010) is the first day of three days of Bakr-Eid or Eid al-Adha or Eid-e-Qurban. For Muslims it is a day to celebrate how Prophet Ibraham willingly almost sacrificed his own son Isma’il as an act of obedience to God, before God intervened and gave him a ram to sacrifice instead. To commemorate it Muslim families blindly sacrifice many animals (goat, cow, sheep, camel) on this day often after days of feeding and caring for them extremely well. The act of sacrifice carried out in Muslim homes is extremely cruel as the goats are killed slowly in front of each other by the very people who fed and nurtured them and whom they came to trust deeply. Children too are encouraged to cut them on these days from a very young age so that they become conditioned to it.

In my colony a few weeks before the festival it is common to see children roaming about with healthy and well nurtured goats and grazing them in the parks and bylanes. After the sacrifice I have spoken to them and they comfortably and eagerly narrate gory details of how they carried out halal (religiously permissible form of sacrifice in which the animal’s throat is slit to slowly bleed it death so that it is drained of all the blood before being skinned and cut) of the goats.

So deeply engrained becomes the notion of halal in them that they even practice it on toys and stuffed animals. In an extreme case I remember hearing that a child slit the throat of his pet rabbit. When his mother came running on hearing the wails of the poor animal and asked the child why he did it he said proudly that he had done halal. My neighbor’s young daughter who studies in class 2 was last year wailing uncontrollably outside her house on Bakr-Eid for she wanted to cajole her father to let her keep the baby goat that he had brought for sacrifice and not let it be killed. When her father asked her the reason for it she said she wanted to play with it and make it her pet. However, her tantrums didn’t have any effect. A few ays back when I saw her roaming in the park with a goat on leash I could not resist asking her what she would do with it. She said that she would do it halal. Her father had convinced her that the goats that are done halal on these days are fortunate as they go straight to God (Allah).

That the animals are alive and moving for quite sometime after their throats are cut and while they are being skinned was pointed out to me by children who have witnessed and participated in the sacrifice.The goats that are to be cut on the following days are kept in the same place where their fellows were cut, skinned and hung in front of their eyes. They kick and cry loudly for days and nights before the sacrifice, but once the killing begins they go eeringly quiet. It is as if the face of imminent death makes them mum. A look at their faces and in their eyes chills the soul. I have always felt it is a look of resignation, dullness and deep gloom.

“The mullah finishes the prayer. Ameen. He picks up the kichen knife with the long blade. The custom is to not let the sheep see the kinife. Ali feeds the animal a cube of sugar – another custom, to make eath sweeter. The sheep kicks, but not much. The mullah grabs it under its jaw and places the blade on its neck. Just a second before he slices the throat in one expert motion, I see the sheep’s eyes. It is alook that will haunt my dreams for weeks. I don’t know why I watchj this yearly ritual in ou backyard; my nightmares persist long after the blood stains on the grass have faded. But I always watch. I watch because of that look of acceptance in the animal’s eyes. Absurdly, I imagine tha animal understands. I imagine the animal sees that its imminent demise is for a higher purpose. This is the look……..” -Khaled Hosseni, The Kiterunner.

Nature provides food to goats, cows, sheep so they can live well. Humans provide food to them so they can kill and cut them. Nature provides food to goats, cows, sheep so they can live well. Humans provide food to them so they can kill and cut them. If we really love our earth and want it to be a comfortable place for future generations, we all need to start reflecting on our daily decisions. How we live. What we eat. What we buy. How and where it is made. How we travel. Everything we habitually do has an impact and also sets an example. One of the most important among these is our relationship with the animals of this planet that should be of compassion and protection. This change may not always be easy or comfortable, but it is certainly better than doing nothing and lamenting later. Let us start by raising our voice against animal sacrifice and slaughter.

kurbaan-kurbaani_goats-before-being-scarificed-on-id_ht-city_281109

Other posts by Meera Ahmad:

Abandoning one’s pet: Could there be a crime bigger than that?

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme/Street Dog Sterilization, Animal Laws of India, Animals, Do you know?, General/Animals, Information that empowers!, News Reports, Street Dogs of India

The ABC of stray dogs

Animal Birth Control: Its as easy as ABC (Image Courtesy PETA)

Animal Birth Control/ABC Programm involves sterilizing street dogs, vaccinating them against rabies and releasing them back into the areas where they were picked up from.

The article below is kind courtesy of  The Pioneer Newspaper, penned by noted senior journalist Mr. Hiranmay Karlekar who is also the author of a book titled ‘Savage Humans and Stray Dogs’, the article sheds light on the ‘ABC’ of Delhi’s Animal Birth Control/ABC Programme, comes in the wake of the Commonwealth Games recently organised in Delhi in which many street canines (sterilized as well as non-sterilized) were temporarily (for the period of these games) relocated to Animal shelters across Delhi and Noida from many games venues, stadia, hotels, all of whom have now been released back into the areas where they were picked up from (and those canines that were not sterilized were also sterilized in the process and vaccinated against Rabies at the shelters/hospitals they were housed at prior to being released back to their homes). There is a whole scientific basis and reasoning behind doing so and that is what Mr. Karlekar enlightens us all on below. If you still have doubts, drop in a comment underneath or mail us at contact@jaagruti.org

The Pioneer EDITS | Saturday, October 23, 2010, By Hiranmay Karlekar

It’s a fallacy to believe that killing street dogs will bring down their numbers. But sterilising them helps in reducing and stabilising their population

According to a report, the Mayor of Delhi has said in an interview to a news channel that the national capital’s stray dogs, which had been removed from their habitats for the duration of the Commonwealth Games, should be killed or kept where they had been taken. He, however, has also reportedly said on television that it was inhuman to kill dogs. I have neither heard either statement nor talked to him. I will, therefore, not go into what he did or did not say. Nor will I criticise him on that account. Instead, I would focus on the issues in question.

Animal Birth Control (Dog) Rules, notified in December 2001 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1960), prohibits the killing of stray dogs except in special cases, as when they are rabid or terminally ill. In these too, prescribed procedures have to be followed. Besides, the Rules provide that stray dogs can only be removed from their habitats for neutering and immunisation against rabies. Both done, they have to be returned to places from which they had been taken.

The Rules prescribe the only scientific — and also humane — way of controlling stray dog populations. Killing or removal has not helped anywhere. Dr K Vogel, Chief Veterinary, Public Health, Division of Communicable Diseases, World Health Organisation, and Mr John Hoyt, then President, World Society for the Protection of Animals, made this clear in their joint preface to the Guidelines for Dog Population Management, released by the WHO and WSPA in May 1990. They stated, “All too often, authorities confronted by problems caused by these (stray) dogs have turned to mass destruction in the hope of finding a quick solution, only to find that the destruction had to continue year after year, with no end in sight.”

In its Eighth Report (WHO Technical Report Series 824), WHO’s Expert Committee on Rabies, which met in Geneva from September 24 to 30, stated, “There is no evidence that the removal of dogs has ever had a significant impact on dog population densities and the spread of rabies. The population turnover of dogs may be so high that even the highest recorded removal rates (about 15 per cent of the dog population) are easily compensated by survival rates.” This has been conclusively established in Delhi. In his “Dogs and Dog Control in Developing Countries”, published in The State of Animals 2005, Dr JF Reese writes, “In Delhi, a concerted effort (pre-Animal Birth Control, or ABC) at dog removal killed a third of the straying dogs with no reduction in dog population.”

It has been the same experience everywhere. In his paper, “ABC responsible for decline in human rabies cases”, Dr Chinny Krishna, co-founder and chairman of the Blue Cross Society of India, cites the instance of Madras Corporation’s catch-and-kill programme that began in 1860. He quotes Mr Theodore Bhaskaran, a retired Post Master-General, as stating in an article, “In the 1970s the number of stray dogs destroyed by the corporation was so high that the Central Leather Institute, Madras, designed products —such as neckties and wallets — from dog skins.” Dr Krishna has pointed out elsewhere that the number of dogs killed by the corporation had gone up to 30,000 per year by 1995. Yet the city’s stray dog population and the incidence of rabies continued to increase.

Why does killing or removal not help? According to the Guidelines for Dog Population Management, each habitat has “a specific carrying capacity for each species”, which “essentially depends on the availability, quality and distribution of the resources (shelter, food, water) for the species concerned. The density of population for higher vertebrates (including dogs) is almost always near the carrying capacity of the environment. Any reduction in the population density through additional mortality is rapidly compensated by better reproduction and survival.”

The argument that such a situation will not arise if all stray dogs in a city or country are killed at one go, holds little water. Nowhere has such a venture succeeded. Besides, dogs are territorial. Dogs from one area do not allow those from other areas to enter their areas. Dogs from other areas will occupy any area in which all stray dogs have been massacred. This territorial character of dogs lies at the heart of the ABC programme. With sterilised and vaccinated dogs keeping un-sterilised and un-vaccinated dogs away from their areas, those implementing the programme can concentrate on progressing area by area until a whole city is covered. Otherwise, they will have to keep returning to areas where they had already been with the stray dog population continuing to grow elsewhere.

Significantly, WHO’s Expert Consultation on Rabies, held in Geneva from October 5 to 8, 2004, had stated (WHO: Technical Report Series 824), “Since the 1960s, ABC programmes coupled with rabies vaccination have been advocated as a method to control urban street male and female dog populations and ultimately human rabies in Asia The rationale is to reduce the dog population turnover as well as the number of dogs susceptible to rabies in Asia and limit aspects of male dog behaviour (such as dispersal and fighting) that facilitate the spread of rabies.”

Delhi has had a reasonably successful ABC programme since 2003. Between 40 and 50 per cent of the dogs removed from the Commonwealth Games sites to the care of NGOs were found neutered. At this rate the target of 70 per cent, required to stabilise and then gradually bring down stray dog populations, should be reached in the next few years. Meanwhile, one needs to congratulate the Government and Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the New Delhi Municipal Council and NGOs like Friendicoes, Cure & Care, Sonadi, PAWS and Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre and SPCA NOIDA for the manner in which they temporarily relocated and looked after around 700 dogs. The glitches that occurred were perhaps inevitable in an exercise of the magnitude undertaken. While Mr Rakesh Mehta, Chief Secretary of Delhi, and Mr KS Mehra, Commissioner of MCD, cut through all bureaucratic red tape to promptly take the big decisions, Dr RBS Tyagi and Dr Alok Agarwal of MCD and Dr Dinesh Yadav of NDMC worked tirelessly, almost round-the-clock. Animal lovers throughout India need to warmly applaud all of them.

Posted in Animals, Do you know?, General/Animals, Information that empowers!, Pets, Street Dogs of India

Foods and Poisonous Plants to avoid for Cats and Dogs

This post is kind courtesy of Charu Shah

FOOD TO AVOID FOR DOGS-

  • Alcoholic beverages–  Can cause intoxication, coma, and death.
  • Avocado– The leaves, seeds, fruit, and bark contain persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Bones from fish, poultry, or other meat sources–  Can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system.
  • Cat food– Generally too high in protein and fats.
  • Chocolate, coffee, tea, and other caffeine – Contain caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea and be toxic to the heart and nervous systems.
  • Citrus oil–  extracts Can cause vomiting.
  • Fat trimmings–  Can cause pancreatitis.
  • Fish (raw, canned or cooked) – If fed exclusively or in high amounts can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death.
  • Grapes, raisins and currants – Contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys. There have been no problems associated with grape seed extract.
  • Hops- Unknown compound causes panting, increased heart rate, elevated temperature, seizures, and death.
  • Human vitamin supplements containing iron – Can damage the lining of the digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.
  • Macadamia nuts- Contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscle.
  • Marijuana – Can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, and changes in the heart rate.
  • Milk and other dairy products- Some adult dogs and cats may develop diarrhea if given large amounts of dairy products.
  • Moldy or spoiled food, garbage- Can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhea and can also affect other organs.
  • Mushrooms- Can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.
  • Onions and garlic (raw, cooked, or powder)- Contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Cats are more susceptible than dogs. Garlic is less toxic than onions.
  • Persimmons Seeds- can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis.
  • Pits from peaches and plums- Can cause obstruction of the digestive tract.
  • Raw eggs- Contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.
  • Raw meat- May contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Rhubarb leaves- Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.
  • Salt- If eaten in large quantities it may lead to electrolyte imbalances.
  • String- Can become trapped in the digestive system; called a “string foreign body.”
  • Sugary foods- Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.
  • Table scraps (in large amounts)- Table scraps are not nutritionally balanced. They should never be more than 10% of the diet. Fat should be trimmed from meat; bones should not be fed.
  • Tobacco Contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death.
  • Yeast dough- Can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.
  • Xylitol (artificial sweetener also used in sugar free chewing gums)-Can cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which can result in vomiting, weakness and collapse. In high doses can cause liver failure.

 

 

 

FOOD TO AVOID FOR CATS-

 

  • Alcoholic beverages– Can cause intoxication, coma, and death.
  • Baby food– Can contain onion powder, which can be toxic to cats fed baby food for an extended period of time. (Please see onion below.) Can also result in nutritional deficiencies, if fed in large amounts.
  • Bones from fish, poultry, or other meat sources– Can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system.
  • Canned tuna (for human consumption)- Large amounts can cause malnutrition, since it lacks proper levels of vitamins and minerals. It can also lead to thiamine deficiency (see ‘Fish’ below).
  • Chocolate, coffee, tea, and other caffeine– Contain caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea and be toxic to the heart and nervous system.
  • Citrus oil extracts– Can cause vomiting.
  • Dog food– If accidental ingestion, will not cause a problem; if fed repeatedly, may result in malnutrition and diseases affecting the heart.
  • Fat trimmings– Can cause pancreatitis.
  • Fish (raw, canned or cooked)– If fed exclusively or in high amounts can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. for people who think fish is the only thing cats need to eat, please check thishttp://catnutrition.wordpress.com/2007/09/22/eight-strikes-against-fishy-feeding-for-cats/
  • Grapes, raisins and currants– Contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys.
  • Human vitamin supplements containing iron– Can damage the lining of the digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.
  • Macadamia nuts– Contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscle.
  • Marijuana– Can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, and changes in the heart rate.
  • Milk and other dairy products– Some adult cats and dogs may develop diarrhea if given large amounts of dairy products.
  • Moldy or spoiled food, garbage– Can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhea and can also affect other organs.
  • Mushrooms- Can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.
  • Onions and garlic (raw, cooked, or powder)- Contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Cats are more susceptible than dogs. Garlic is less toxic than onions.
  • Persimmons Seeds– can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis.
  • Raw eggs– Contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.
  • Raw meat– May contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Rhubarb leaves– Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.
  • Salt– If eaten in large quantities it may lead to electrolyte imbalances.
  • String– Can become trapped in the digestive system; called a “string foreign body.”
  • Sugary foods– Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.
  • Table scraps (in large amounts)- Table scraps are not nutritionally balanced. They should never be more than 10% of the diet. Fat should be trimmed from meat; bones should not be fed.
  • Tobacco– Contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death.
  • Yeast dough– Can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.

