Posted in Against Pet Abandonment, Animals, Awareness Posters for Animal/Bird Welfare, Be the Change, Do you know?, General/Animals, Information that empowers!, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, News Reports, Pets

Coronavirus cannot spread through live animals, continue feeding street animals. This is the moment to be kind and humane.

The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), a statutory body under the Government of India, has written to the chief secretaries of all State governments and Union Territories to ensure the well-being of pet animals amid the Corona virus threat.

In a circular, AWBI Chairman Mr. O. P Chaudhary said that, “It was brought to the notice of the Board that the animal owners are depriving their pets of proper food, water or shelter due to the increasing threat of the virus.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has clarified that dogs and cats are not involved in spreading infection in the current episode of coronavirus infection. “The Board has already issued an advisory to the State government sand UTs to see that the stray animals are taken care of by the local bodies as it their responsibility,” Chaudhary said.

Hence, the AWBI chief has requested the governments to create awareness about animal welfare and advise them against abandoning their pets.

Even fimstars, like Arjun Kapoor, Twinkle Khanna, Kriti Sanon, Mini Mathur and many more kind hearts, are urging their fans and followers on their Instagram feeds to continue feeding street animals, more so now, when eateries, their primary source of scavenging for food, are shut.

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme/Street Dog Sterilization, Animal Laws of India, Animals, Articles, Be the Change, Do you know?, Do-it-Yourself (DIY)Series: Animal Rescue and Treatment, Games people play, General/Animals, Pets, Street Dogs of India, Take Action!

Pet Dogs and Street Dogs: Do’s and Dont’s

Below is an article written by Mrs. Maneka Gandhi, who is the Chairperson of an organisation called, ‘People for Animals’. We happened to receive a copy of it in our Inbox from a fellow animal rescuer and deem it wise to share it on this blog of ours, since a lot of our helpline calls and e-mails are related to this subject.

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In recent times, RWAs, Apartment Owners’ Associations, and Cooperative Group Housing Societies, having taking to imposing various restrictions on pet owning residents, such as disallowing the use of lifts, or parks, by pets, or even banning pets altogether. There is widespread resentment against these moves, because not only do they unreasonably restrict the rights of residents, they are also unlawful and against recent court rulings.

Moreover, as an RWA, or an Apartment Owners’ Association, Cooperative Group Housing Society, gated complex, etc., you may often be getting complaints regarding street dogs, and requests that they be driven away, through beatings by security guards or otherwise, or just dumped elsewhere. If you accede to these requests, you will not only be violating laws and pronouncements of courts, but will not achieve any permanent solutions either. The problem will remain a perennial problem ; and you will also run afoul of animal welfare people that are increasing in number by the day, and banding themselves into well organized groups.

Below, are some DOs and DON’Ts, with respect to both, PET DOGS & STREET DOGS.

I.          WITH RESPECT TO PET DOGS & PET OWNING RESIDENTS :Please keep in mind that the following is what you CANNOT do :-

 BANNING pets, whether allowed :

a)     Even by obtaining consensus, or even if the majority of the residents want it, you cannot legally introduce any sort of ‘ban’ on the keeping of pet dogs by residents.

b)     Even by amending bye-laws or regulations or otherwise, such a ‘ban’ cannot be put into place since it is illegal, and does not have the sanction of law. In fact, in trying to ‘ban’ pets, or limit their number, you interfere with a fundamental freedom guaranteed to the citizens of India, i.e. the freedom to choose the life they wish to live, which includes facets such as living with or without companion animals.

c)    If the residents that have pets are not violating any municipal or other laws, you cannot object. The general body cannot frame or amend bye-laws that are at variance with the laws of the country. Even by a complete majority, a general body cannot adopt an illegality. Please remember, you do not have the right to legislate, and ‘lay down law’ for residents, and apartment owners or even tenants.

Use of LIFTS by pets :

d)    There is a court ruling to the effect that pets cannot be disallowed from the use of lifts ; and no charges can be imposed either, by housing societies for the use of lifts by pets. In fact, it was widely reported in the news that the concerned court had ruled that “Dogs are family, can use lifts for free”. Kindly ensure that this sort of restriction is not therefore imposed – neither a ban, nor any special charges for the use of lifts by pets.

 Use of PARKS by pets :

e)    Banning pets from gardens or parks, is short-sighted. Firstly, you may or may not own the garden or park in question. It may be an MCD or DDA park, or belong to any other organization. Secondly, pets that are not properly exercised may show aggression in frustration ; and that, surely, cannot contribute to the benefit of the residents. It may be better to fix timings when pets can be walked without inconvenience to other residents. These timings can then be intimated to the general body.

Use of leashes/muzzles by pet owners, defecation by pets in community premises, imposition of fines and other similar measures :

f)     You can request pet owners to keep their pets on leash, when walking them in common areas. You cannot however ask for muzzles as muzzles are illegal for sustained use as dogs die through overheating. Please remember, the law already provides for penalties for negligent pet owners, which the aggrieved parties can avail of.

g)    In the absence of central or state laws requiring cleaning of pet poop by pet owners, you cannot impose any rule, regulation or bye-law, with respect to mandatory cleaning of pet poop, or impose special charges or fines on pet owners. You can, of course, request them to do so.

h)    You can also experiment with the creation of various pet defecation areas within community premises, which is what some housing societies and sectors are doing. These can be imaginatively spaced out within the precincts, and you can request pet owners to train their pets into using the same. You cannot however impose fines and special charges of any kind on pet owners, because there is no mandate in law for the same.

Intimidation :

i)     Lastly, please also always bear in mind that if any association succeeds in intimidating a pet owner into ‘giving up’ or ‘abandoning’ a pet, it will actually have contributed to a violation of law ; and may well be aggravating the menace of ownerless animals on the street, that are not accustomed to living on the street and therefore get involved in and lead to accidents, injuries and deaths. Please also bear in mind that intimidation is an offense in law.

