“When the lockdown was announced, it was all our furry friends that were affected the most. With everything closed, it was close to impossible for strays to even scavenge for food. Thankfully, with the help of the GHMC and the police, we managed to feed about 150 to 200 dogs daily. However, due to all the misinformation, the number of dogs being abandoned began to skyrocket. Things we don’t know about are always scary, and with absolutely no information about the virus, people began to act out, and suspect even their own pet dogs of being contagious. Be it Covid, an illness, or old age, can you imagine your own family abandoning you?
Pets are dependent on their families, and incapable of surviving on the streets by themselves. It is less cruel to consult a veterinarian and euthanize an aging or ill dog painlessly, than leave them out on the streets for other packs of dogs, weather, disease or starvation to kill them instead. This was the basis of our initiative during the pandemic- Pet parents that contract the virus and do not have the capacity to care for their dog through treatment can contact us to take care of their animals. We have a boarding kennel in Cherlapally, where we’ve been handling rescues and treatment to our capacity. We’ve also begun a pet taxi service that is equipped to safely transport pets and other animals. Covid is something we need to learn to live with, however, we need to help each other in every way possible.
Sadly, a lot of animal welfare individuals and communities face backlash from society. What people don’t realize is that getting “rid of” dogs by poisoning them or chasing them out is neither humane nor a sustainable solution. Birth control and vaccination drives need to be implemented on a much larger scale throughout our country. Through my years, I’ve done all kinds of rescues, from camels in Rajasthan to animals in wells, but I think the one that scathed me the most was watching cockfights in Andhra. Unfortunately, due to the monetary involvement in the sport through gambling, it is close to impossible to wipe out a cultural sport like that, regardless of how cruel it is.
However, I decided to do my part, and turned vegan a year ago. Apart from the health benefits, veganism also has an impact on the environment through cutting emissions and saving resources. And of course, you do not play a role in cruel breeding and raising habits. Everybody has the right to choose their own diets; there are so many factors involved from upbringing to taste, but with so many alternatives to animal products today, it is much easier than it would have been a few years ago. I don’t enjoy getting involved in the vegan-meat eater argument, but I personally believe it’s about time we begin thinking about sustainable solutions, because at the end of the day, saving our planet depends on us and us alone.”