 

 

POISONOUS PLANTS-

10 Most Common Poisonous Plants

  • Marijuana – Animals who attempt to snack on this plant can suffer serious consequences such as diarrhea, vomiting, increased heart rate, drooling, in-coordination, and even possibly seizures and coma.
  • Sago Palm – While the seeds and nuts of this plant are most poisonous, the entire plant is toxic.  Animals ingesting parts of this plant may suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, depression, seizures and liver failure.
  • Lilies – Plants of the lily variety are very poisonous to cats.  Even very small amounts of this plant could cause serious kidney damage.
  • Tulips – The toxic portion of this plant is the actual bulb, which can cause drooling, central nervous system depression, gastrointestinal irritation, cardiac issues and convulsions.
  • Azalea – The toxins in azalea plants can be very severe and potentially cause drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, central nervous system weakening and depression, and in some cases possibly coma or death.
  • Oleander – All portions of this plant are poisonous and can cause gastrointestinal irritation, hypothermia, heart problems and possibly death.
  • Castor Bean – Poisoning as a result of this plant can cause abdominal pain, drooling, diarrhea, vomiting increased thirst, loss of appetite and weakness.  More serious cases could also lead to dehydration, tremors, seizures, twitching muscles, coma and possibly death.
  • Cyclamen – The most poisonous portion of this plant is located in the root.  Ingestion of the plant can cause severe vomiting and gastrointestinal irritation.  In some cases death has been reported as a result.
  • Kalanchoe – Ingestion of this plant can cause gastrointestinal irritation and cardiac rhythm and rate problems.
  • Yew – Poisoning as a result of the yew plant can affect the nervous system and cause in-coordination, trembling and breathing difficulties.  It may also result in gastrointestinal irritation, cardiac failure and could possibly lead to death.

 

 

other well-known and common plants that can be poisonous or toxic to pets.

 

  • Aconite – Is a garden flower whose roots, foliage and seeds can be poisonous.
  • Apple – The seeds of an apple can be poisonous to pets.
  • Arrowgrasses – These are marsh type plants whose leaves contain poisons.
  • Atropa Belladonna – This is a type of garden herb in which the entire plant can be poisonous to pets, especially its seeds and roots.
  • Autumn Crocus – This is a commonly found garden flower in which the entire plant can be poisonous.
  • Baneberry – This is a wildflower whose berries and roots are the poisonous portions.
  • Bird of Paradise – This is a garden flower whose pods are poisonous.
  • Black Locust – This is a tree in which the entire plant can be poisonous, especially the bark and shoots.
  • Bloodroot – Is a wildflower and herb whose stem and roots are most poisonous, however the entire plant is toxic.
  • Box – Is an ornamental shrub that is poisonous in its entirety, but especially the leaves.
  • Buckeye – This is a tree whose sprouts, nuts and seeds contain poisons.
  • Buttercup – This is a wildflower and garden herb that is poisonous in its entirety but mostly in the leaves.
  • Caladium – Is a houseplant that is poisonous in its entirety.
  • Carolina Jessamine – This is an ornamental plant whose flowers and leaves contain poisons.
  • Chinaberry Tree – Is a tree whose berries are poisonous.
  • Chockcherries – This is a wild shrub whose poisonous parts include the leaves, cherries and pit.
  • Christmas Rose – Is a garden flower that contains toxic leaves and rootstock.
  • Common Privet – Is an ornamental shrub whose leaves and berries can be poisonous.
  • Corn Cockle – Is a wildflower and weed whose seeds are particularly poisonous.
  • Cowbane – This is a wildflower and herb that is poisonous in its entirety, especially the roots.
  • Cow Cockle – Is a wildflower and weed whose seeds are poisonous.
  • Cowslip – Is a wildflower and herb whose entire plant is poisonous, especially the leaves and stem.
  • Daffodil – Is a garden flower whose bulbs are poisonous.
  • Daphne – This is an ornamental shrub that contains poisonous bark, berries and leaves.
  • Death Camas – This is a field herb whose poisonous parts include the leaves, stems, seeds and flowers.
  • Delphinium – Is a wildflower that is poisonous in its entirety, especially the sprouts.
  • Dumbcane – This is a houseplant and is poisonous in its entirety.
  • Dutchman’s Breeches – Is a wild and garden flower whose roots and foliage are poisonous.
  • Elderberry – Is a tree whose poisonous parts include the leaves, bark, roots and buds.
  • Elephant’s Ear – This is a houseplant poisonous in its entirety.
  • English Ivy – Is an ornamental vine that is completely poisonous but especially the leaves and berries.
  • European Bittersweet – This is a vine poisonous in its entirety but especially in the berries.
  • False Flax – Is a wild herb whose seeds are poisonous.
  • False Hellebore – Is an ornamental flower whose roots, leaves and seeds are toxic.
  • Fan Weed – This is a wildflower and herb whose seeds are poisonous.
  • Field Peppergrass – Is a wildflower and herb that contains poisonous seeds.
  • Flax – Is a wildflower and herb whose seedpods contain poisons.
  • Foxglove – This is a wild and garden flower whose leaves are poisonous.
  • Holly – Is a shrub containing poisonous berries.
  • Horsechestnut – Is a tree containing poisonous nuts and sprouts.
  • Horse Nettle – Is a wildflower and herb poisonous in its entirety, especially the berries.
  • Hyacinth – This is a wild and houseplant whose bulbs are poisonous.
  • Iris – Is a wild and garden flower whose leaves and roots are poisonous.
  • Jack-in-the-Pulpit – Is a wildflower that is entirely poisonous, especially the leaves and roots.
  • Jatropha – This is a tree and shrub whose seeds are poisonous.
  • Jerusalem Cherry – Is an ornamental plant whose un-ripened fruit and foliage are poisonous.
  • Jimsonweed – Is a field plant that is entirely poisonous, especially the seeds.
  • Laburum – Is an ornamental plant whose seeds, pods and flowers can be poisonous.
  • Lantana – Is a houseplant whose foliage is poisonous.
  • Larkspur – Is a wildflower that is poisonous only as a young plant.
  • Laurels – This is a type of shrub with poisonous leaves.
  • Lupines – Is a shrub whose seeds and pods are poisonous.
  • Manchineel Tree – A tree containing poisonous sap and fruit.
  • Matrimony Vine – An ornamental vine containing poisonous leaves and shoots.
  • Mayapple – A wildflower poisonous in the form of its un-ripened fruit as well as the foliage and roots.
  • Milk Vetch – A wildflower poisonous in its entirety.
  • Mistletoe – A houseplant with poisonous berries.
  • Monkshood – A wildflower poisonous in its entirety, especially the roots and seeds.
  • Moodseed – A vine whose fruit and roots are poisonous.
  • Morning Glory – Is a wildflower containing poisonous seeds and roots.
  • Mountain Mahogany – Is a shrub with poisonous leaves.
  • Mustards – These are wildflowers whose seeds can be poisonous.
  • Narcissus – This is a garden flower whose bulbs contain poisons.
  • Nicotiana – Is a garden flower whose leaves are poisonous.
  • Nightshade – Is a wildflower and vine with poisonous leaves and berries.
  • Oaks – Are trees with poisonous leaves and shoots.
  • Philodendrons – Are houseplants poisonous in their entirety.
  • Pokeweed – Is a field plant containing poisonous roots, seeds and berries.
  • Poinsettia – Is a houseplant with poisonous leaves, flowers and stems.
  • Poison Hemlock – This is a field plant containing poisonous leaves, stems and fruit.
  • Potato – A garden plant whose shoots and sprouts can be poisonous.
  • Rattle Box – Is a wildflower that is entirely poisonous.
  • Rhododendron – Is an ornamental shrub whose leaves are poisonous.
  • Rhubarb – A garden plant with poisonous leaves.
  • Rosary Pea – Is a houseplant whose seeds are poisonous.
  • Skunk Cabbage – This is a marsh plant whose entire plant is poisonous but especially the roots and leaves.
  • Smart Weeds – Are wildflowers containing poisonous sap.
  • Snow-on-the-Mountain – This is a wildflower whose sap is poisonous.
  • Sorghum – Is a type of grass whose leaves are poisonous.
  • Star of Bethlehem – Is a wildflower poisonous in its entirety.
  • Velvet Grass – A variety of grass whose leaves are poisonous.
  • Wild Black Cherry – Is a tree with poisonous leaves and pits.
  • Wild Radish – A wildflower with poisonous seeds.
  • Wisteria – Is an ornamental plant containing poisonous seeds and pods.
  • Woody Aster – A wildflower whose entire plant is poisonous.
  • Yellow Jessamine – An ornamental vine that is entirely poisonous.
  • Yellow Pine Flax – A wildflower poisonous in its entirety but especially in the seedpods.

 

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Be the Change, Do you know?, General/Animals, Information that empowers!, Inspiration, Pets, Relationships, Street Dogs of India

15 reasons to adopt an older dog

This post is kind courtesy of  Luigi Aero‘s Facebook Page

"Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog."- Sydney Jeanne Seward

One of the saddest things is an old dog left in a shelter by an uncaring human family. Common excuses people use are that they don’t have enough time for the dogs or that they are moving (although I have never heard of any state in the U.S. where dogs are illegal). In this disposable society we live in, some people actually dump their family dog in a shelter and walk out with a new puppy.  Imagine the fear, sadness and confusion that an old shelter dog faces.Even worse, their time in the shelter is spent watching people walk past their cages, barely seeing them, instead rushing to the cute puppies.

 

Why would anyone consider sharing their home with an older dog, when there are so many younger ones available?

By adopting an older dog, you can make a statement about compassion and the value of all life at all ages, as well as register a protest against the indiscriminate and inhumane breeding of dogs, whether it is for profit or to “teach the children about birth.” And, of course, just as a puppy has his whole life ahead of him, so does an older dog have the rest of his life in front of him. You can give that older dog the best years of his life while at the same time bringing a wonderful addition into your family.

 

 

1. What You See Is What You Get

 

Older dogs are open books—from the start, you’ll know important things like their full-grown size, personality and grooming requirements. All this information makes it easier to pick the right dog and forge that instant love connection that will last a lifetime. If you’re not so into surprises, an older dog is for you!

 

2. Easy to Train

 

Think you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Hogwash! Older dogs are great at focusing on you—and on the task at hand—because they’re calmer than youngsters. Plus, all those years of experience reading humans can help them quickly figure out how to do what you’re asking.

 

3. Seniors are Super-Loving

 

these dogs give you—and those of you who adopted dogs already in their golden years told us how devoted and grateful they are. It’s an instant bond that cannot be topped!

 

4. They’re Not a 24-7 Job

 

Grownup dogs don’t require the constant monitoring puppies do, leaving you with more freedom to do your own thing. If you have young children, or just value your “me time,” this is definitely a bonus.

 

5. They Settle in Quickly

 

Older dogs have been around the block and already learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack.They’ll be part of the family in no time!

 

6. Fewer Messes

 

Your floors, shoes and furniture will thank you for adopting a senior pooch! Older dogs are likely to already be housetrained—and even if they’re not, they have the physical and mental abilities to pick it up really fast (unlike puppies). With their teething years far behind them, seniors also are much less likely to be destructive chewers.

 

7. You Won’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

 

There are those who yearn for a doggie friend of their own, but hold back because they worry what might happen in their lives in the years to come. And they are wise to do so—a puppy or young dog can be anywhere from an 8- to 20-year responsibility, which is not appropriate for the very elderly or those with certain long-term future plans. Providing a loving home for a dog in her golden years is not a less serious commitment, but it can be a shorter one.

 

8. They Enjoy Easy Livin’

 

Couch potato, know thyself! Please consider a canine retiree rather than a high-energy young dog who will run you ragged. Not that older dogs don’t require any exercise—they do—but they’re not going to need, or want, to run a marathon every day.

 

9. A good night’s sleep

 

Older dogs let you get a good night’s sleep because they’re accustomed to human schedules and don’t generally need nighttime feedings, comforting, or bathroom breaks.

 

10. Time for yourself –

 

Older dogs leave you time for yourself, because they don’t make the kinds of demands on your time and attention that puppies and young dogs do.

 

11. Companionship.

 

Senior dogs whose lives have been disrupted in their later years have so much love to give and like nothing better than giving it. They tend to rely heavily on their owner for companionship and therefore bond very quickly. The desire to reciprocate the companionship given to them is very strong.

 

12. Seniors for seniors.

 

An attractive concept used by many animal rescue/humane organizations, an older dog can be successfully matched up with a senior citizen. Lifestyle requirements of an older person often mix well with the lifestyle of an older dog. It’s a win/win situation, resulting in quality retirement companionship for both.

 

13. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

 

You sure can. While it may take an older dog a bit longer to adjust to new situations, they can; they will; they do. Their only requirement is to be given the opportunity. Generally, older dogs are calmer and therefore will focus much easier on what you are trying to teach them.

 

14. Save a Life, Be a Hero

 

At shelters, older dogs are often the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanized. Saving an animal’s life offers an unparalleled emotional return on your investment, and you’ll feel the rewards every day you spend together.

 

15. They’re CUTE!

 

Need I say more?

 

Please consider adopting a senior dog , you won’t be sorry. Your decision to adopt a senior pet will be rewarded with unconditional love and devotion..

 

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animal Laws of India, Animals, Be the Change, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India, Take Action!

Commonwealth Games and Street Dogs- Part 2

For a background or part 1 of this story on Commonwealth Games (Delhi, 2010) and street dogs, kindly click here and then read on below

On 5th October, 2010, the Animal Welfare Board of India wrote to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to apprise them of the fact that the  Continued (temporary) removal of stray dogs by the municipal agencies from Commonwealth Games venues is turning out to be ‘COUNTER PRODUCTIVE’.