II.         WITH RESPECT TO STREET DOGS :What you CANNOT do :-

1)         Beating and driving away street dogs, NOT ALLOWED ; animal birth control and release back into same locality/territory, ALLOWED :

As per Indian law street dogs (i.e. stray dogs) cannot be beaten or driven away or dumped elsewhere or killed. They can merely be sterilized in the manner envisaged in the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001, vaccinated, and then returned back to their original locations. For the area-wise sterilization program that the law mandates shall be followed, dogs have to be returned back to their original habitat after sterilization and immunization.

2)         The rationale behind release into the same locality/territory :

Dogs, being territorial in nature, tend to fight off other dogs, and keep them from entering their territories ; and in this manner, the dog population in each territory / within each locale, stabilizes.If, however, they are removed permanently, other dogs come into the ‘dog-free’ vacuum that is thereby created. So the ‘problem’ continues.

3)         Street dog feeding, whether inside or outside community premises :

 There is no law that prohibits the feeding of street animals.Citizens who choose to do so are in fact performing a duty cast upon them by the Constitution of India – of showing compassion to all living creatures. As recently as the 12th of December, 2011, stray dog feeding has been upheld yet again by the High Court, and the emphatic challenge to the same by one R.W.A., disregarded.

4)         Animal cruelty :

Please also note, animal cruelty is an offence – under Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, and Section 428 of the Indian Penal Code –punishable with imprisonment and fine.

5)         Intimidation :

Attempts to interfere with, or harass persons who choose to tend to and feed community dogs, maybe tantamount to the very grave offence of criminal intimidation.

6)         Aggression to dogs, counter productive :

Last but not the least : any aggression or hostility that the dogs may be subjected to, will only render them aggressive, and hostile to humans. They may then resort to snapping and biting in self -defense. If the same happens, the human aggressors shall be the only ones to blame.

Posted in Animals, Do-it-Yourself (DIY)Series: Animal Rescue and Treatment, General/Animals, Medical treatment of Animals, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India, Take Action!

Is your neighbourhood street dog coughing off late? Sharing a treatment that may work

We have seen many dogs who are coughing really hard and continuously in this unbearable summer heat of Delhi-NCR, may be you have too…the cough could be because of dust-triggered Respiratory Infection, says our consultant veterinary doctor. It is painful to see the dogs coughing this way, trying as if they were to release something out that is stuck in their throat and often spitting out phlegm (‘balgam‘ as it is called in Hindi).

The treatment* we have successfully used to treat four dogs on the street over the past month and cure them off their cough is as follows, sharing here so that the readers of this blog can also make use of it:

  1. Go to your neighborhood chemist shop and purchase a strip of Ampoxin-500mg Capsules (it is an antibiotic medicine). A Strip of 15 capsules would cost you Rs.38 only.
  2. Give the coughing dog a 3 day antibiotic-course (3 days x 2 capsules daily) of this medicine. This means that you need to give the coughing dog one Ampoxin-500mg capsule in the morning and one in the evening for three consecutive days.
  3. How to give the capsule, so that the dog will consume the medicine? : Now this is the tricky part. Do not give the capsule as whole, the dog will spit it out and leave the food, who likes food with medicines anyways? :) Open the capsule, cut the capsule at its tip with a scissor and pour the capsule’s white colour powder in some paneer/cheese or sweet like gulab jamun.

*Please note: We are not doctors, but we are sharing this treatment protocol here because we have tried it successfully and we understand that it is very difficult to take each and every street dog to a vet or veterinary hospital for treatment. Many ailments, if detected early enough in street dogs, can be best treated on the street itself.

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animals, Be the Change, Do you know?, Games people play, General/Animals, Information that empowers!, Pets, Take Action!

Pets and Resident Welfare Associations (RWA): How does the law treat your pet?

Everyday, we receive many queries and calls over the Jaagruti helpline complaining about how their Residential Society’s Welfare Associations (commonly abbreviated as RWA’s) putting up notices ‘banning pets’, coming out with ‘no pets allowed’ clauses in their society bye-laws, ‘asking people to abandon their pets’, ‘mistreating street dogs’ etc. The article below by Rishi Dev of Citizens for Animal Rights, is a must-read for all those facing such a situation. This article explains as well as empowers you with information to fight your own respective battles in this regard for your sake and for your pet child..who has no one other than you in this world to fight for him/her or their rights.

Guest Post* by Rishi Dev, Citizens for Animal Rights

In 2010, the Central Mumbai Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum gave a strong directive to a group housing society who was charging a pet owner resident monthly fees for using lifts. The court clearly said – “Dogs are part of a family hence they have the right to use the lift just as any other member, and we cannot decide who is a family member and who isn’t, each family decides for itself.”

Before this in 2008 a similar order came from a lower court that clarified that pets are part of family and cannot be restricted from living or using the residential complexes.

In 2012, the Gurgaon Municipal Corporation was the first of their kind to issue strict notices to all CGHS and RWAs in Gurgaon, warning them not to formulate rules and regulations against pets and that any such move is in conflict with the law. The notices clearly stated – “Such a move may lead to dissolution of the RWA and prosecution of its office bearers, says the letter. It is illegal to remove animals from the area through security guards employed by RWAs. Nor can they intimidate residents who may be feeding those animals. Under stray dog management rules 2001, it’s illegal for an individual, RWA or estate management to remove or relocate dogs. The dogs have to be sterilized and vaccinated and returned to the same area. Vaccinated and sterilized dogs cannot be removed by the municipality too. Under Section 506 of the IPC, it’s a crime to threaten abuse or harass neighbors who feed animals.”

So what is origin of these laws protecting dogs and cats from humans who treat them unequal?

The system of law in Indian is a tiered system, based on Arthashastra from 400 B.C. & Manusmriti from 100 A.D. wherein the central philosophy was tolerance & pluralism. This is the reason the constitution declares India to be a sovereign socialist secular democratic republic, assuring its citizens justice, equality, and liberty.

