Pune does not only belong to us humans. Aren’t its animals Punekars too? The Punekar spoke to ResQ on how the citizens can save a sick or injured furry that lives on the streets of our beloved city.
How the idea struck
Neha Panchamiya and Tanya Kane founded ResQ in 2007. The two happened to meet socially after Neha had recently moved to Pune. One night, Neha found out that Tanya was desperately seeking overnight shelter for a one-year-old dog suffering from the last stage of distemper So, Neha joined Tanya in her search. They spent all night trying while the dog’s condition deteriorated by the minute. Finally, a vet from Pimpri decided to take a look at him but, unfortunately, the dog’s condition was so serious that he had to be put to sleep.
That night, their frustration, desperation and helplessness gave birth to the idea of ResQ. They realised how much there is to be done for animals living on the streets and how very few people are available to do it.
How they went about it
The duo started researching on animal welfare organisations in the city and came across ones that work towards birth control, shelters and more. But, there wasn’t anyone working on only providing treatment to sick and diseased strays. And, that’s exactly what they decided to do.
They assembled a team of volunteers and a 24-hour helpline (which is now 10 am-7 pm). Word spread and they started receiving calls. Sometimes, even at 3 am. It was working. They were officially a mobile hospital catering to sick and injured animals. They grew too large, too quickly and, that’s why, decided to segregate city areas and reduce the number of helpline hours. Today, there are more organisations that work towards the same cause. So, if ResQ receives a call to attend to an animal that is not in their work radius, the case is referred to another organisation. As Neha rightly said, “The more organisations there are, the better. It is not a competition as to who receives more calls and attends to more animals”. ResQ now handles about 10 cases per day. Based on a success rate of about 90 per cent, it comes down to about 290 happy and healthy animals on our streets every month. No small feat, huh? (The success rate may vary when there is an outbreak of chronic diseases like gastro, distemper etc.)
How you can help an animal
If you see a sick or injured animal on the street:
- Contact ResQ (9373888500 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
- The call receiver will assess the situation as to how serious it is and determine how quickly the animal requires attention.
- You will be asked to stay close to the animal till the team arrives. This is so the animal doesn’t move or leave the spot in the meantime.
- If it’s a dire emergency, the team will come to the animal’s rescue immediately.
- If possible (as it is in most cases), ResQ will treat the animal on the spot. If it requires attention from a vet, the animal will be taken away for treatment. Once successfully treated, it will be dropped of on the same spot where it was found. The healing process is always quicker when an animal is comfortable in its surroundings. Just like in humans, no?
- When required, ResQ has volunteers who will keep animals, especially dogs, overnight for as long as the treatment takes. The team currently houses 4 foster homes for that purpose. Want to become a foster parent? Contact them!
Donations can include anything from a cheque to even blankets to keep animals warm. If you wish to donate something, visit http://www.resqct.org/. You could even contact them on their helpline or send them an email.