To understand how random displacement of street dogs can turn counter-productive, please read the letter from AWBI mentioned above by clicking on the image below:

Following this letter, a website ‘www.cwgdogs.in‘ has been launched to help find your missing/caught street Dogs during the Commonwealth Games ‘dog catching’ spree.

If you are one of those missing your friendly neighbourhood canine on the street – please identify them from the photographs posted on this website, contact these shelters and get them back to their homes for that is where they belong.

Posted in Animals, Information that empowers!, Jaagruti's interventions, Medical treatment of Animals, Street Dogs of India

Treating an old dog for Aural Haematoma (Haematoma of the Ear)

Dateline: July 2010

The patient is an Indian Street Dog aged around 12 years or so.

His colour is Black so as per a general thumb rule, most Indian dogs who are black in colour and adopted by their communities get just one name: ‘Kaalu’. If one was to translate that into English, ‘Kaalu’ would read as Blackie.

On 2nd July, 2010, we noticed Kaalu walking on the street with his head tilted towards the left. We went closer, he was in visible discomfort. We went even further and tried to check his ears, fearing he had a maggot infestation in his left ear. But what we saw was something different- his pinna (ear flap) was swollen which was causing it to be heavy and thus Kaalu was walking with his head titled/hanging at one end.

This condition is referred to as ‘Haematoma of the ear’ or ‘Aural Haematoma‘. An Aural Haematoma is a blood clot in the ear; aural refers to the ear, and a haematoma is a localized collection of blood or serum. It is the swelling of ear because of fluid accumulation between the ear membrane because of rupture of a blood vessel. Why exactly this happens is not really known, it could be due to vigorous shaking of the head, the scratching of ear next to an infected metal object, like a car or even on the walls, it could also be due to an infection by the mites.

A close up shot of an Aural/Ear Haematoma in a Dog (file photo from the Internet)

Kaalu is an old dog, we at Jaagruti thus took a mutual decision of not putting him through a surgery for this haematoma as subjecting him to sedatives at this age would just be a tad too risky.

We consulted on of our vets for this case, and he advised us to put Kaalu on Medicines for the first 5 days and note whether the haematoma increases or reduces in size.

This was the doctor’s prescription for the first 5 days:

1. Two capsules of Ampilclox 500 mg, once in the morning and once at night

(Open the capsule and put the medicine powder in something sweet and edible to help the dog eat it, else it is very bitter)

2. Remember to supplement this with one capsule of Vitamin B-12/B-complex daily as Ampiclox is a strong antibiotic that can otherwise also harm the dog’s kidneys and liver

3. Clean the infected ear daily and apply a liberal dose of Betadiene ointment on the infected ear to prevent any further re-infestation of any other insets or mites on it

The haematoma neither reduced nor increased in size.

On 7th July, 2010: we decided to non-surgically treat Kaalu’s haematoma and took him to the vet and requested him to aspirate the fluid out, i.e drain the fluid out of Kaalu’s ear.

We covered Kaalu’s eyes with a dark cloth and tied a light muzzle around his mouth. The vet inserted a hypodermic needle to drain the fluid that had accumulated in the ear by pricking through that spot after cleansing the ear with spirit and then compressing the pinna to prevent accumulation of haematoma fluid.

The vet then repeatedly flushed the ear with saline and Gentamycin and some other antibiotics to help cleanse the internal tissue where the blood had accumulated.

The vet reassured us that these antibiotics will help heal the wound and the fluid won’t accumulate again if Kaalu allows himself to bandaged across his ears. We did that but that was to no avail as Kaalu was feeling discomforted after being bandaged around and he removed it by trying to scratch himself around on the walls. We them removed the bandage on our own and hoped that the fluid won’t accumulate again

Another visit to Kaalu a week later and we noticed that his ear had swollen again, so on 17th July, 2010, we took Kaalu to the vet again and this was followed by another round of non-surgical aspiration/draining out of haematoma fluid- but this time there was no fluid, but rather just the antibiotics that had been put into his ear the last time to help the blood vessels clot.

Then again a few days later we noticed the swelling again on Kaalu’s ear and honestly, we didn’t want to put the old dog through the trouble of travelling to the vet again.

So, on 27th July 2010 we consulted with another senior vet and explained him the situation, he suggested that we give him a doze of an antibiotic medicine, a tablet named Bidanzen Forte, twice daily for 5 days. Bidanzen Forte is an anti-inflammatory drug i.e it helps reduce inflammation and swelling due to blood accumulation and also helps heal a wound.

This just did the trick for us as the swelling in his ear completely subsided though the ear has got a bit deformed following this.

It has been two months now and there has been no relapse of the haematoma, although Kaalu’s ears differ in their appearance now–while the pinna of the right ear is straight, upright and also notched (because he is a sterilized dog) while the left ear which had haematoma is now bent over or curved and floppy.

Kaalu's ear as it looks today-post non-surgical drainage of haematoma

This is what Kaalu’s  left ear look likes now internally (post-recovery from haematoma), though it is slightly mis-shapen and is termed as ‘cauliflower’ ear because a lot of boxers suffer from this too.

Physical beauty doesn’t really matter or does it? not for Kaalu, he is fine with the weight of his ear now and we at Jaagruti are happy that we didn’t have to put Kaalu through a painful surgery at this age and so is he we think!

P.S: Though we at Jaagruti have shared exactly what transpired when we got this case treated and shared it here for all of yours information, we would still suggest that you consult your veterinarian for treating haematoma, while understanding that there are various options available to treat the same, depending upon the severity of the infection and age of the patient.

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animal Laws of India, Animals, Be the Change, News Reports, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India, Take Action!

Commonwealth Games and Street Dogs

 

(Courtesy: Associated Press, http://oneclick.indiatimes.com)

 

After the news of the report submitted by Commonwealth Games Federation President and CEO was made public by the electronic media early this week,  it was apparently qouted and shown in the photographs submitted by the committee that, “there were pug marks of street dogs on the mattresses in the apartments of the games villages that are due to host the athletes as well as their faeces littered in the Games village”.

Since people in foriegn countries are not used to co-existing with dogs the way we Indians are, the CWG commitee had expressed their concern regarding the presence of street dogs in the Games village and asked for their removal.

But as per the Indian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, Delhi High Court orders and orders of the Supreme Court, the street dogs from any area can be removed only for sterilization and vaccination purposes and then they have to be released back into the same area from where they were picked up.

Thus, due to the timely intervention of Major General (Retd) Dr. R.M Kharb, Chairperson, Animal Welfare Board of India and Mr. Hiranmay Karlekar, Member, Animal Welfare Board of India and the pro-active humane outlook adopted by the Commissioner of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) Mr. K.S Mehra, IAS and the Chief Secretary, Government of Delhi Government, Mr. Rakesh Mehta, IAS- the street dogs living in and around the venues earmarked for the Commonwealth Games, 2010- have got a reprieve and in the process India has set an example in front of the other countries of the world with regard to humane treatment of street animals and has also in the process respected its own laws and India’s constitution.

Now the task of picking them up and looking after them till the period of the Games has been entrusted into the hands of SPCA Noida, Cure n Care, Sonadi Animal Care Hospital Friendicoes SECA, an NGO based out of South Delhi, who will be housing them at their South Delhi, Ghazipur and Gurgaon centres where each dog will be given a token with details of the area from where it was picked up.

Volunteers and food are invited by all these NGOs to help in tagging and feeding of the dogs coming in every day and also for helping release them back into their respective territories after the games get over. However, please remember to contact these respective shelters prior to going in there (The contact numbers of all these shelters can be accessed here).

In the interim period, if these dogs will are sterilized and vaccinated by the NGO, then that would be an added bonus for these dogs and the city.

Click on the thumbnails below to read the communication issued by Animal Welfare Board of India’s Chairperson to the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD):

Below is the news in today’s Times of India with regard to this initiative and here is the link to today’s online news on this subject.

Posted in Do you know?, Environment, Paper Recycling Initiative - Jaagruti

Paper. Delhi recycles

Have you ever wondered what happens to the tonnes of paper used/discarded in the government offices in Delhi Government (Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, India) everyday? Here lies the answer-all of it is recycled in a first-of-its-kind initiative undertaken by any state government in India at a ‘Paper Recycling Plant’ that has been set up within the Delhi Secretariat Office Complex itself. Read on for a virtual visit to this ‘green’ initiative:

Paper Recycling Plant at Delhi Secretariat

This ‘Paper Recycling Machine’ was set up on World Environment Day (5th June) 2005 in as part of the Delhi Government’s Bhagidari scheme.

“With just three full-time staff , this unit helps recycle (per day) about 50 kgs of paper on an average and produces 200-250 sheets of recycled paper”, informs Dr. B.C Sabata, Senior Scientific Officer in the Department of Environment, Delhi Government.

Most file covers,  invitation cards and even felicitation certificates used in the Delhi Secretariat are made of recycled paper.

This is how the unit works:

1. It all begins with efficient ‘Segregation’ of waste thus, each office under the Delhi Government has a separate bin placed therein which is to be used only to discard waste paper (without staples and non-laminated). This is then sent to the recycling unit.

Waste paper collected from government offices and sent to/collected at the Delhi Secretariat recycling plant

However, newspapers and glossy sheets are not sent over to this plant and recycled separately at other recycling units.

2.  Waste paper is soaked in water placed in buckets for a couple of hours and then transferred to a ‘Hydrapulper’ in which the soaked paper is converted into fine pulp.

Pulp being made inside the ‘Hydrapulper’

3. The technicians at the plant now pour this pulp on the wire mesh placed in the ‘Univat’. The quantity of pulp pored on the mesh is directly related to the thickness of paper one wants, so it will be more if they want to make paper for the purpose of printing a certificate and less if one wants to make file folders out of it.

3. Then the sheet is transferred gently between sheets of muslin cloth

Step 3: Recycling of Paper

4. About 50 alternating sheets of wet paper pulp sheet and muslin cloth are placed in a ‘Screw Press’ and the water is drenched out completely.

5. The sheets are sun dried and it takes a couple of hours of good sunlight to dry them completely.

6. The sheets are pressed in a ‘Calendering Machine’.

Pressed (left) and non-pressed sheet (right) of recycled paper

7. The pressed sheets are sent to the plant in Ghitorni where they are cut and printed as per the requirements of the various offices in the Delhi Government to make things like the ones shown below.

A certificate made of recycled paper

What next?

Keeping in line with the Delhi Government’s intent to host the first ever ‘green’ Commonwealth Games (that are due to begin from October 3rd, 2010), the Environment Department has  also identified over 80-100 schools having paper recycling units to recycle waste paper that would be generated from different venues of the event.

Do you want to recycle your waste paper? We at ‘Jaagruti’ can help you!

(Courtesy: http://www.beavton.k12.or.us/)

Segregate every tiny little scrap of paper waste in your home and office and not just newspapers and magazines as most of us generally do.

If your organisation/company is interested in getting your waste paper recycled, please contact  JAAGRUTI™ Waste Paper Recycling Services on +91-98101 91625 or mail us at paper@we-recycle.org or post a query below:

How can you segregate every bit of waste paper?

Keep a separate carton aside in your home to dump the tiniest, little piece of scrap paper or cardboard lying in your home- like

– envelopes of letters that reach you in the mail,

– medicine/ointment cartons,

– brown/normal paper bags that we generally get when we buy stuff from the stationary vendor or local chemist shop

– Pamphlets that come in hordes inserted in your daily newspaper

– Movie Tickets, Parking tickets, Bus tickets

and anything else that you can think off !

How does recycling paper help the planet?

Indian consumption of paper is five kilograms per capita, with an expected growth rate of 6-7% per annum over the next five years. By using paper carelessly, we contribute to the depleting forest cover, drastic climate change and water pollution. For every ton of paper, the paper industry guzzles up 2.8 tons of dry timber and 24,000 gallons of water, besides electricity and other resources. Pulp and paper industry is a major contributor in terms of air and water pollution. Recycling of paper not only saves trees and minimises pollution, but also reduces the waste problem by utilizing waste material like used paper, cotton rags and unwanted biomass.

* Recycling Paper helps in-

– Waste Reduction: Paper accounts for a significant amount of municipal waste so recycling paper means less waste and disposal problem

Energy conservation: 60-70% energy savings over virgin paper production

Resource conservation:Recycled paper uses 55% less water and helps preserve our forests

Pollution reduction: Recycled paper reduces water pollution by 35%, reduces air pollution by 74%, and eliminates many toxic pollutants

Remember: Recycling makes SENSE!

All photos (C) Vasudha Mehta/Jaagruti, 2010

Posted in Animals, Jaagruti's interventions, Medical treatment of Animals, Pets

Treating a dog for a wasp/bee sting

This post comes out of sharing one of our experiences on dealing with insect bites on dogs and since insect bites are often misunderstood though it can be such a common reason behind sudden ailments in dogs/pets- what with most canines having a habit of sniffing around and poking their faces in the most wierd and strangest of places all the time for their pleasure. We are not offering any common solution to these cases but rather just wish to narrate our ignorance when suddenly faced with a situation like this in which we were left wondering what is wrong with the dog right till the time we reached the vet.

Wasp/bee stings on your dogs/pets could be dangerous and very painful to deal with: Contact a vet asap.

On 25th July, 2010 we were faced with a very confusing case of an approximately 7 month old young dog who suddenly started to yelp after splashing in the water placed in the water bath placed outside.

He started to run around with his tail pointed downwards and was pacing up and down in a  frenzied manner.

Within about 10 minutes, he started vomiting and the vomiting continued at an interval of one each every 10 minutes for the next one hour and after that he vomited twice with portions of blood and phlegm in the vomit. All this while we were trying to flush his mouth with cold water and even trying to force feed him water in the hope that if he has ingested something wrong, the same will get drained out one way or the other but nothing helped improvise his condition.

We were deeply worried and called the vet, in any case it was a Sunday so the first vet we called refused to tell us anything on the phone!

We kept trying and then got through two of our trusted veterinarians- and then narrated the chain of events to them. They said the symptoms we were sharing point to case of the dog ingesting something ‘poisonous’. Both of the vets asked us to give him some vanilla ice cream but the dog won’t have or even lick any of it and the vomiting wasn’t stopping either.

We called the vet again.

They asked us to give a few drops of Perinorm syrup to the dog (Perinorm is supposedly a medicine that helps stop vomiting).

Perinorm did help stop the dog’s vomiting and he slept for the next hour or so and then we had another shock in store when the dog woke up and started licking himself, we suddenly noticed that his genital organs swelled and so did his lips and eyes which were getting drastically swollen by the minute. Effectively, all the mucous membranes were showing swelling.