The hierarchical system of Indian constitution thus forbids the lower hierarchies to overrule or override the higher orders, laws, directions or acts. This means that if Supreme Court says ‘yes’ to something, the ‘no’ by the high courts’ gets automatically nullified. This hierarchy comes down to the lowest local urban body or court. In India most courts have already ruled in favor of the animals in all respects. Hence any organization, individual or body ruling or following actions against such orders are automatically breaking the law and in contempt of the constitution and the honorable courts.

There are laws and constitutional provisions directly allowing people to take care of animals, whether inside or outside their places of work or living. The laws clearly protect people and their animals from all kinds of discrimination.  The Indian constitution states them very clearly via various sections. Article 48-A – “The State shall endeavor to protect & improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.” Article 51-A deals with the fundamental duties of the citizen.  Article 51-A(g) states – ” It shall be duty of every citizen of India to protect & improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.” Article 19 deals with the fundamental rights of the citizen. So “Right to Protect the Environment ” comes within Article 19. After the Stockholm Declaration in 1972 the Indian Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976 inserted for the first time specific provisions to protect & improve the environment. I.P.C. Section 428 and 429 provides severe punishment to people resorting to dislocation, abduction and acts of cruelty towards community animals or pets. Ministry of Public Grievances notification and a similar notification by Animal Welfare Board of India dated March 2008, provide immunity to animal feeders and restrict government employees or bodies such as Resident Welfare Associations from harassing people who try to feed or help animals. Article 25, 26, 27, 28 provides religious freedom to all citizens and preserves the principle of secularism in India. According to the constitution, all religions are equal before the State. Citizens are free to preach, practice and propagate any religion of their choice in their own way. Keeping or feeding animals is a part of the same right. The other acts which protect animals are The  Environment (Protection)  Act – 1986 & Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.

Hence, anyone taking care, keeping pets or street animals has natural immunity in the law. There are many orders pertaining to street animals by many courts. But in the recent times many RWAs have shown their autocracy over residents keeping pets. Keeping the same in mind the Animal Welfare Board of India and many municipal corporations have time and again written to the Registrar of Societies (ROS) and their RWAs to refrain from these undemocratic actions.

An RWA is a private, representative body which has no legal sanctity. It is just a group of people who have come together and formed a club. Their resolutions and bye laws are not legal mandates and especially if they violate the fundamental rights of a citizen or even more goes against an existing court order. Such RWAs can be legally prosecuted and if need be can face fines or imprisonment or both. Such precedence has been set before. If any resident faces such harassment from RWAs, must immediately approach the local magistrate and file a complaint of harassment and violation of their fundamental rights. The complaint must also be sent to ROS asking them to dissolve the RWA with immediate effect. AWBI must also be approached for taking appropriate legal action against such RWA members.

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animal Sacrifice, Animals, Be the Change, General/Animals, Inspiration, Religion

From a Non-vegetarian eating Muslim to a Vegan – Reflections by Faizan Jaleel

Guest post* by Faizan Jaleel

*Views expressed herein are solely the personal views of the author – Faizan Jaleel, who can be contacted on faizanjaleel@icloud.com

**For those interested in the subject, there is also a website based book titled, “Animals in Islam” by Al-Hafiz B.A. Mazri , which can be accessed by clicking here

Being a Muslim has been linked to meat eating and in fact rightly so because many or most of the Muslims (followers of Islam) are non vegetarians. Being a Muslim myself and a non vegetarian till around 2009, I could simply understand that meat was a part of our cuisine and never in the entire time of my being a Non Vegetarian came from any religious guidance at that time. Meat was cooked and we ate it. It was not told to us in any religious sermon that you should eat meat to be a Muslim and yes neither it was the other way round like it was also not told to us not to eat meat as well. We didn’t know about the slaughter and cruelty and the pain and suffering and sentience. It was out of sight and so out of mind.

If we look at the history of Islam which had its roots in the sands and deserts, it is obvious that many hundred years ago there would have been almost meager vegetation and that’s why the cuisine there was mostly bland (lack of spices) and meat (lack of fruits, vegetables and grains). While Islam does teach about being compassionate and merciful and loving to all the life forms, it doesn’t prohibit meat eating, which fits well for that era. There is no evidence that I could refer to where it has been propagated in Islam to raise farm animals for organised slaughter and profit making if there are alternates available in abundance.

The entire meat eating frenzy which is common to a large part of our society is an organised business that rides on billions and trillions of dollars, cruelty and misery. Each day many million lives are taken in an indefinite number of slaughter houses. Many countries and unfortunately my Country also participates in this madness and crime and holds a distinction of causing maximum cruelty through its extremely crude methods of killing and murdering animals. Billions are earned each day.

As I see it and present my view, I believe, that meat eating in today’s world which provides a sea of alternatives is not as per the teachings of Islam. I believe Prophet Mohammad would have never approved of this, I believe that no Islamic scholar can justify this madness of killing and profit making when it is not required to be as per the tenets of Islam, however it can be very easily proved that this form of mass murder is against the teachings of love, compassion and mercy that Islam preaches so strongly. And it is not only about eating meat and killing animals, another aspect of the same issue is the amount of food grains used in raising these cattle and livestock population, the food that could have very easily fed millions of starving human population.

In Islam, drinking alcohol is prohibited because it is “sharaab” or “water that induces indecency” and is habit forming and is something that is not necessary to life – based on the same principle, meat in today’s context is extremely habit forming and not at all required as there are other options available – so why Muslims should not denounce meat in total and live the spirit of Islam!

