Citizens’ take up initiatives to care for strays on the street

ANIMAL cruelty is a punishable offence in India yet there are countless instances of it daily – whether aimed at elephants and leopards in the wild or stray cows, dogs, and monkeys on the streets. One form of it appears due to the human-wildlife conflict in regions closer to wildlife habitats. And in cities there are disturbing cases of people torturing, maiming and even killing animals for mild annoyance or many a time ‘just for fun’. Animal welfare remains a deep concern among animal lovers.

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Inhumane treatment of animals

In a heartbreaking incident, a pregnant street dog was brutally beaten up with a rod by a group of people in Bhubaneswar. The dog and one of its two pups succumbed to death in spite of veterinarians operating to save them.

Another horrific incident took place in Khammam village in Telangana where people killed a monkey by hanging it. Reportedly, some monkeys were raiding the teak plantation, fields and houses. When the villagers could not chase the animals away, they caught one of them and hung it from a tree.

The reason for such inhumane acts is perhaps the feeling of power over other living beings or greed and violence. Our planet belongs to animals as much as it does to us, humans. Sadly, not many share that understanding. But those of us who do can make a difference.

Animal welfare groups to the rescue

There are over 3 crore homeless animals in India. These hungry and helpless street animals suffer without food and are subject to cruelty nearly all their lives. Come November and their suffering only increases due to harsh winters especially in the North of India. Many of the stray animals succumb to extreme cold without food and shelter. In Delhi alone, nearly 100 community animals die every day. When they try to seek shelter in residential buildings or warmth around bonfires lit by people, most of them are shooed away or beaten.

But not all is lost as far as animal welfare is concerned. Groups of animal lovers such as Kind To All Kind work to protect, shelter and feed animals in the community. This kindness collective, in particular, has been tending to hungry, sick and injured animals for the last six years, bearing the expenses of feeding them every day and the treatment costs with the help of friends and family.

Meet Jiggly, a three-year-old cat, rescued by Kind To All Kind in 2018. When she was taken to a vet, she was found to be pregnant. A couple of months later she gave birth to four lovely kittens, but two did not survive because of Jiggly’s poor nutrition prior to the rescue. The other two kittens were adopted. Later Jiggly was spayed and set free to wander the street with an ear tip – the mark of a spayed animal looked after by the community, and who cannot be picked up or relocated by authorities.

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Like Jiggly, there are hundreds of animals – dogs, cats, cows, pigs and even squirrels – that Kind To All Kind has rescued, feeds and protects. They are now raising funds to build around 300 small huts for community animals and place them in and around Gurgaon. They will be able to shelter more homeless animals without uprooting them from their localities. This animal welfare initiative is to ensure that the community animals sleep with full stomachs in shelters protected from gusts of chilly winds.

With the pandemic and the economic downturn, they need help to continue their caring work. Each hut will cost ₹4,500 to make and it will take ₹2,500 per day to feed 50 animals. Please donate to support this compassionate initiative.

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