We were then asked to give the dog a 50mg Avil tablet.

By then it was two and a half hours since our agony had started with the suffering dog the vet- nearest to us reached his clinic on a torrid Sunday afternoon (much ahead of his schedule) and we rushed the young dog to the clinic.

While we were taking the dog to the vet’s clinic in the car, he began panting and we noticed that there was a blood-red long sting bite mark on the left side of his tongue.

We reached the vet and finally we realised that the young dog had become a victim of a possible wasp/bee sting while he was splashing around in the water bath while drinking water from the same. Te doctor promptly gave the young dog a set of anti-histamine injections and within fifteen minutes, the swelling on his lips, eyes and genital organs subsided and the dog was visibly relieved and looking far more comfortable, though he was still a bit subdued and sluggish in his movements.

Then the vet suggested that we feed the dog a powdered ‘charcoal’ tablet soon after as charcoal tablets help cleanse the body of all toxins sticking on the surface of the internal organs, we promptly did so and the dog eliminated all the toxins (supposedly) in his next faeces (which obviously was dark and partly black in colour).

Dime-sized charcoal tablets have long been used to treat stomach ailments. These tablets contain no chemicals and deliver about 250 milligrams of charcoal in each tablet. NetDoctor, a website that commissions material from United Kingdom health professionals, says charcoal tablets can relieve flatulence, gassy bloating, heartburn and upset stomach by attracting excess gas in the stomach and intestines. The gas binds to the surface of the charcoal and the tablet is digested. According to NetDoctor, charcoal tablets can be used to treat drug overdoses and poisonings. The charcoal absorbs chemicals and toxins the same way it does excess gas.

The young dog was back to his usual self in a day or two soon after all the toxins were flushed and elimnated out of his body.

And so this basically sums up our first experience of dealing with a dog stung by a wasp/bee.

We would like to summarise and share the main learnings we had from this experience below:

1. Dogs are playful animals and are often found sniffing and exploring unusual places. They tend to sniff under the bins, below the ledges, dark and mysterious corners and love digging up the soil. These places are homes to a number of insects and these insects bite the unsuspecting, curious dogs.

2. Wasps and bees generally tend to bite/stung the animal at places where they have less hair, like the nose, mouth, lips and the chest area.

3. Symptoms to look out for: The animal becomes restless, starts vomiting/shows symptoms of diarrhoea, inflammation or swelling of eye lids, nose, lips, muzzle area. The other symptoms of insect bites on dogs like wheezing, weakness, unconsciousness, weak and thready pulse, increased heart rate and fever may cause the animal to go into shock. Other symptoms of insect bites on dogs might lead to cold extremities, trembling, wheezing and collapse.

4. Do not ignore an insect bite, it could be serious and cause a series of allergic reactions in the dog which may even be fatal!

5. Take the dog to the vet immediately while administering first aid on the way to the clinic.

One useful backgrounder article on the subject of ‘Insect Bites on Dogs’ may be accessed here .

For any further queries, mail us at contact@jaagruti.org

Posted in Animals, Inspiration, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Pets, Relationships, Videos on Animals

Faith – the two legged dog

The below story is kind courtesy and copyright of : Daily Good.

We are sharing it here because it meets one of the objectives behind the intent of ‘Jaagruti’ which is – spreading respect and compassion towards members of the canine family.

Two-Legged Dog to Inspire British Troops Wounded in Afghanistan

BY MARC HERTZ | WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2010 5:45 AM ET

A dog named Faith inspires others simply by being able to walk with just her two hind legs.

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There are some things you have to see to believe, and Faith is one of those. She’s a labrador-chow mix born without one front leg and another that was severely deformed, only to be removed when Faith was seven months old due to atrophy. What’s truly amazing about Faith is that, despite having only her two hind legs, she can still walk on them, as you can see in the video below.

Faith is something of a celebrity, having appeared on Oprah a few years ago, and according to The Sun, she’s actually an honorary sergeant. The US Army gave her that title because she’s helped disabled veterans trying to overcome injuries they sustained in war zones, even donning a military jacket when she visits bases or hospitals. As her owner, Jude Stringfellow, was quoted, “Faith seems to inspire these young men. It’s very emotional watching them respond to her. She shows what can be achieved against great odds.”

Now, she’s planning to go international. Stringfellow wants to bring Faith to the UK, so she can bring her own brand of inspiration to those troops wounded in Afghanistan. Before she can do so, though, quarantine rules will have to be met. For the sake of those wounded soldiers, let’s hope they have the chance to see Faith “marching” their way.

Posted in Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Street Dogs of India

Indore’s Lallu was no ordinary street dog

Courtesy: Mail Today, dated: 17th August 2010

Lallu- the street dog being bid farewell

Shopkeepers of Aada Bazaar in Indore downed their shutters as a mark of respect for Lallu — a much- loved 15- year- old stray dog of the locality who died on July 17.

As the news of Lallu’s death spread like wildfire, area residents assembled to mourn the dog and decided to conduct his last rites (pic above). For, Lallu was no ordinary dog. Rakesh Kumar, who lives near the bazaar, said: “ Lallu used to follow the shav yatra (last journey) of the dead and spent his time with the deceased’s family for 12 to 13 days after that.” Not just that, the canine was different from his breed. Garages, parking areas and chairs were his favourite places to retire. And he gorged on ordinary food and was fond of Indian meals.

A local revealed that on the 13th day after Lallu’s death, milk and jalebis were served to the others dogs of the area.

Some dogs truly have their day!

R.I. P Lallu…

Posted in Jaagruti's interventions, Medical treatment of Animals

Pigeon with kite string injury: Rescued, treated and set free!

On the evening of 16th August 2010, we at ‘Jaagruti’ got a rescue call divert from Manta at Angel Eyes Animal Welfare Foundation, she wanted to check whether we would be able to rescue a pigeon which had become a victim to the glass-coated kite string (commonly termed as ‘glass maanja‘) at CU Block in Pitampura area of Delhi.

We were located in the other part of the city when the call came but promised to pick up the pigeon at night and leave it for treatment with the team at Wildlife Rescue who are now self-trained experts at suturing kite string induced injuries in birds.

We were informed that the pigeon is not in anybody’s house but rather in a market and we spoke to Swati, the young girl who had made the rescue call to the helpline. Swati is not a person who likes animals still carries within her a soul that was compassionate to the pigeon’s suffering and she hid the injured pigeon on the staircase in this marketplace to avoid it being consumed as a meal by any other animal.

When we reached the marketplace, to our troubles, the grill gate safeguarding the staircase was locked but on asking a helpful neighbourhood stall owner the trick to get it opened, we were promptly directed to the security guard of this market and he willingly opened the grill gate and we could access the staircase…as we stepped up a few stairs, we saw a young pigeon injured on its left wing sitting quietly tucked underneath the handrail of the stairs on the other side. Thankfully, the wound wasn’t bleeding any more.

In the carton: Pigeon with kite string injuried rescued from CU block at Pitampura

At 10.45 pm that night, the pigeon was safely delivered to Saud of Wildlife Rescue and he helped remove the kite string that had entangled in the pigeon’s wings and caused it to slit and bleed. the suturing of the wound was done that very night.

Soon after, the pigeon was sent to recuperate to the aviary at Fauna Police under Abhinav’s care.

Thanks to all the care provided at the aviary, the pigeon’s injured wing healed within a couple of weeks and the pigeon was set free much to all of ours delight.

It wasn’t by any means a great rescue act but this was surely a small united effort on part of many helped this pigeon take to the skies again.and as is said, “There are no great things, only small things with great love”.

[For related queries, please mail us at contact@jaagruti.org]

Posted in Jaagruti's interventions, Medical treatment of Animals, Pets

Buzo-an 11 year old Alsatian’s-tumour removed

[For queries: write to contact@jaagruti.org]

Some animal rescues are just destined to happen we guess and in the process, such instances also end up teaching a lot about the various reasons due to which pets in old age are more likely to be abandoned by their owners, the extent of irresponsible and casual pet ownership that exists in our country and also the psychology of a pet owner. Couple all of this with the paucity of good and accessible veterinary services available in a city as big as Delhi for the average lower middle class pet owner and we are faced with case like that of Buzo.

Scroll down to read the story of Buzo- an 11 year old Alsatian whose chest tumour surgery was successfully aided by Jaagruti on the 12th August 2010.

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[This slideshow shows the process of treating Buzo- from removing his maggot infested tumour to the warts in his ear, treating the fingal infection on his chest to Buzo donning a t-shirt and coming for his change of wound dressing sessions)

In the first week of August, I was nominated to give a workshop at the Police Training Academy in Delhi and address over five hundred on duty sub-inspectors in the city on issues pertaining to animal welfare, cruelty and their legal powers to act against the same.

Towards the end of the workshop as we shared the various helpline numbers in the city with them including sharing the kind of experiences we at ‘Jaagruti’ have had, especially relating to attending a call from Karol Bagh of a street dog in there roaming around with a ‘3 kg bag’ of tumour on his left Front/fore leg…we saw one anxious sub-inspector B.P Singh raising his arm and wanting to seek our help on getting his pet dog- an 11 year old Alsatian named ‘Buzo’ cured of his tumour.

Describing the tumour, Mr. Singh said, “The tumour is sticking out from Buzo’s chest-right behind his left front leg. It has been there for the past year now and was tiny to begin with but has now grown big in the past few months”.

What is noticeable over here is the fact that in all these months that Buzo’s tumour grew big in size, Mr. Singh and his family could not find veterinary doctors/shelters willing to operate on their 11-year old pet dog, while Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre said that ‘Buzo is too old to operate, the compounder (of the government veterinary hospital near their residence) who did home visits to check Buzo was in any case not skilled enough for this ‘complicated ‘ surgery for a dog of his age.

Keeping in line with Jaagruti’s approach on helping animals in distress, we suggested Mr. Singh to take Buzo to the veterinary surgeon we trusted for the job.

Incidentally, this doc’s clinic was also near to Mr. Singh’s residence. On the 6th August, 2010, Buzo was brought for examination and the doctor examined his tumour and then took his blood sample to get a diagnostic profiling done, which was done at a  cost of Rs.1200/-.

[Please note that such a test was mandatory and important for the purpose of checking the condition of Buzo’s liver and kidney- which would help the doc reach a conclusion on whether Buzo was fit enough to take anaesthesia for the tumour removal operation.]

The test results came out fine but then came the shocker from Buzo’s family. As the date of the operation was being fixed Buzo’s owner B.P Singh said to us that “the treatment was ‘expensive’ and in any case Buzo is 11 years old and since dogs just live for about 12 years, there was no point spending so much on his treatment, especially when there is no guarantee either that the tumour wont resurface again”.

As if there is anything in life that comes with a guarantee, we wondered! However without getting into an argument on responsible pet ownership, we asked Mr. Singh very clearly about the amount that he would be interested in spending on his pet dog’s treatment. He said the he would be happy if the whole treatment expense (including tests, surgery, medicines and post-operative care) on Buzo was halved from what was being calculated currently i.e. he wanted it all to be done between Rs.3000-Rs.4000/-

But sensing a possible case of a pet being abandoned, we at ‘Jaagruti’ asked B.P Singh to bring their dog to the vet for surgery on the date given by the doctor while not worrying about the surgery costs of Rs.3000/-which we willingly aided from our end.

So, 12th August, 2010, at 2pm in the afternoon, Buzo was brought to the clinic. Buzo was sedated to help the paravets shave of his tumour infected area and soon after that he was anaesthetised and the surgery began.

[Buzo’s tumour was an extension of a rudimentary teat on the chest]

As we stood outside the Operation Theatre  while Buzo’s tumour removal surgery was taking place, we happened to chat with Neeraj, Mr. Singh’s eldest son who shared with us Buzo’s story as well as their worries since the day his tumour started to grow in size, “ Our mother is very fond of dogs. We kept one earlier to keeping Buzo as well but he ran away one day and my mother was upset ever since then she went to her home town of Bulandshahar and Buzo had just taken birth at a relative’s place then…she got him home to our Uttam Nagar residence in Delhi. His eyes had not even opened yet and he has been my mother’s little pampered boy ever since that day.”

When we asked Neeraj how was Buzo dealing with his tumour, he said though Buzo had learnt to lick it and live with it, their neighbours objected to him being walked in front of their houses without the leash as he stinked and many a times told his family to leave Buzo in the jungle or in the streets. In short the neighbours wisely advised the family to abandon Buzo-and till now it was only Neeraj’s mother perhaps who refused to part with Buzo.

Another thing that came to light was that Neeraj told us that Buzo had some problem in his ears as there were ‘white insects’ that used to come out of the ear, which to our shock and surprise the family killed by putting ‘Phenyl’- a floor disinfectant into his ears.

One a half hour later- Buzo’s surgery ended and the paravets called us inside the OT.

The surgery was done successfully

A tumour weighing 800 gms was removed off Buzo’s chest literally!

What was worse was that the tumour had just got infested with maggots in the past few days itself, as they were not there when Buzo was brought to the vet for his blood sampling on the 6th August, 2010.

We stared at the tumour which was perhaps malignant in nature as we could feel the knots on Buzo’s body at many a places but for now, getting rid of this visible tumour was what we all could best help Buzo with.

Then, without any further delay, we at Jaagruti requested the vet to check Buzo’s ears.

Buzo’s right ear had a bunch of warts in his ear which were removed using a soldering iron and the wound was cauterized.

Both his ears had dead maggots which were cleansed out.

Antibiotics were prescribed to help Buzo’s stitches and wound (post tumour removal) to heal quickly.

Buzo’s fungal infection on the chest was cleansed and B.P Singh’s son Neeraj was instructed to do the following:

–        Make Buzo wear a t-shirt properly knotted on the top to help the bandage stay put.

–        Give him medicines on time (The medicines prescribed were Ceftum and Bidanzine Forte)

–        Do not let him out on the leash alone.

–        Do not let him roam around alone on the roof either where he could get exposed to water or monsoon showers as moisture could rotten it all.

–        And bring Buzo to the vet for examination every alternate day till the stitches healed.

In 5 dressings and 10 days, Buzo was free of most of his visible ailments. The fungal infection on his chest was cured by topical application of Oxy Tetracycline spray and his stitches (of the tumour excision surgery) had healed smoothly as well.

Getting Buzo treated taught us about many a things- about morals and psychology of a pet owner to medical aspects of treating a tumour ridden old dog- all of which we deemed fit to share with you through this story.