This photograph (Photo © Jaagruti) was clicked by us a few years back while walking through the narrow by lanes of Chawri Bazaar in Old Delhi. It shows one one of the goats that was due to be sacrificed during the course of Bakr-Id, that was to follow shortly. When I asked Faizan with curiosity, what was his opinion on religious scarifices of animals like this goat, during Bakr-Eid, Faizan shared, "with regards to the sacrifice of animals on Bakra Eid, let me tell you that Allah doesn't require us to sacrifice a Bakra or any living being at all, it is the mutilation of religion and has become more of a status symbol. The spirit of that particular eid is about sacrificing what you love the most and obviously that has lost its significance in present times where religion has become more of consumerism."
This photograph (Photo © Jaagruti) was clicked by us a few years back while walking through the narrow by lanes of Chawri Bazaar in Old Delhi. It shows one one of the goats that was due to be sacrificed during the course of Bakr-Id, that was to follow shortly. When I asked Faizan with curiosity, what was his opinion on religious scarifices of animals like this goat, during Bakr-Eid, Faizan shared, “with regards to the sacrifice of animals on Bakra Eid, let me tell you that Allah doesn’t require us to sacrifice a Bakra or any living being at all, it is the mutilation of religion and has become more of a status symbol. The spirit of that particular eid is about sacrificing what you love the most and obviously that has lost its significance in present times where religion has become more of consumerism.”

Is it so hard for us to stop eating meat because it has become a habit; is it stronger than the urge to be righteous? Has it become bigger that the religion itself?

I know by writing this I must have disturbed many Muslims, but that is what I meant to do, so that the next time when you have your juicy chicken breast, roasted lamb, steaks or veal, biryani or qorma, roghan josh or stew, kebabs or liver fry.. you take a moment to think that it is coming from one of the murder houses which just made a profit running in billions at the cost of your ignorance about your own religion and you are still happy about it.

This is the time to think again and be a rightful Muslim…. Not eating meat will not kill you however you will save a life somewhere.

Ignorance is a crime, seek knowledge and be an informed and compassionate being that is what we ought to be – all of us!

With love for all….

Faizan Vegan J

Posted in Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme/Street Dog Sterilization, Animal Laws of India, Animals, Be the Change, Do you know?, Do-it-Yourself (DIY)Series: Animal Rescue and Treatment, General/Animals, Information that empowers!, News Reports

Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Series-3: Apply for the ‘Colony Caretaker of Animals-Card’ from Animal Welfare Board of India

AWBI website screenshot-information to dogfeeders, colony caretakers
AWBI website screenshot-information to dogfeeders, colony caretakers

Animal Welfare Board of India has decided to issue Identity Cards to Street Dog Feeders/Colony Care Takers of Animals who are taking care of animals in their locality.

A proforma of registration form can be downloaded from this link- http://awbi.org/awbi-pdf/caretakers.pdf or please click below.

AWBI Form for getting Colony Caretaker of Animals ID Card

Please download the form and send the duly filled in form along with the following:

– Two passport size photographs.
– Self -attested true copy of the Ration Card/ Voter ID/ Driving License/ Passport/ PAN Card

 to

ANIMAL WELFARE BOARD OF INDIA
(Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India)
Post Box No. 8672, 13/1, Third Seaward Road, Valmiki Nagar,Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai – 600 041

Colony Animal Cretaker Form_AWBI_English

Colony Animal Cretaker Form_AWBI_Hindi

A news report on the same in Indian Express dated 21st January 2013, by Senior Correspondent Kamala Kelkar,  is posted below. Please hoever note that the process may take less or more than a couple of weeks for you to receive your cards, as mentioned below

People who care for street dogs will soon be getting government-issued identity cards. The new ID cards are expected to do away with harassment faced by many such persons from the general public, when they try to feed canines on the road.

In a move that animal activists termed “unprecedented,” the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has decided last week that anyone who voluntarily cares for strays — dog feeders and colony caretakers who tend to animals in their locality.

It Board has put up a one-page registration form (can be downloaded free of cost) on its website awbi.org, for those who want to get these ID cards.

The applicant needs to fill in personal information such as name, address and experience. Once the application is submitted, the ID card would be processed and mailed to the applicant, board member and legal advisor Anjali Sharma said.

“The card would have the person’s name and an attestation that he/she is doing a right and lawful deed and the Animal Welfare Board supports it. This lends credibility to the person,” Sharma said.

The AWBI is a legal advisory body that was formed under the Animal Prevention Act of 1960 to protect the animals.

Sharma explained that the goal of the card, which does not provide any exclusive rights, was solely the welfare of animals and caretakers.

“Most people don’t realize that sterilization and vaccination of stray dogs would be possible only through feeding and befriending dogs,” Sharma said.

In December 2011, the Delhi High Court had passed an order voicing its approval for designated “dog feeding spots” for stray canines in the city. It passed the order on a petition which sought to protect dogs from “intimidating” residents, so they could be fed without any hassle.

The court also ruled that police should assist dog feeders if they faced any “harassment” from residents and also ordered the AWBI to designate specific feeding areas.

Rishi Dev, founder of Citizens for Animal Rights who has written a book on “Urban disputes over animals”, said this was the first time that the government was supporting such an initiative.

Sharma hoped that many would come forward to apply for the cards. “They are performing a duty,” she said. “And it’s a legitimate exercise.”

Posted in Animals, Be the Change, Do you know?, Do-it-Yourself (DIY)Series: Animal Rescue and Treatment, General/Animals, Information that empowers!, Inspiration, Jaagruti's interventions, Medical treatment of Animals, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India, Take Action!

Do-it-Yourself (DIY)Series-1: How do we pick up street dogs and take them to the nearest vet in our car

We are no experts and neither do we run an animal ambulance or hospital that tends to animals. We do it one street dog (or at best two or three) at a time and try to do our best in getting them treated/taking care of them and returning them back to the streets/areas where we picked them up/rescued them from.

We would like to share here what we have learnt, in our few years of doing this work on how best YOU can also try to pick an animal in need; place them in your car and take them to the nearest good vet for treatment/first aid.