Amidst all of this, we at Jaagruti are satisfied that this effort of ours prevented an old pet dog to be abandoned on the streets by his family and we thank the vet and his team for doing a stupendous job with getting Buzo back to good health.

[All photos (C) ‘Jaagruti’]

Posted in Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme/Street Dog Sterilization, Animals, Do you know?, General/Animals, Information that empowers!, Street Dogs of India, Videos on Animals

Rabies and Street dog population control in India in 2010: Problems and Solutions

By Dr. Ilona Otter, DVM, Clinical Director of WVS ITC (Worldwide Veterinary Service India Training Center)

Dr. Ilona is also the Honorary Veterinary Consultant of Niligiri based Animal Welfare Organisation called IPAN- India Project on Animals and Nature.

In the article below Dr.Ilona pens down a brief summary about rabies and stray dogs in India to answer some questions and matters that are brought up in various discussion forums. Dr. Ilona hopes that this information will help those who are struggling with the facts and myths prevailing around the topic.

1. Introduction

Rabies kills more than 55 000 people in the world every year (WHO website). India counts at least for approximately 20000 of the number of human deaths (WHO SEA report 2009). These are very sad statistics of a disease that is 100% preventable by vaccination.

The main obstacle in preventing canine and human rabies in India is the lack of sustainable centralized effort and the fact that rabies by law is not a notifiable disease.

Canine rabies control is also often only associated with voluntary animal welfare organizations or groups even though it is a matter of public health and should therefore receive high priority in the public veterinary services and also in human health care sector, being the most cost-effective way to reduce human rabies cases.

The AWOs role in rabies control is, however, very much needed. Especially because often they only have the necessary infrastructure and staff to carry out mass rabies vaccinations on the field and to educate public of the importance of regular rabies vaccinations for their dogs. However, a greater understanding among AWOS of the need of effective canine and human rabies control by massive and sustainable mass vaccination campaigns for the sake of animal welfare is required. The cruelty and ignorance that many stray dogs face has often its roots in the fear that people have for rabies. We can’t expect the majority of general public to love dogs as long as there is such a high risk for rabies.

2. Options for prevention of human rabies

Rabies causes a horrible death and once the symptoms start there is no cure. However, there are three ways to prevent rabies in humans; by preventing the transmission of the rabies virus within the host species and by treating all people that have been bitten by dogs of unknown vaccination status or by vaccinating people with pre-exposure rabies vaccines. Prevention of canine rabies by dog vaccination and the post-exposure treatment are discussed further in this text. Public education is a crucial component of both approaches.

a. Preventing canine rabies:

Modern vaccines to prevent rabies are all derived from tissue-cultures. The sheep-brain culture method is no longer in use. Reputed international medical companies (e.g. Pfizer and Intervet) as well as Indian immunologicals produces reliable rabies vaccines that provide protective antibody titres when stored and administered properly. One dose of rabies vaccine for dogs in India costs Rs. 25. The manufacturers recommend a booster vaccination every 1-3 years depending on the rabies situation in the area. To achieve herd immunity and sufficient vaccination coverage to prevent transmission of rabies virus, 70% of the dog population has to be vaccinated. It has been shown that even in developing countries where dogs commonly roam free, most of them are accessible to parenteral vaccinations when vaccination camps are planned and arranged properly (Kaare et al., 2007). Oral rabies vaccine baits can be used in areas where it is difficult to achieve an adequate vaccination coverage by injectable vaccines only, especially when the wildlife reservoir is important (Matouch et al., 2007). Oral rabies vaccines have been used for decades in many European countries to prevent rabies transmission from wild carnivores like foxes and raccoon dogs.

b. Treatment of humans by post-exposure vaccination

According to some estimates, approximately 500 000 people in India receive every year the post-exposure vaccination treatment that consists of 5 vaccine doses and costs Rs. 1500 (excluding the cost of general wound care, hospitalization and time away from work). According to M.K.Sudarshan’s survey (2007) the full cost of post-exposure treatment of humans that have been bitten in India is $25million.

Unfortunately, many indigenous treatments still prevail among rural communities and not even everyone knows to wash their wounds after being bitten. Poverty, lack of understanding of the need to start the vaccinations on the very same day and also lack of availability in the rabies anti-serum which is needed in the treatment of the most severe bites all contribute to the sad statistics of human rabies in India (Sudarshan, M.K., 2007).

While it is common to hear the parties that are against dogs to defend their standpoint by saying that when people suffer money should not be spent on dogs, it is worth noting that at least 30 million dogs in India could be vaccinated against rabies every year with the amount of money that is spent on the post-exposure vaccinations of humans. The estimated stray dog population in India is 8-20 million. The fact that major savings in the human medical sector are likely to occur when mass vaccinations of dogs start effectively taking place has been noted by several published reports (Cleaveland, et al., 2003; Lembo et al., 2010).

c. Experiences from the world

The often quoted claim that most dogs in Asia or Africa are stray dogs and not accessible to vaccination has been proven wrong as recently reviewed by Lembo.  WHO-commisioned study of Tunisia, Sri Lanka and Ecuador concluded that “dogs which are not catchable by at least one person are rare and represent generally less than 15% of the dog population” (WHO, 1988). The same figure in India is not known but likely to be much higher. However, trained dog-catchers are able to catch dogs on the roads by catching nets and in more difficult terrains trap-cages can be used for catching.

Central-point vaccination programs that are announced before hand or door-to door vaccination teams have been able to reach to 80% of the dogs with a low as low as US$2/dog cost, as documented by several studies (Kaare et al., in 2007; Cleaveland et. al in 2003). In Nepal, 86-97% of dogs were accessible to parenteral (injectable) vaccination (Bogel, 1990).

In Mexico, human rabies cases declined to zero within ten years since mass vaccination of dogs started (Lucas et al., 2008).

In India, Jaipur is an example of a city where rabies control through mass vaccination and neutering of dogs has resulted in eradication of human rabies (Reece and Chawla, 2006).

In developed countries the low numbers of rabies cases are not the result of mass killing of dogs nor of spending millions in public medical care and post-exposure vaccinations. The secret for better than India rabies situations lies in the fact that rabies is a notifiable disease by law; dog vaccination to cover most of the dog population is a well-established practice, border control requires traveling dogs to be regularly vaccinated with a certificate of sufficient rabies antibody titre in the blood (Regulation (EC) No. 998/2003) , wild rabies from foxes and raccoon dogs is controlled by distributing oral vaccine baits in the forests and the habitat where garbage is not let in the open doesn’t support reproducing stray dog population.

3. What if ?  –  Elimination of dogs?

Elimination of absolutely all dogs, both owned and ownerless, both pedigree breed and mixed breed or country dogs, in India by killing them or banning them or by taking them to shelters is not possible. As long as there are enough susceptible individuals of the host species, virus transmission will continue. As long as there are free-roaming dogs somewhere, they will take the place of those that were removed.

a. Ecology and habitat matters

The poor garbage disposal system all over the country and the presence of chicken stalls and small butcher shops in and around the city markets and in the suburban surroundings means that there is edible waste for animals to feed and live on. If absolutely all dogs are eliminated by any method, it is likely that their place in the feast is taken over by another species, e.g. rats, monkeys, cats or wild pigs. All of them will carry their own risks for public health not to mention the harm that is caused if all that waste is just let to rotten below our windows.

Thieves are likely to become braver if a community or a colony does not have any watchdogs to guard the people and their property.

A zero-garbage city or even better the Zero-Garbage-India, would be an excellent benefit for the citizens in many ways, including the fact that stray/feral animal numbers would go dramatically down if there was nothing for them to eat on the roads and backyards. This is a challenge that the solid waste management department of every district in India should be made to take really seriously, by centralized incentive/penalty system if so required for compliance.

An observational report from the Wellington Cantonment, Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, by the Health Superintendant in 2010, states that since they started door-to-door collection of garbage in the civilian area of the Cantonment the dog population that used be very big has drastically declined.

b. Stray dogs in developed countries

Common policy in many western / developed countries is to take in all stray animals in shelters where they are neutered, vaccinated and then rehomed. Unlike in India, stray dogs in those countries are often actually strays, meaning they are run-away pets or abandoned pet dogs that would not survive on the roads on their own because there are no open garbage bins nor butcher shop backyards. As the numbers are limited, those animals can be taken in to rehoming shelters where they are neutered, vaccinated and rehomed to responsible owners.

Streets without stray dog problem in Singapore, Stockholm, San Francisco or Sydney are not the result of indiscriminate killing of thousands or millions of dogs but a fact that the problem has never risen to the extent because of different sanitary and ecological conditions, dog licensing programs, public education for responsible ownership and well-developed rehoming shelters.

4. Animal Birth Control program (ABC-program)

The objective of the ABC program is to reduce the population of dogs in a given area. To be effective in that, the work has to be intensive – 70% of the dogs should be neutered during one breeding cycle, that is during six months. This is possible but requires strategic planning and an experienced veterinary surgeon with trained assistants who can perform the operations without complications.

Dogs are territorial animals and therefore a small group of sterilized and vaccinated dogs protect and defend the community they live in from any outside dogs wandering in search for mate or new territory.

a. Role of ABC in rabies control

Having a dog neutered doesn’t prevent it from getting infected with rabies. Usually all the ABC programs include rabies vaccination to the operated dogs. However, the main benefit of the ABC program in rabies control is in the overall reduction of population growth. By doing ABC we aim to stabilize the dog population to a level where sufficient rabies vaccination coverage can be maintained by annual vaccination days. Success of ABC program in controlling the stray dog population has been demonstrated scientifically in India (Totton et al, 2010; Reece and Chawla, 2006).

However, whenever the pressure to prevent rabies is very bad, an effective mass vaccination campaign at first is the preferred option, followed immediately by intensive animal birth control program to maintain the vaccination coverage sufficient.

b. Population dynamics

Whenever and wherever ABC-program is judged not to work it is either that it has not even been implemented on that particular area or that it has not been implemented effectively enough. If only 200 dogs are operated from a population of 10 000 with great deal of media attention as the program starts, the public is likely to start questioning the sensibility of the program when they observe no results after a year. However, if two full-time teams are employed to work for six months they can achieve the required level of 7000-8000 neutered and vaccinated dogs and the impact is clear. Such a high volume campaign should easily receive media attention and have an impact in the public awareness meaning that people are likely to start bringing their pet dogs also for vaccination & for neutering, further improving the success of the program as less unwanted pet dog puppies will end up on the roads.

About the Worldwide Veterinary Service India Training Center

WVS India training center located in Ooty, Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, is going to provide training for animal charities in arranging effective rabies control campaigns. The program consists of three modules that are to be attended by different people of the charity; managers, veterinarians and assistants/dog-catchers. While we initially target charities as participants, the courses will be open also for municipalities and corporations who want to train their staff to significantly reduce rabies in their areas for the benefit of the public.

The training center, known as the ITC, has an operation theatre for five surgeons to operate at a time, custom-made kennels to hold the dogs and several classrooms as well as dining and accommodation for 30 people.

Visiting foreign volunteer teachers as well as the experienced WVS ITC staff conduct the courses and all participating charities will be supported by advice, volunteers and materials to carry on the rabies control work in their areas after the courses. Participation is free of cost but a participating charity/municipality/corporation has to commit in implementing the rabies campaign as planned for that specific area during the course immediately after the training.

The opening ceremony of ITC is on the 28th September, the world rabies day. The center will be inaugurated by the Chairman of Animal Welfare Board of India, Dr. R.M. Kharb. While personal invitations will be send to the WVS associated charities and other key people in this field in India, we warmly welcome all interested people to join us for the ceremony.

More information at

www.wvs.org.uk

www.rabiesblueprint.com

www.worldrabiesday.org

References

Bogel K., Joshi DD (1990) Accessibility of dog populations for rabies control in Kathmandu valley, Nepal. Bull World Health Organization 68:611-617

Cleaveland, S.,  Kaare, M.,  Tiringa, P.,  Mlengeya, T., Barrat, J. (2003) A dog rabies vaccination campaign in rural Africa: impact on the incidence of dog rabies and human dog-bite injuries, Vaccine 21; 1965-1973

Lembo T, Hampson K, Kaare MT, Ernest E, Knobel D, et al. (2010) The Feasibility of Canine Rabies Elimination in Africa: Dispelling Doubts with Data. PLoS

Negl Trop Dis 4(2): e626. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000626

Lucas CHPino FVBaer GMorales PKCedillo VGBlanco MAAvila MH (2008) Rabies control in Mexico, Dev Biol (Basel).;131:167-75.

Matouch O, Vitasek J, Semerad Z, Malena M.(2007) Rabies-free status of the Czech Republic after 15 years of oral vaccination. Rev Sci Tech. Dec;26(3):577-84.

Regulation, 2003 Regulation (EC) No. 998/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 2003 on the animal health requirements applicable to the non-commercial movement of pet animals and amending Council Directive 92/65/EEC.

Sudarshan MK. Assessing burden of rabies in India. WHO sponsored national multi-centric rabies survey ( 2004). Assoc Prev Control Rabies India J 2004;6:44-5.

Reece, J.F., and  Chawla S.K.(2006) Control of rabies in Jaipur, India, by the sterilisation and vaccination of neighbourhood dogs. VetRec. 16: 159 (12):379-83

Totton, S.C., et al., Stray dog population demographics in Jodhpur, India following a population control/rabies vaccination program. PREVET (2010), doi:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2010.07.009

WHO report; Rabies in the South-East Asia region, 2009

WHO website www.who.org accessed in August 2010

WHO (1988) Report of a WHO consultation on a dog ecology studies related to rabies control. Geneva: Word Health Organization (WHO/Rab.Res/88.25)

Posted in General/Animals, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India

मेरा आशियाना


इस टूटती बनती घपलो के बीच फंसी देहली मैं मेरा छोटा सा आशियाना भी टूट ही जायेगा कम से कम थोड़ी नींद तो पूरी कर लूं

*Credits:  Poem and Photograph by Mr. Raakesh Khatri

Posted in Animal Laws of India, Animals, Be the Change, Do you know?, Games people play, Information that empowers!, Inspiration, Jaagruti's interventions, Pets, Relationships, Take Action!, Videos on Animals

How to act when your society RWA puts a bar on letting your pet dog use the building lift?

Pet Dogs: Should they be allowed on lifts or not? (Photo credit: theotokos.co.za)

On the afternoon of 10th August 2010, the Jaagruti helpline received a call from Mrs. Usha Gulati in Faridabad who informed that the residents welfare association of the colony in which they stay had objected to them taking their Pet dog Pixie up and down the building lift from their 5th floor flat. Ms. Gulati and her family was willing to take Pixie down (for his walks) using the stairs but given his age (Pixie is 10+ years old) and the fact that they live on the 5th Floor, the Gulati family was not willing to cow down to the demands and orders of the RWA in any way and were even willing to take this matter to court should the RWA remain adamant in its stance on this subject.

Most of the times the arguments that RWA office bearers give to pet owners while objecting them to using the building lift with their pets- ‘the pets odour is harmful for human health’, ‘pets are dirty’, ‘pets make the lift dirty’, ‘pets can pounce or growl or attack other people in the lift’ and the list goes on as per the whims and fancies of the RWA representatives.

Ms. Gulati mentioned to us that she has a copy of a news clipping that came out in Times of India newspaper in December 2008 in which a Mumbai resident had approached a consumer court for his pet dog Shimu.  Further to this Ms Gulati wanted to know from us if there was any previous judgment in this regard that they could use to help Pixie. Below is presented a step-by-step guide on how to tackle such a problem which, as we learnt is a common problem faced by many people living with their pets in buildings with lifts face across many cities in India. The key to coming out victors in such a situation is to have cent percent commitment towards your pet and to be willing to stand up for your pet’s rights, for pets are family!

Through the power of the internet, we enquired upon this ‘Pets being denied lift access’ subject from people across the animal welfare fraternity across India, the following facts came to light and we are sharing this information in our effort to inspire all those who face similar problems to act accordingly when faced with such situations. As for what transpired in the story of Pixie, read this till the end:

The only preceeding judgement in such a case was when Mr. Ajay Marathe, a resident of Mumbai’s Vashi Colony approached the Consumer Court (on 26th September, 2008) when his colony’s association passed a resolution disallowing them to use the building lift with their pet dog ‘Shimu’, who was then 11 years old who was suffering from osteo-arthritis (pain in the bones and joints)

The following trail of news stories on Shimu’s case illustrate the trail of events on this subject as well.

No entry for pets in lifts, Vashi housing society tells residents

Indian Express
N Ganesh Fri Sep 12 2008
Mumbai, September 11 : Says odour may be harmful to health; SPCA takes up issue
Life for 11-year-old Peter-Pan alias Shimu, a Labrador Retriever, has become tougher than ever. Shimu stays with his owners, Ajay and Nandini Marathe, on the fifth floor of New Sarvodaya Co-operative Housing Society, at Sector 4 in Vashi. Shimu has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, an ailment in which the patient suffers from severe joint pain. However, Shimu will now have to use the staircase instead of the lift, as a resolution passed by the general body of the society bars pets from using the building elevator.

On August 3, 2008, the general body resolved to prevent use of lifts by residents accompanied by their pets. According to a notice issued to Marathe and the general body resolution, the society fears that the odour of the pets which is left behind in the lifts, can be hazardous to the life and health of the building residents. In the month of May 2008, the society sought numerous documents certifying the fitness levels of the dog. Marathe, who has a licence for the dog, produced a certificate issued by the Bombay Veterinary College that dog is licenced, vaccinated, healthy and does not suffer from any infectious or contagious disease. The Bombay Veterinary College certificate also adds that since the dog is aged and suffering from osteoarthritis, it should be allowed to use the lift, as climbing the stairs would be a painful task.

Marathe tried to find a way out by using air fresheners after the use of lift by the pet dog. However, the society officer tersely told Marathe that use of air fresheners was not recommended.

After a complaint of Marathe, the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has taken up the issue. S B Kadam, assistant secretary, SPCA said, “SPCA inspectors have paid a visit to the society and asked the office bearers to be practical and permit use of lift for the pet dog concerned. We will be hearing from them soon.”

Marathe said, “I paid the watchman from the neighouring building to carry the dog up and down the building thrice a day so that he could answer nature’s call. This arrangement worked fine for a few days, however he stopped coming after being warned by society office bearers.”

Meanwhile, Marathe has temporarily shifted Shimu to his in-laws place at Pen in Raigad district. Chairman of the housing society Arvind Palwankar said, “It is a very old sick dog with a bad odour. We only prevented Marathe from using the lift. Moreover, Marathe is a nuisance as he relentlessly complains against the society to the authorities about all things trivial.”

What the law says
Advocate Rahul Thakur who is associated with In Defense of Animals (IDA) said that the society resolution violates section 11 (3) of Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act 1960. It is also against article 51 A (g) of the Indian Constitution according to which it is the duty of every citizen to have compassion for animals, living creatures and improve the natural environment. Thakur said, “The society resolution is illegal as it is unconstitutional.”

Please note the underlined portion in the last paragraph of the above story.

Luckily for Shimu, who is now in good heavens, the Consumer Court upheld the society’s resolution and passed the judgement in his favour and also asked the Association to pay Mr. Ajay Marathe Rs.5000/- in lieu of the damages and the expenses incurred by him on this court case.

Please read through the following news stories:

Peter Pan can use apartment lift now

Indian Express

N Ganesh Dec 17, 2008

Mumbai This 11-year-old dog was barred from using lift by the housing society in Navi Mumbai

The consumer forum came to the rescue of a 11-year-old dog, Peter Pan alias Shimu, who was not allowed to use the apartment lift by the office bearers of a housing society in Navi Mumbai. Shimu, a pet belonging to Ajay and Nandini Marathe, residing on the fifth floor of New Sarvodaya co-operative housing society was barred from using the society lift. Shimu had been diagnosed with osteoarthritis — an ailment that causes acute pain in the joints.

In its order dated December 11, 2008 the Thane District Additional Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum ruled that the housing society’s move to prevent pets from using the apartment lift without any valid reasons amounted to deficiency in service to the members as per section 2 (1) (g) of the Consumers Protection Act.

The Marathes were asked to produce documents certifying the illness of the dog. However, despite producing the required certificates and reports, the general body of the housing society in August 2008 resolved to ban pet animals from using apartment lifts.

The housing society contended before the forum that the dog was not a consumer of the housing society and hence the forum cannot hold the society liable. The consumer court however said in its order: “The issue of ‘dog’ being or not being the consumer of the society is not valid, instead the valid issue should be whether the complainant is consumer of the housing society or not.”

Since the membership of the Marathes to the housing society was not disputed, the consumer court said: “The dog has valid license and has been certified by a veterinary doctor of having no contagious and infectious disease. It has received all its vaccines. The doctor has also recommended the use of lifts owing to its condition.”

The housing society contended that the use of lifts by pets threatened the safety of the residents. However the Consumer court held that the housing society’s decision to ban pets from using lifts was without any valid reasons and hence amounted to deficiency in service. The court has ordered the housing society to pay Rs 3000 as damages and Rs 2000 as legal expenses to the Marathes.

Consumer court upholds dog’s right to use lift


18th December, 2008,  Published in: The Times of India

Mumbai: An 11-year-old Labrador has emerged a champion of dog rights by not only winning for himself the right to travel in the elevator of his apartment complex in a Mumbai suburb but getting his master a Rs 5,000 compensation from the apartment’s anti-pet managing committee.

The Thane District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum passed an order, defending Shimu aka Peter Pan’s right to use the left and directed the society to compensate the owner for the harassment he faced. The dog’s owner, Ajay Marathe (52), a fifth floor resident of New Sarvoday Cooperative Society at Vashi, told TOI on Wednesday: This is a very good judgement given in our favour in real time. In fact, a lot of pet owners face the same problem in Mumbai; this order can be an important reference point to help them use their society lifts.

Marathe added that the 35-kg Shimu suffered from pain in the joints and couldn’t use the stairway. The society this May passed a resolution, saying pets like cats and dogs could not be allowed in the lift as their body odour could be injurious to health and life, which I found to be ridiculous, he said.

Marathe first went to the cops, but failing to get a sympathetic response from them, he lodged a case in the Thane consumer court. The consumer court has given this judgement in less than three months. The Rs 5,000 compensation for my pet is also welcome as I had to temporarily shift Shimu to my in laws house in Pen, which caused some discomfort to him, he said.

To read the full judgement given by the Consumer Court on this case in favour of Shimu the dog, please click here

Since Shimu passed away soon after this judgement was announced, Mr. Marathe donated the Rs.5000/- compensation he received to the animal welfare charity named PAWS which used this contribution to publish brochures on the ‘Tree Protection Act’, which carried Shimu’s name on it as a mark of honour to his spirit.

Now, coming back to Pixie’s case in Fraidabad, here is what happened-

Deriving inspiration from Mr. Marathe’s stance on getting justice for Shimu, Ms. Usha Gulati’s familytook the press clipping of Shimu’s news (which had come out in TOI in December 2008) and approached the Local  Police with the copy of the same and lodged a complaint against the RWA…the cops then called and came over to meet the RWA representatives and following all of this, an amicable solution was reached upon in which it was agreed that the  Gulati family would be allowed to bring their pet dog Pixie down the stairs for his walk and after he has relieved himself and there is apparently nothing in his stomach to ‘dirty’ the lift with, he can take the lift upstairs to his fifth floor house along with his owner.

So, next time you face such an issue, consider using all of this information above and stand up to seek justice for your animal friends. Trust us, its all worth the effort and a way to (try to) pay back  for all the love that your pet animal has showered upon you unconditionally.

However, we would like to also suggest to you that as always prevention is better than cure so please be mindful of a few other things a ‘responsible’ pet owner can follow while using the lift with their pet, to avoid inconvenience to the fellow lift users:

1. Make sure that your pet dog/cat is vaccinated to avoid any health related arguments from fellow building residents.

2. Keep your pet animal on a leash.

3. If your pet is aggressive and has a tendency to bite strangers, then it would be better to put a muzzle around the pet’s mouth while you move your pet in the lift. You can remove the muzzle once your pet is out of the lift.

4. Try using the lift when no one is in there, alternatively avoid using the lift when someone (you know) having a canine/feline-phobia (i.e someone who is well-known to be scared of dogs/cats) is already travelling in the lift.

5. Make sure that your pet doesn’t pee or defecate in there, so avoid taking young untrained pups in the lift as else you would most likely end up creating a lot more disgruntled neighbours or should we say enemies!

6. Take care of the health and hygiene of your pet dog/animal, give it a nice bath regularly so that it doesn’t emanate any sort of stinking odour in a public place like a lift, which may else be a cause of inconvenience for the fellow residents of your building.

* Credits: We deeply thank AWBI’s lawyer Anjali Sharma, PAWS founder trustee Nilesh Bhanage and Vishruti Aggarwal for sharing their experiences, the video link and the consumer court judgement with us.

Posted in Animal Laws of India, Be the Change, Do you know?, Information that empowers!, Inspiration, Stories from Ground Zero, Take Action!

Wildlife Crime Investigations and the Legal system

By Vasudha Mehta [Mail : vasudha@jaagruti.org]

We learn much in life through our respective experiences, trials and errors and this article traces my experience while working with animal rescue groups on wildlife crime based investigative operations. We do understand that what I did was just one tiny drop in the ocean but atleast it was a single drop…and through this article we at ‘Jaagruti’ hope that many more of you who hope to crack the mystery behind nabbing wildlife criminals or the lack of it- will get a peep into the whole process and somewhere down the line be inspired to act to nab those who toy with our country’s much cherished natural heritage, thereby helping in minimising wildlife crime, which has the potential to wipe out India’s magnificent animals if left unchecked!

Image Courtesy: http://www.ohfortheloveofscience.com

Nabbing wildlife criminals

All species of animals and products derived there from that find mention under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act 1972 are considered to be protected under the legal system and the punishments for killing/possessing the same varies as per the degree of the crime committed and the schedule to which the animal belongs. And by law, all wild animals and products listed and protected under this act are considered a property of the Government of India and the responsibility to enforce this law rests entirely on the state wildlife departments (wildlife inspectors/forest officers). However, Section 50 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, also empowers “a Police official of the rank of a Sub-Inspector or above has the powers to search, seize and arrest”.

It is important to note that while undertaking a raid to nab wildlife criminals, one requires the help of the Police and/or the Forest/Wildlife department for the power to search a spot seize the animals and arrest the accused lies with these government officials; representatives of the NGO circuit, individual activists or the common man don’t have legal powers to do so, but there exist a number of ways in which individuals/NGOs and the government machinery can assist each other to nab wildlife criminals by utilizing their respective skills/resources and legal powers respectively.

Kinds of Wildlife criminals (and Investigations):

There are three levels of wildlife criminals operating in the city. The lowest rung is that of the roadside vendors which include bird-sellers, dog-sellers, pet-shops, snake charmers, madaris etc. Nabbing the people involved in the lower rung helps in reaching the mid-level gang that includes the wholesale-dealers, who retail the animals to these local pheri-wallahs. Catching these wholesale dealers leads us to the source, which includes the traders who are involved in capturing these animals from their wild habitat and the knowledge of the areas from where the animals are being captured and an idea about their trade routes.

Broadly, wildlife crime investigations in our country can be categorized into the following-

  1. Those conducted by NGOs/activists/individuals in the cities which involve seizure of wildlife products like mongoose hair brushes, owl claws etc. or raid and rescue operations involving live wild animals exploited in cities by street entertainers like madaris and saperas-monkeys, bears and snakes or those animals held by pet shops, meat sellers, street vendors/part-time traders or the dubious tantriks. Such animals include birds like Pigeons, Parakeets, Munias, kites, peacocks and owls; reptiles like snakes, turtles and monitor lizards and; animals like mongoose and civet cats.
  2. Raid/seizure of wildlife contrabands involving highly protected Schedule 1 animals like skins and claws of tigers, lions and leopards, rhino horns, Elephant ivory, Otter skin, Bear biles, Crocodile skins. Such investigations are more time consuming as well as life-threatening in nature since the investigators end up dealing with organised gangs of wildlife criminals that work across national and international boundaries. Such investigations involve a united effort on part of many agencies, the Wildlife Departments, Police, Crime Investigation agencies and the investigative/decoy support and intelligence provided by Wildlife NGOs.

How is an investigation and operation carried out?