Sometimes, a few regular visits to a good vet are all the injured street dog needs to recover back to full fitness. Also, try and learn some animal first aid yourself; and keep a first aid kit handy with regular medicines (please read this link: https://jaagruti.org/first-aid-for-dogs/)

Please remember sending each and every injured/ill animal to the animal hospital is NOT the solution. The animals recover better when treated on the streets, wherever possible, when tended to by animal lovers in the area and taken to vets, as advised periodically(and given supplementary medication mixed in food as advised by the vet) till they have completely recovered.

Some vets also do street dog sterilization surgeries (by prior appointments only) at their private clinics, at minimal costs for the dog lovers who tend to street dogs in their area and are willing to take care of the sterilized dogs in their homes for a few nights till they recover from the surgery, by sheltering them at their homes for this period of recovery. You need to find such good veterinary surgeons around your home so that tending to animals and getting them treated, sterilized and vaccinated doesn’t become a stressful chore for you, but rather a duty you perform with smile and satisfaction.

However, dogs do try to run away when they sense that you are trying to catch them…when they are injured, they may also tend to bite you, that is not because they hurt you, but because they are already in pain, that may have been inflicted by ‘humans’ only, and are thus less trusting of you

So here goes our checklist for catching an injured street dog and taking them for medical treatment:

 1. Make sure you are at least two people, as two are always better than one, when it comes to extending moral, emotional and physical support to each other…all of which is required when it comes to getting an injured animal treated.

2. Take some dry dog food with you to tempt the animal to you and allowing the animal to trust you to pet/touch them.

3. Equipments you will need to catch a dog:

a. A naada i.e. a cloth string/rope that is used to tie pyjamas here in India)- it works better than a muzzle and we use the same to tie the dog’s mouth and then take it around the neck and tie it at the back of the neck. The naada is gentle and better on the snout.

b. A dog leash (one with collar and one without collar)- the handle of the leash without the collar also acts as a good thing to put around the dog’s neck, while sliding the leash through it so that it becomes a lock.

c. Cover your car seats/floor with a waterproof cloth or/and old bed sheets to avoid getting your car covers/flooring dirty, as the dogs may vomit (due to motion sickness), pee/urinate or poo/defacate en-route, please be prepared for it (Do this preparatory work in your car before you go to rescue the dog).

4. Lifting the dog: Once the snout is muzzled and the leash is tied around their neck (which also gives us a chance to ensure that the dog doesn’t run away once we land at the vet’s clinic), and then lift the dog up in your arms by placing your hands across/under their chest to establish a tight grip as you lift them up. Yes, you are thinking right, you need to be physically strong and firm on your feet to lift dogs up in your arms this way.

5. Place the dog in your car: We take the dogs in our car, we have a Santro, we push down/fold down the backseat, so that the boot of the car and this space adds up and the dog has enough space. Sometimes, for small-sized dogs, we have used pet carriers; but mostly, we just place them in the car the above way and then when we reach our destination (the vet’s place/hospital)…once you have placed the dog inside your car, roll down the window just by a few inches (for ventilation) and not too much the dog tries to stick its neck out and run away.

Street dog being taken in our car for treatment at the nearest vet's clinic
Street dog being taken in our car for treatment at the nearest vet’s clinic

6. Also, try to ensure a crowd doesn’t gather (which may happen, as the dog being caught will try to scream as a defensive reaction); too many people crowding together will make the animal nervous. To disperse the crowd, take help of your team mates and gently try to explain them what you are doing and request them to disperse.

What we do? We have, through experience, learnt to talk and explain about such things gradually with different kinds of people; and when we are only trying to benefit a living being, what’s the shame in trying to answer curious queries…People do listen. While we request people to move inside their homes and not crowd about as the animal is in any case scared, some listen, some don’t and when they don’t, sometimes we have to be forceful and assertive in requesting them, while trying to make sure that we don’t enter into a fight by offending their sensibilities, its a test of patience we agree, but then it’s all worth it.

7. Once you reach the vet’s clinic, either request help from their paravets to take the dog from your car to the vet’s examination room/table. Or ensure that you lift the dog back into your arms carefully (taking care that all other windows/car gates are locked) and take him/her inside the clinic.

Please do share your experiences by writing to us at contact@jaagruti.org or posting comments below. This is just a synopsis of what we do and what works for us.

Thanks.

Posted in Animals, General/Animals, Jaagruti's interventions, Medical treatment of Animals, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India

Treating an old dog with Aural haematoma- Part 2

Dateline: October 2012

Two years back, we had penned a story on how we got an old black dog’s aural haematoma treated.

We had a smilar challenge to face with another old dog, a brown coloured male dog with a very peculiar personality disorder, which is that he wants you to love him, but he is cared of being touched. How does one take a dog with such a feeble heart in one’s car to the doctor’s clinic? We were in a dilemma, confused.

We tried to catch him many a times to take him to the vet’s place, just seeing us approaching him with a leash, he would start screaming on the top of his voice as if the leash was to strangle him.

We were sure we didn’t want him operated (i.e surgically treat him) for this aural haematoma, neither that dog or we had the hearts to brave it.

We discussed this with our trusted vet and requested him to send across his paravet with us to the street where this brown dog lives, the vet agreed and we decided that the best way forward was to aspirate the accumulated fluid out of the dog’s right swollen ear flap and insert antibiotics in the ear flap, that would help dry the fluid and heal the haematoma.

Moral of the story thus far: Have full faith in yourself and conviction in the choices you make. Then march ahead. More often than not, things will fall in place

This is what happened thereafter after the paravet arrived on the spot to execute the plan of medical-action.

Attempt 1: We tried to lure the dog to me with dog food, he came, ate and tried to run away and we couldn’t entice him to come near the paravet for he, i.e. the dog, smelt danger!

Attempt 2: We tried to lure the dog to me with dog food and distracted him, and the paravet from behind threw the leash around  the dog’s neck and using all our force, we managed to hold that dog in that steady position.