  1. The tip-off: Generally, various wildlife NGOs have an enforcement unit comprising of a Research team and a Field Raiding Team, consisting of a network of informers, decoys and field workers. Tip offs are generally received through the aware and sensitized individuals within the society or generated by the informers hired by the NGO’s Research Team.  This system of informers employed by the NGOs is generally paid as per the authenticity and accuracy of the information provided by them.
  2. Conducting a Reccee: To authenticate the information provided to the research team, normally decoys are used to validate the leads so obtained, however sometimes under time constraints for an on the move wildlife contraband or criminal, the luxury of conducting a recee can be least afforded!
  3. The raid: The raiding team generally comprises of NGO resource persons accompanied by officials from the Police, Wildlife Department and or Wildlife Crime Control Bureau who are well acquainted with the laws.In addition to the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, even the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 can be enforced upon under many cases.Knowledge of the laws, specific sections and penalties outlined within the act helps in registering a strong case and is crucial for putting the convict behind bars.
  4. Once the raid conducted, the police prepare a seizure memo. The job of the raiding squad is to get the accused arrested, seize the animals and the police then presents the accused and the seized animals/products before the Metropolitan Magistrate in the local district Courts.
  5. The accused is generally sent to 14 days of Judicial Custody (JC) by the Metropolitan Magistrate and the investigation of the case is subsequently handed over to the Wildlife Department.
  6. More often than not, once the Wildlife Department is not represented by a lawyer after the JC period is over, the accused is released on bail. Hence, all the effort of nabbing a criminal goes to waste. Therefore, all that we require from the Wildlife Department is to convict the accused with the help of an efficient public prosecutor.

The (apathy of) State Wildlife Departments, the Police and the legal lacunae:

These departments often do not work to their full potential and the reasons for these are manifold for they neither have the infrastructure, nor the staff or the spirit to do this kind of investigative work.

In Delhi, for example, there are 5 Wildlife Inspectors that joined this department about two decades back and in all these years, they haven’t even been promoted once! When they joined they were Wildlife Inspectors and they remain so even now. In all these years, there are no new recruitments that have taken place either. As a result, there is no one to work under them or work with and naturally so, over all these years these inspectors also tend to lose out on the youthful energy they carried when they first joined these departments, hence it is natural to assume that the officials lack spirit and enterprise and suffer from demonization and frustration.

Coupled with it, is rampant corruption, lack of political will and the complete lack of infrastructure. These wildlife inspectors move on motorbikes and don’t even have a car and a driver at their disposal thus making it difficult for them to move the rescued animals or even take the accused for a Medical examination before presenting him in front of the district court magistrate as per the provisions of the law.

Also, The Wildlife Department and the Police are not armed with a team of animal handlers so they are generally apprehensive of carrying out wildlife crime seizures. Despite knowing that showing snakes to people on roadsides or selling birds is illegal, the authorities fail to nab street entertainers using animals as the whole thought of handling snakes, monkeys, bears and mongooses (after conducting the seizure) scares them off!

The Wildlife Departments don’t have the space to house rescued animals till their release orders are issued by the court. Zoos are most unwilling as they are already starved of space and cash. Also, the Wildlife Departments don’t have lock ups to house the arrested accused before being presented to the court and thus they have to turn to the Police for lock-up assistance which adds to the headache of the police stations as they get thrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that the accused doesn’t suffer health wise or die in their police custody

As Rajeev Jain, an animal activist associated with the Delhi chapter of NGO People for Animals shares below; there are many hurdles that prop up at different stages of a wildlife crime combating operation, mostly because the police and judges are not sensitized to animal welfare or aware of the laws and seriousness of the crime. “The judges in the district courts normally take pity on the bird sellers or a snake charmer we catch hold of in a city because they consider them to be poor people and thus give them the most meager punishment and accept their bail plea very easily. Lives of animals are not considered precious enough”, lamented Rajeev.

Also the Police authorities and wildlife officers are found wanting especially when it comes to handling, identifying and rehabilitating the live animals seized and it is here that the NGOs pitch in with their expertise. For example: NGOs pitch in with their knowledge of handling, health, habitat and feeding habits of the animals rescued along with providing temporary shade and shelter to the rescued animals. Often, many rescued animals die in the police station before being presented to the courts as the police officials are not provided with any budget to administer first aid or purchase the adequate feed/feeding bowls to help the stressed animals.

But all is not lost, gradually with growing awareness levels, the authorities are being increasingly and regularly forced to cooperate and extend support to individual activists and NGOs to nab wildlife criminals and it is up to individuals like you to acquaint yourself with the laws and the modus-operandi mentioned above so that you can assist as well as request the cooperation of enforcement authorities to take wildlife crime seriously. Only when more people take these issues up, will the authorities be on tender hooks and the government will be compelled to carry out the infrastructural and procedural improvements required to make the wildlife departments more effective and efficient.

Lastly, what is NOT Right?

Nilesh Bhanage of PAWS shares below his valuable insight on where exactly lies the problem with those people/NGO activists who consider themselves to be over and above the law and become overnight wildlife activists who go on to break every rule in the book in sheer exuberance, enthusiasm or most commonly for the sake of greed of money and media attention!

Most of the wildlife crime investigations in India happens out of heart & not with minds/ideas, careful planning or tricks and therein lies the only problem. Any animal lover starts posing as wildlife activist and starts doing  raids is clearly wrong. They will not do work in a stepwise manner and risk getting into trouble and that is one of the reasons wildlife crime conviction rates in India are so low.When anyone conducts raids, they must provide photos, video CDs,  veterinary treatment certificates, proofs, panchnama of seized material from criminals and even use supporting laws (i.e. using kids for wildlife trade is also punishable under child labor laws, using wildlife items for medicines comes under Food & Drug administration Act etc), so there are multiple factors that are involved.For Example: One girl posing animal activist goes to someone’s house & just pick-up their pet parakeet & squirrel which was hand-raised by someone. Then this girl goes & releases these animals and birds, confiscated by her back into wild, then in our eyes that girl herself is criminal under Indian Wildlife protection Act 1972 because she has flaunted the following following norms:

  1. Making illegal/unauthorised entry into someone’s private house
  2. Taking photos of gallery / bedroom
  3. Rescuing wildlife without prior intimation/information being conveyed to forest/wildlife department and also without their permission.
  4. Seizure of animals is also illegal as it can be done only by Police or Wildlife Department officials or honorary officers appointed by these two departments for this task.
  5. Abandoning wildlife anywhere (which was never exposed to wild area as it was kept as pets) to die in name of rehab
  6. Not doing any paper work for such seizure.
  7. Stealing someones property like cages.

Remember, if we want to help animals or our wildlife, it is important that we follow the rules, for our safety and also for the health of the animal.

Useful resources:

  1. Animal Laws of India http://unilawonline.com/animallaw/ReadContent.asp
  2. Indian Wildlife Crime Control Bureau: http://wccb.gov.in/
Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animals, Be the Change, Do you know?, Games people play, General/Animals

Abandoning one’s pet: Could there be a crime bigger than that?

Such scenes are an everday occurence all around many cities across the world.

People buy pets, some even pamper them BUT then dump them on the road, at a city shelter in their old age-at an age when they need them the most.

Next time you see someone abandoning them, try telling them: “FOR YOU HE IS A DOG, BUT FOR THAT DOG YOU ARE EVERYTHING”. If nothing else, at least you could try and guilt such people into shame for there could be nothing more inhuman than that act of abandoning one’s best friend.

Never abandon your pets! (Courtesy: http://blog.thewaterdish.com.sg)

Instead of heartlessly abandoning one’s pet at a ripe old age at a city shelter, we would rather advocate that you have a heart and put your pet to sleep, atleast that would save that speechless animal a life of agony and stress at the thought of having been separated from those he considered his very own family for all the years that he has lived thus far

The words below penned by Meera Ahmad speak on the agony of  a pet being abandoned, being dumped at a city shelter by its heartless owners.

Just visualize the people come in their car, the dog feels he is going for just another car ride….they take him out on the road, he thinks it is just another lovely walk, the dog trots excitedly beside them like he has done all these years looking up to them as his guardians…

Unknowing to their unsuspecting dog, they look for a place to dump him, soon they find one, the kid feels weird being tied at a strange lonely unfamiliar road….whines and tugs hard….his eyes turn large with an unknown fear, ears drop still his tail wags beacuse he can still see the people he loves….till they walk away, like a streak they speed away…not looking back even once…the kid starts yelping barking like mad, tugging at the leash for his dear life so hard that it strangles his neck, till he drops limply as if he was dead….had he got free he would have raced to catch them up trying to overtake the car it would have run and run, till it would have stumbled sore and spent…now it lies limply in the dust…

Will you do this to someone you really love?

What is more disturbing is that if they could do this to their dog after having him for ten odd years God only knows how they would have kept him in those years…for I am mighty sure of one thing that they couldn’t have loved him as a dog deserves to be leave alone thinking of him as their family member or kid.

It is as ghastly as dumping your old parents in a old age home. Stll that dog of theirs would never stop loving them..never give up on them or let go…he will keep waiting for them till his last breath..everytime he hears a car in the shelter he will think they have come for him..just like the parents in the old age homes…the widowed mothers packed off on trains to holy places like Vrindavan until they breath their last.

Remember,  what goes around comes around, so don’t do onto others what you don’t wish others to do to you!

Posted in Animals, Games people play, General/Animals

Animal ‘abuse’

(Courtesy: http://www.pixton.com)

How many times do people amongst us take names of an animal or refer to one in the abusive/bad language they utter (mostly without thinking) in one’s frequent bouts of anger?

These bad words could be in English or Hindi..Wondering what are we referring to here, think about these ‘ullu ka patha‘ (son of an owl) ‘kutte kamine‘, (rascal dog)  ‘suyar ki aulad‘ (child of a pig) or  English phrases like ‘looking sheepish‘ or ‘Quit horsing around!’

Ponder a second, do these words or phrases even mean anything?

Like us even Farhan Akhtar, the multitasking young bollywood director-actor-singer finds such bad-phrase- referrals to animals in our language meaningless.

For more on his take, read on:

Such an animal!

By Farhan Akhtar in HT City on 7th March, 2010

I wonder what animals ever did to the human race for us to have treated them in this manner. I refer here to the use, or rather, misuse of the species in the English language. I list here the top five violations to highlight my cause.

What does it mean when one says, ‘That guy really gets my goat!”? For years, I have heard about this fictional kid- napping from people who own as many goats as the acres of land I own on Saturn. So are we to assume that all of us own imaginary goats that get taken from us by annoying people? If you answered yes, I advise you consult the nearest shrink.

Another one, “No point in looking sheepish.” Now that’s a racial slur, if I ever heard one. Is it the sheep’s fault? And how can a person look like a sheep?
I ask this regardless of circum- stances!! Do we suddenly sprout wool when we feel guilty? Do we start eating leaves? Then why? The gentle creature is so fed up with this misrepresentation of its personality, that it now treats us with contempt….. Bah!!!

How about “Don’t trust him! He’s a snake!!” Now either the commenter has watched too many films about Ichhaadhaari Naag or then the commentee (to coin a word) slithers in and out of people’s homes and lives on a tree or in the ground! And what’s not to trust about a snake? Don’t mess with it, it leaves you alone. Mess with it and it will most likely kill you. Uncomplicated, if you ask me.

While on this, I must state that more people die annually of mosquito bites than snake bites but would it fill your heart with dread if someone warned you “Keep you eyes on that one… he’s a mosquito!!”?

“You’re being such a dog!! (male or female). This one really confuses me because we’ve been taught that dogs are loyal and friendly. We’ve read true stories about brave canines rescuing their masters from the jaws of death. Then why this complete reversal in the meaning? The only answer can be jealousy. An experiment conducted by someone who owned imaginary goats, revealed that when a dog and its master are in residence and guests come over, the dog gets approximately 75% of their attention. I hope you didn’t buy that theory because it wasn’t for sale. Like I said, this one really confuses me.

And finally my favorite. “Quit horsing around!” This is an old one though. Gone are the days when people wore saddles and took part in dressage. In the modern era, horsing around is described as ‘indulging in frivolous activity’. Do you suppose when a horse sees a person swinging a stick at a circular object, he thinks it frivolous and does not realize the importance of cricket as a national obsession! Goes to show how one species’ passion could be another’s frivolity.

I end this column on a hopeful note. I feel even now, people can restore faith in the hearts of the very creatures they’ve maligned over the years. The reason i know this is because we created a loophole in the same language….It’s human to make a mistake.

Now if we could only get those animals to start reading…

(Courtesy: htcity.desimartini.com)

Posted in Be the Change, Do you know?, Environment, Videos

The Story of Stuff

From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view.

The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

Posted in Animals, General/Animals, Inspiration, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Relationships, Religion, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India, Videos on Animals

GoD and DoG!

GoD and DoG (Courtesy: Kris, 5th July, 2010)

The above photograph  was clicked and contributed to us by Kris Kumar on 5th July, 2010.

It was clicked at PVR Anupam-Saket, a multiplex  in Delhi. In this small temple beneath a tree behind the multiplex where these two resident dogs with collars around their necks were sleeping peacefully,  demonstrative of the relationship between GoD and DoG…

Posted in Be the Change, Inspiration

The story of ‘The Cracked Jar’

We often refer to each other as ‘crackpots’ but if we look carefully, each ‘cracked pot’ has its own advantages…

That is what the story below tries to convey. It was penned down by an anonymous author and contributed to this blog by Meera Ahmad, who further adds that terming oneself a crackpot is one of the sweetest ways to tell yourself that, “I’m UNIQUE!” , and that often our weaknesses can be our greatest strengths. Read on…

An Indian legend tells of a man who carried water to his village every day, in two large jars tied to the ends of a wooden pole, which he balanced on his back.
One of the jars was older than the other, and had some small cracks; every time the man covered the distance to his house, half of the water was lost.

For two years, the man made the same journey. The younger jar was always very proud of its performance, safe in the knowledge that it was up to the mission it had been made for, while the other jar was mortified with shame at only fulfilling half of its allotted task, even though it knew that those cracks were the result of many years hard work.

It was so ashamed that one day, while the man got ready to fetch water from the well, it decided to speak to him:
– I want to apologize, but because of the many years of service, you are only able to deliver half of my load, and quench half of the thirst which awaits you at your home.

The man smiled, and said:
– When we return, observe carefully the path.

And so it did. And the jar noticed that, on its side, many flowers and plants grew.

– See how nature is more lovely on your side? – commented the man. – I always knew you were cracked, and decided to make use of this fact. I planted flowers and vegetables, and you have always watered them. I have picked many roses to decorate my house with, I have fed my children with lettuce, cabbage and onions. If you were not as you are, how could I have done that?

Moral of the story:

“All of us, at some point, grow old and start to acquire other qualities. We can always make the most of each one of these new qualities and obtain a good result.”

Claudia Goroesman of Spain shares another important lesson from this beautiful story, she writes that-

The cracked jar shows “differences” in our society. The one who is “different”, or not like everyone else, is often not accepted. The story demonstrates how changing the way one looks at something, can even transform the difference in unexpected, and sometimes beautiful ways. Any difference can offer us an opportunity to grow, a potential that every human being has.

If we teach children about differences and capacities when they are very young, perhaps there would be fewer adults who discriminate against people who are “different” (for example those who like animals, birds or trees) and we would have a more just society, including adults who are more understanding and accepting of each others faults and shortcomings.

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animal Laws of India, Animals, Be the Change, Information that empowers!, Take Action!, Videos on Animals

For reporting animal cruelty cases: How to approach the police for help?

What comprises Animal Cruelty?

Contacting the Police on the Phone:
In an emergency situation telephone your local police station or dial 100 (Central Police Control Room) Get your “Ticket number” if you have dialled 100. Get the name and designation of the police personnel if you have called your local police station. Note the date and time on both occasions. If you wish to remain anonymous you do not need to reveal your identity.

At the Police Station:
i) Approach the police (above the rank of constable) politely and briefly explain the situation.

ii) Request them to take action against the offender.

iii) If they state it is not their job to protect animals as there are far too many human problems, politely enlighten them about their role in the PCA Act, 1960 (quote the relevant sections). If in Delhi, do tell them about the Delhi Police Act, 1978 Chapter IX entitled “the Prevention of Cruelty to animal”.

iv) Refer to http://awbi.org/awbi-pdf/apl.pdf for a compendium/factsheet of Animal Protection laws for the guidance of Police, NGOs, Animal Welfare Activists and Officers.

v) Insist on their involvement and offer your help.

vi) Inform them that the injured or distressed animal shelter and not left at the police station. This will reassure them.

vii) File an FIR if necessary.

viii) Do the necessary follow up.

ix) Do praise him/her after his involvement, no matter how small.

HOW TO FILE AN F.I.R. (FIRST INFORMATION REPORT):

• FIRs are filed at your local police station when you wish to put down in record an incident which you wish to bring to the notice of your local police and at the same time seek their help in solving it. (eg. loss of wallet, train ticket, incident, or any other loss).

• Make out a detailed description of the lost animal/incident with a photograph/s (or any cruelty complaint). Address it: to the SHO (Station House Officer), of your area.

• To file an FIR, write the facts on a plain piece of paper which you yourself may prepare in duplicate, with the date, your name and address, details of the complaint and the people involved, if any.

• The officer on duty at the police station is responsible for making all the necessary entries.

• The copy of the FIR should be duly signed, stamped and dated (note the time as well) by the police station which you should keep safely.

• This is applicable not only to lost animals, but to any animal you have found (which might be lost), cruelty to animals, illegal activities with regard to animals eg. trade in wildlife-bird sellers, snake charmers, turtle traders; illegal slaughtering of animals and illegal slaughter houses; bird sellers; cruelty to animals in zoos; circuses, pets/petshops etc.

• The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 under section 11 covers a large number of cruelties and offences on the basis of which you could file FIRs.

• Insist on filing an FIR. It is your right. It is important to note that the police usually discourage the complainant from registering a FIR in cases which are not so clear. This is because once the FIR is filed, it becomes the responsibility of the police to ensure a conviction.

• Do not lose the stamped copy (by the officers on duty) of the FIR and keep enquiring about the progress. This copy is the proof that the Police have received the information.

• Please don’t forget about the well-being of the animals, make sure that you also contact an Animal Welfare Organization/activists to ensure that they follow up on the health status, rehabilitation/release of the animals in case custody.

Please share  with us your experiences while dealing with the Police /lodging an F.I.R on animal cases, practical learnings end up being different than what we write here, so please be candid in your sharing for it may help someone at a later date when stuck in a similar situation. Thanks-Vasudha

Posted in Animals, General/Animals, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Relationships, Videos on Animals

Intelligent Animals: Meet the thirsty cow operating a hand pump

Each one of us would have heard the story of the thirsty crow who brings pebbles in his beak and throws them in a pot to raise the level of water in there so that he can sip it and quench his thirst…

(Cortesy: indif.com)

Now, in this real life story, we meet a thirsty cow on a Delhi road.

Below is an amazing account of Rishi Dev’s encounter with a thirsty cow operating a hand pump to quench her thirst on the hot summer afternoon of 20th June, 2010

Animals continue to amaze me with the level of intelligence they possess which is beyond our comprehension. Another example of it was displayed to me today when I was just driving through a village. It was hot as ever and I saw a cow trying to drink water from a handpump on the village road. First I thought she was trying to lick away water which was dropping from the pump. So I stopped to see what was going on.

To my amazement, she was operating the hand-pump with her horns and then drinking water at the same time. She was using her head to push down the lever and when water flowed through the spout, she drank that water and kept repeating the exercise. I shot a small video before doing anything. It can be viewed below :

After that I just walked over to her and stood there, very near to the pump. Then she stopped drinking and for a second the people watching thought that she would attack me. But to their amazement she looked straight into me eyes questioning me not to stand there like a fool and use my limbs to operate the pump so she can drink. That one moment between us was unspoken and as if she had an unwarranted right over me, that I was bound by some universal love to help her. It was so obvious for her that there was not an iota of hesitation or doubt that she had any other intention. She hadnt asked me, but was teling me to operate that pump, NOW!

So I started operating the pump.

प्यासे को पानी पिलाओ और पुण्य कमायो

She must have drunk at least 50-100 lts of water as I stood there for real 20 minutes operating the pump while she was drinking the water, non stop. When she was done she looked at me in satiation and contentment as if asking me to stop. First she closed her eyes for 15 seconds catching her breath. Then she looked at me straight and flipped her delicate ears with an expression as if showering her divine motherly love upon me. I really felt I was standing next to a mother and not an animal. She had so much love in her eyes that I felt I had actually drunk all that water on this hot afternoon and not her.

We both went our ways without greeting each other, but only sharing some short but real moments of love.

Even though I was a bit amazed by her intelligence but she was least touched or surprised by my involvement as if telling me & reminding me yet again that it was nothing else but “obvious” that all beings had equal right to water, food and shelter and it was our obvious duty to help each other with the same. Nothing great !

गर्मियां बहुत बड़ गईं है जनाब, इसलिए इन प्यासे पशु-पक्षियों की तरफ थोड़ी सहानुभूति दिखाओ,

घर के बाहर एक साफ़ बर्तन में सुबह शाम पानी रखकर इनकी प्यास भुजाओ और पुण्य कमाओ

Posted in Animals, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Relationships, Street Dogs of India

Urvashi and her love for street dogs: A journey that will never end…

On her regular morning walks, Pooja Gulati of Faraidabad was amused by the sight of 4 street dogs regularly sitting on the boundary wall of a house in Sector 21, Faridabad (Haryana, India). Their unwavering devotion to guarding the premises of this house and the street facing it pointed to the fact these street dogs indeed had human guardians taking care of them and that is how Pooja was introduced to Urvashi and her 4-legged family!

On guard! Chotu, Noni and Motu

Urvashi Sharma, graduated from Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi and moved to Fraidabad from Delhi 25 years ago. She is now a lecturer in English by profession and stays her parents.

Her bonding with the dogs on the street began when in her younger years, she along with her elder sister Neelakshi befriended a few of the street dogs…after her sister’s marriage, Urvashi carried the baton forward.

Today, there are 4 four street dogs who maintain a vigil outside Urvashi’s house.  They have been loving named, Chotu, Chotti, Motu and Noni by her family and have been her friends for the past decade or so.

Urvashi is not only feeding the four of them on the street, she is also feeding and providing shelter to a female street dog named, Minni inside her house. On being asked about the possible cause behind Minni’s blindness, Urvashi shared that, ‘a few unruly boys in the street tried to pierce her eyes and that is what led her to lose their vision’.

Urvashi with Standlie-the Lhasa apso (in her arms) and Minni- the blind street dog (by her side)

Disability is no deterrent for Minni’s spirited personality; she now relies on her sniffing prowess and is a regular at going for her moring and evening walks. Urvashi’s retired parents guide her as she finds her way through the house.

Chiklu - Urvashi's Dachshund

Also sharing space with Minni at Urvashi’s home are her two pedigreed pets Chiklu, a Dachshund and Standlie, a Lhasa apso.

Initially (like many of us), she faced a lot of resistance from her neighbours towards feeding the dogs in her street. The neighbours knocked on her doors whenever the dog’s barked as well, not realizing that the dogs could well be barking on some unscrupulous elements that are walking past the street and scaring them away to keep the neighbourhood safe!

Street Dogs keep our streets safe from anti-social elements! (Cartoon Credit: Ajit Ninan and Vasudha Mehta)

Urvashi faced a tough time convincing and explaining them all the advantages and benefits the street dogs serve the society. But today, thanks to the Dog-feeding rules and growing awareness, things have gradually begun to show improvement.

For her these animals are an integral part of her world and caring for them is a journey that will never end…

In Urvashi’s words, “animals are a creation of God. We have no right to harm them. As human beings, the least we can do is respect them and their existence on this planet and in return be assured of their endless love and companionship, which makes each day memorable and worth living for us all”.

Posted in Do you know?, Environment, Videos

Alien Attack! – Alien invasion poses threat to biodiversity cover (From Livemint.com)

In this well-explained article in MINT, Padmaparna Ghosh writes about protected areas are fighting battles with invasive species (like The  African Black Fish (African Magur) or  Prosopis juliflora, locally known as vilayati/foriegn babul/keekar), all of which were introduced to India either by design or accident.

Click here to view a slideshow on how alien species are threatening local eco systems.


Posted in Articles/Posts in Hindi, General/Animals, Street Dogs of India

कौन ज़्यादा टेढ़ा है? – हमारे राजनेता या टेढ़ी पूँछ वाले जानवर..

टेढ़ी पूँछ वाला जानवर केवल पुचकार का भूखा है, पर हमारे यह राजनेता सत्ता, रुतबा, धन दौलत और ना जाने और किस किस चीज़ की कभी न भरने वाली भूख रखते हैं…..

(Courtesy: Navbharat Times 18th June 2010)

Posted in Be the Change, Environment

How to be ‘Eco-friendly’ at work?

(Courtesy: www. environmentgreen.info)

Save Electricity by:

  • Please turn of the monitors on your PC when you leave the office for the day, or leave for some break (especially during weekends).
  • Switch the office lighting to LEDs (Light Emitting Diode) based Lamps or CFLs (Comapct Fluorescent Lamps), they are low on energy consumption and as bright as the ordinary lamps we use.
  • When your meeting in the conference room is finished, take the initiative to turn off the lights in the conference room as you leave.  If you have an enclosed office, do the same.
  • Turn off all task lighting at your desk when leaving for lunch or at the end of the day.
  • Turn off your computer and your power strip and eliminate those “vampire” devices sucking a little energy when off—your monitor, your cell phone charger . . .
  • Replace tinted window panes with transparent ones wherever possible so that we use sunlight efficiently instead of turning on electric lights.
  • Install compulsory power settings for all the office monitors.

Save Paper, reduce e-waste by:

  • Make/Set double-sided prints as the default print style on your Office Printer. This will help in saving lots of paper and also in reducing wastage.
  • Minimize printing and copying! What did they make the computer and e-mails for, if you keep on taking prints of everything all the time?
  • Use the trusted USB drive/Pen Drive to transfer data electronically from one computer system to the other, don’t waste CDs to do these inter-computer transfers…

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle the Office discard:

  • Corporate offices should have two bins – one for the stuff that can be recycled (like paper, refill pens, clips, pins, used envelopes, cardboard boxes, files, aluminium cans, glass bottles etc.) and other bin for non-recyclable goods
  • Pantries should have disposable, bio-degradable wooden stirrers instead of plastic ones.
  • Don’t throw away your Printer Cartridges, get them refilled.  It will also save your office some money and may be just earn you some much-needed brownie points for helping with a cost cut!

While you eat or drink at work:

  • Bring a coffee mug from home and use it rather than paper, Styrofoam or plastic cups.
  • Bring silverware or a plate and bowl to reduce the need for disposable cutlery and paper plates in the breakrooms.
  • Provide some stainless steel spoons to be used within the pantry. Those who wish to use plastic straws may continue to do so, but the consumption of plastic will reduce.
  • Take the required quantity of food during the first serving, and don’t hesitate to have a second helping.
  • Avoid spilling food while serving and creating a mess. This will also ensure the plastic covering stays clean and the caterers don’t need to change it repeatedly.
  • Only fill as much water needed for the day from the water cooler as you need in one go and drink it all before it turns warm. Doing so, will prevent the water (in your filled bottle) from turning warm (as it lies unused/undrinkably warm) and getting you to throw it before refilling your bottle/cup again, the next time you feel thirsty.

In the Toilet:

  • Avoid using the toilet rolls and tissue paper. Get your Office management to install jet-sprayers instead on all the flushes to prevent your hands from reaching out for the toilet rolls.
  • Install the half-flush system on your flush, it will help save half the quantity of water that normally gets used every single time you flush your waste down the drain…
  • Avoid wasting water while you cleanse up your face as you try to unwind after completing an arduous assignment at work. Keep both, your emotions and the tap flow under control!

(Credits: With inputs from Ashish Pal)

Posted in Environment, Games people play, News Reports, Take Action!

Sultanpur Lake: Wetland turns Graveyard…but does anybody care?

Image Courtesy for the photos  on this post: CNN IBN and Hindustan Times dated 16th June 2010

For video link to a story that illustrates how official neglect and government’s apathy has destroyed this river body and killed many an animals, birds and fishes  in Sultanpur National Park, please click here.

The Sultanpur National Park, situated in Indian state of Haryana may be India’s smallest National Park but it’s a haven for migratory birds in Haryana.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Set up by late Indian Prime Minister – Indira Gandhi in 1971 Sultanpur National Park is today dying a slow death.

There is no water in the wetland and dying fish and carcasses dot the sanctuary.

Sultanpur Lake: Then and Now..

Can only a trial by Media save it?

More news reports on this subject can be accessed at the links below:

1. Sultanpur lake: Liquidated!

2. Sultanpur Lake is becoming a dry bed

3. Dry lake blessing in disguise, say wildlife officials

4. Save Sultanpur park, Jairam tells Hooda