The paravet took position and a syringe (plunger with needle) was inserted into the swollen portion of the ear flap by the paravet and the fluid that had accumulated in the dog’s ear flap was sucked out (aspirated) and thrown away. The process was repeated (while keeping the needle fixed on the flap and just removing the syringe’s plunger portion) till the fluid was sucked out (as much as it could be).

Then a mixture of antibiotic Gentamycin and injectable medicine Prednisone (an anti-inflammatory drug that also promotes healing) was injected into the ear flap through that same needle which was left on the ear flap.

Apparently, as explained to us by the paravet, Prednisone as a medicine helps dry the fluid and heal such wounds.

And it worked, it has been a month since this exercise was undertaken and the flap though is now bent, it doesn’t have any fluid accumulated inside it.

This is how it all looks.

The Old Brown Dog’s right ear: Post non-surgical aspiration of aural haematoma fluid [Image (c) Jaagruti]

In the end, something to share…We at ‘Jaagruti’ often get questioned on our helpline number by many a rowdy people as to what we actually do, we tell them to read it on these pages on this blog (About Jaagruti, Contact Us and Animal Helplines in Delhi and NCR), we have clearly written on these pages what we are and what we are not, we have nothing to hide.

We don’t run an ambulance or a veterinary hospital, we don’t run a shelter, Jaagruti is a little effort wherein we try to share information and empower you, we try to listen to you when you call, we may not always have an answer, we are young and still learning, but we will always try to guide you with the best possible solution based on our understanding of the subject or issue and help you do what we aim to do, inspiring you to do a good deed a day. For we believe that if everyone were to do that, it will be a good day for many in need.

“Try to make at least one person happy every day. If you cannot do a kind deed, speak a kind word.

If you cannot speak a kind word, think a kind thought.”- Lawrence G. Lovasik 

And remember to smile, despite all the hardships that exist and you face, you’re beautiful and so is this world.

Posted in Animals, Be the Change, Games people play, General/Animals, Inspiration, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, News Reports, Relationships, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India

Educating emotions

The below article written  by Eunice deSouza in Pune Mirror is worth reading and sharing with as many ‘humans’ as you know.

For this post says so much of what we at ‘Jaagruti’ always wanted to put in words. As she rightly pens, ‘People need lessons in empathy, the imagination to put themselves in place of others or animals’…to spare a moment and feel the way the animals would with all that we humans mete out to them.

People need to realise the
benefit from contact with animals
and the natural world

I happened to be standing at a local bus stop one day when children were returning from school. I suddenly noticed a small group of young boys had collected and were staring at something on the wall behind me.

They were picking up stones. I look around, and there was a chameleon on the wall which the children were determined to kill. I shooed them away, but they kept coming back. Would “blood-lust” be too strong a term to describe the way they behaved?

Children as young as two pick up stones to throw at inoffensive dogs having a nap, while their bovine mothers stand there saying nothing. Of course, if the dog were to give the child a nip in return, all hell would be let loose.

Then there was the dog whose eyes were bleeding. We were to take him to hospital, but he was in a panic and rushed here and there. The young men who were trying to catch him finally succeeded. But in the meantime, a crowd had gathered, laughing and cheering.

You wouldn’t think all this could happen in a country where we are so ready to say our feelings have been hurt! Is this because, in our educational system and elsewhere, we don’t think seriously in terms of educating emotions?

In his autobiography, John Stuart Mill talks about the rigorous system his father put him through. If I’m not mistaken, he says that from the age of three or so, he was made to study Greek, Latin, History, and a great deal more.

At some point in his life, he felt so dead that he was near a nervous breakdown. It was then that he found relief and salvation in reading Wordsworth, whose work put him in touch with feelings that were both experienced and explored.

He is a poet who was as relevant then as he is now: “The world is too much with us; late and soon,/Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers: Little we see in Nature that is ours;/We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!”

Valuing Science, Engineering, Medicine, Technology is fine. But we are more than scientists, engineers, doctors or computer specialists. Empathy, the imagination to put ourselves in the place of others, doesn’t always come naturally. (It does to my dog.

When I came home with a bandaged eye, he looked at it for a while and then licked my hand.) Nor can we expect to feel empathy all the time for everyone and everything. I, for one, would have happily machine-gunned that lot laughing and cheering while looking at the blind dog.

Sometimes, when I reach a point when I feel I can’t stand any more of this, something reassuring happens. One of half-a-dozen or so of small businessmen who look after animals, and are around the corner from me, asked me to look at a dog the other day.

The dog had a head wound infested with maggots. He was not a local dog. Wounded dogs often run from place to place because they are so distressed. Often people shoo them away. I knew there was really no hope for the dog. When I said this, the shop owner said, “Let’s give him a chance.” So we called the ambulance.

Obviously, people like him don’t need lessons in empathy. They know that we benefit from contact with animals and the natural world as much as animals/ birds benefit from our caring. But perhaps, till the great revolution in empathy arrives, we can make a small start: persuade ourselves to put out a bowl of water for thirsty animals and birds in this awful weather.

Posted in Animals, Be the Change, General/Animals, Inspiration, Jaagruti's interventions, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Medical treatment of Animals, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India

The story of ‘Magic’ and his rescue

‘Magic’ is another of our rescued dog stories, for the story of his rescue and recovery is nothing but ‘magical’.

Last year when the Commonwealth Games 2010 ended, it was time to release the street dogs back into the games venue areas where they were picked up from and kept in at shelters for the period of the games.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s SSCBC (Society for Stray Canine Birth Control) decided then that to ensure transparency, the release of all dogs back into their respective areas will be photographed and video-graphed as evidence to comfort all that ‘no dog was dislocated from its original territories’ in conformation with the Animal Birth Control Rules 2001 (drafted under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960).

On one such Dog-release exercises happening in South Delhi, I had volunteered to be part of the Release Team and photograph/videograph the release of the dogs as per the details we had of their respective areas at the time of picking them up.

As we were releasing some dogs in the area of R.K Puram, a middle-aged lady came up to me and pointed to a dog that had taken shelter in a shop of his rag-dealer husband. She told me ‘Take him, he has lost his eye’. I asked what happened and went close by, only to see something that I had not imagined. The left side of this male dog’s face was completely chewn apart by maggots and so was his left eye and we all could literally peep into his jaw, see his tongue and it was to say the least, a painful sight.

I requested the MCD Dog Catchers who were accompanying me in the Release vehicle to help catch that dog, but this was not a rescue for the faint-hearted and they couldn’t catch him and he ran far far away.

MCD’s dog catcher tries to catch the maggot infested dog ‘Magic’ but he resists the catching attempt and runs away -Image Copyright: Jaagruti

Next day morning, we at ‘Jaagruti’ decided to make another trip to that area as that lady had shared with me that the maggot-infested dog stays in and around their shop only.

After a few minutes of searching for him, we were able to locate this dog, but now came the big challenge of how to win this dog’s confidence and pick him up to keep him in our car…we had done this before, but this time around we needed some help and help did come to us in the form of the rag-dealer husband of that lady, who was friendly with that dog and helped pick him up and place him in our car. We had used the tried and tested trick of covering his eyes with a cloth and tying a leash around his neck…but then mayhem was to follow as this dog kept running up and down in our car and was scratching his face with the windowpanes, visibly in pain with the maggots tearing into his flesh, oozing blood all over.

We then called upon the ambulance from the Animal Hospital we at ‘Jaagruti’ support through monetary and in-kind contributions and requested them to help us with this rescue case. To our good fortune, their ambulance was nearby…and then we were successfully able to transfer this dog from our car into the ambulance and off he was sent to the hospital.

‘Magic’ after being put in the Animal Ambulance- Image Copyright: ‘Jaagruti’

In the case of any other animal hospital in any part of Delhi or the world, such a severe case of maggot infested dog would have perhaps been euthanized or as they say’ peacefully put to sleep’ and we at ‘Jaagruti’ were prepared to hear that from our trusted vet too, but that wasn’t to be as the docs decided to give it a shot and then began the ‘magical’ treatment of this dog, whom we chose to name ‘Magic’…perhaps because his recovery was magical news for us and also because the name of the dreaded maggots who made this dog’s life hell started that way as well!

As ‘Magic’ underwent treatment, on day 1 his maggots and wound were cleared, on day 2 he was put on drips because with all the maggot clearing medicines going into his mouth, he had stopped eating food through his mouth…the glucose drips continued till day 4 and then came the good news, that Magic had started taking his food himself..

‘Magic’ on the road to recovery at the Animal Hospital – Image Copyright: ‘Jaagruti’

Another month of treatment and recovery followed and on Day 40, he was released back into his area where he was welcomed back by the area residents, all astonished and pleased that he had recovered and so were we!

‘Magic’ in the ambulance post recovery and before being released back into his area -Day 40 (Image Copyright: ‘Jaagruti’)
Posted in Animals, General/Animals, Inspiration, Jaagruti's interventions, Medical treatment of Animals, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India

‘Desty’ – Destiny’s child!

For all animal cases that we get to attend directly to at ‘Jaagruti’, we just prefer to give them a name rather than referring to them as an anonymous dog or any other creature. But that name is just for us so that on platforms like this blog, we can share that animal’s story with you. We make it a point not to call that animal being treated out with that name, lest the animal gets used to it and then has no one to call it out when he goes back to his/her life on the street after spending his days of recovery either with us or at a boarding or at an animal hospital shelter.

Now, to who is Desty?

Desty is the name we gave to a street dog who landed out of nowhere at our doorsteps a few months back, we were alerted to his presence by the barking and screaming of the other dogs that live on our street. Desty was a new dog, we hadn’t seen him anywhere near the stretch of our colony or the colonies adjacent to ours!

And visibly as we could make out, Desty was unwell. He resisted the barking of our area’s street dogs and made himself comfortable next to our doorstep, we thought he won’t make it and won’t eat, but then when we placed a bowl of milk next to him so that we could examine him, he gulped it in seconds as if he was thirsty for ages…we gave him another bowl and he gulped it again. He was clearly in no mood to go anywhere and he just stayed put over there for the next two days and we kept feeding him. He had no visible signs of injury, but then we noticed something, he was showing signs of twitching and was coughing, symptoms characteristic of early stages of Canine Distemper.

'Desty' as we saw him on Day 1- Image Copyright: 'Jaagruti '

Since we were feeding him, he trusted us enough to lift him and put him in the car to take him to our vet for examination or perhaps when we now look back, we think this was what Desty had come to our doorsteps for!

As the vet examined him, our fears were proved true, Desty was indeed showing signs of  Canine Distemper, but the good news was that this was perhaps the initial stage and as per our trusted vet’s advice, we shifted him to the isolation ward of the animal hospital we support and there, under the supervision of our trusted vet, began Desty’s ‘homeopathic’ treatment, a specially designed course designed by human homeopathic doctor by the name of  Dr. Shukla who works out of Noida, comprising of homeopathic medicines like Distemperium and Agaricus mixed in strict-secret proportions by him and given every few hours.

Within a span of 10 days, Desty was fit and fine again and we decided to leave him on the street at the very car parking spot where we had first noticed him prior to him coming on his own to our house doorsteps!

We had opted to release him back on the street in the early hours of the morning, so that he could safely chart his way back to whichever area he belonged to and sure enough he did.

'Desty' before being released back on the street-Post-treatment (Day 12) - Image Copyright: 'Jaagruti '

We kept thinking about Desty as we couldn’t locate him again after that morning, perhaps this dog was just destined to come to our doorsteps on his own to get himself treated of Distemper, a life threatening disease with no cure if not detected and cured in the early stages of infection. And that is why we chose to name him ‘Desty’.

We were in for another surprise a month down the line, we noticed Desty next to our home yet again, this time hale and hearty and even showing his teeth to the dogs that inhabit our street. We came out, noticed him and remembered him and then he looked at us and sprinted away…we guess he had only come to tell us that he was fine and happy now and to put us at ease.

It is these little inexplicable and often ‘divine’ moments of satisfaction and joy of seeing an animal you helped treat back on its feet again that uplifts our sagging spirits to keep on in our efforts to help those who can’t help themselves.

Posted in Animals, Articles/Posts in Hindi, Games people play, General/Animals, News Reports, Street Dogs of India

यह गली के कुत्ते ….

By आशीष पांडे

Courtesy: Navbharat Times Monday March 14, 2011

एक शख्स ने पेपर में छपने के लिए शिकायत भेजी कि हमारे मोहल्ले में कई आवारा कुत्ते हैं। जब देखो भौंकते हुए पीछे पड़ जाते हैं, सड़क पर आराम से चलने भी नहीं देते। मौका मिले तो काट भी लेते हैं। उन्होंने इस बात पर अफसोस भी जताया कि हमारे कानून ऐसे हैं कि आवारा कुत्तों को मारा नहीं जा सकता।

एमसीडी (दिल्ली नगर निगम) वाले मरे मन से उन्हें पकड़ते हैं लेकिन जल्द ही छोड़ना पड़ता है। बाहर निकलकर वह अपनी तादाद फिर बढ़ा लेते हैं। इनकी समस्या इतनी बेकाबू हो गई है कि इंसानों का घर से बाहर निकलना भी मुश्किल हो गया है।

बहुत ही जेनुइन प्रॉब्लम है। कुछ वैसी ही जैसी हमारे दफ्तर में काम करने वाली, हमारे मोहल्लों में रहने वाली और हमारे कॉलेजों में पढ़ने वाली लड़कियां, औरतें और बुजुर्ग महिलाएं रोज झेलती हैं।

फर्क बस इतना है कि आवारा कुत्तों की जगह हमारे समाज के मर्द ले लेते हैं। जो जब देखो फब्तियां कसते हुए पीछे पड़ जाते हैं, सड़क पर तसल्ली से चलने भी नहीं देते। मौका मिले तो रेप करने या मर्डर करने तक से नहीं चूकते। अफसोस ऐसे लोगों के खिलाफ हमारे पास मौत की सजा का कानून नहीं है।

जो मजबूरी कुत्तों को पकड़ने में एमसीडी की है, कुछ वैसी ही मजबूरी दिल्ली पुलिस की भी है। मरे मन से पकड़ तो लेते हैं लेकिन जल्द छोड़ना पड़ता है। समस्या इतनी बेकाबू हो गई है कि लड़कियों और औरतों का इस दिल्ली में घर से निकलना मुश्किल हो रहा है।

बहरहाल, कुत्तों से परेशान मर्दों का सुझाव है कि इसका एक ही इलाज है, सभी आवारा कुत्तों को मार दिया जाए। न रहेंगे कुत्ते न रहेगी समस्या। भले ही एकाध कुत्ते ही इतने खतरनाक हों जो काटने को आते हों, लेकिन वे मानते हैं कि सभी को मार देने से यह समस्या खत्म हो जाएगी।

उनकी इस सोच के आधार पर मर्दों से परेशान औरतें क्या सोचती हैं, वह बताने की जरूरत है क्या….

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 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 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 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 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 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 General/Animals, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Relationships

Saying goodbye to your animal friend…and the essence of a dog’s life

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened”- Anatole France (1844-1924)

Ask anyone who has ever shared his life with an animal friend, and they will vouch for the fact that the most difficult phase in one’s  life is often the loss of your special animal friend. The loss is irreplaceable to say the least, the void of their love and presence is too big to be filled ever.

It is simply so hard to bid good-bye to our faithful special animal companions who have filled our lives with so much joy, blessed us with their unconditional love no matter how we are or how we look, thin or fat, ugly or beautiful, interesting or bland and the list goes on..they never judged us and thats what made them so very special. They teach us lessons that stay with us for life… and after they pass away, the only way by which we can pay their souls a just tribute is by spreading love, kindness and compassion that they gave you to other animals and humans alike and become as wonderful a person as your animal friend thought of you to be.

This link is for those who have like me suffered the emotional trauma of losing a beloved animal. May be these words by Dr. Linda Harper will provide comfort to an aching soul seeking solace after the loss of their beloved animal companion. Dr. Harper is also director of Blessed Bonds.

Dogs invented Unconditional Love

We came across this story by an unknown veterinarian and found it apt to share through this platform, it highlights the essence of the life of the dog, the most faithful companion nature created for humans…

Essence of a Dog’s Life

By an anonymous veterinarian

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle. I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home. As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker ‘s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ”I know why.”

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try to live.

He said,”People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The Six-year-old continued, ”Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

Live simply.

Love generously.

Speak kindly.

Care deeply.

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

If Dogs were our teachers, we would learn important stuff like :

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience.

Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you’re happy, dance around and wiggle your entire body.

No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout.  Run right back and make friends.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.  Stop when you have had enough.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you’re not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.

And finally,

Never trust anyone until you sniff their ass. :)

(Courtesy: http://www.birddogsforever.com/humor/dog_teachers.htm)

Posted in General/Animals, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, News Reports

Abhinav Bindra on ‘Dog’ Values

Abhinav Bindra won the Olympic Gold Medal in 10 meter air rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In his guest column in today’s HT City, the ace shooter writes about his bonding with dogs.

Courtesy: HT City (Hindustan Times) dated 15th May 2010
Posted in Articles/Posts in Hindi, General/Animals

Pet dogs and your personality

The dogs you pet gives an insight into your personality as well. Click on the thumbnail below to enlarge the image, which is a scanned version of the article that was published in the ‘Hello Delhi’ supplement of Navbharat Times newspaper on 4th May, 2010

(Courtesy: Navbharat Times_4th May 2010)