Like most cities in India, Pune is a city that is slowly creeping towards overpopulation. In a sad state of affairs, this means that not only will human population continue to increase at a fast pace, but so will the population of strays be quickly on the rise. In a society which mostly considers strays to be a nuisance, this only leads to more homeless and injured animals on the streets. With the limited number of NGOs in the city, and the limited knowledge that people have, it comes down to the citizens to lend a helping hand.
Any given NGO in Pune receives about 25-50 calls for injured animals on a daily basis when the average should be 10. Most NGOs are packed beyond usual capacity with ill/weak/injured animals, which is why they do not take in healthy ones. Running on low funds and volunteers only, there are only so many animals in the city that these NGOs can help. Mojdeh, founder of Bhodisatva, an NGO which works in collaboration with other NGOs for animal welfare, and Abhir Agarwal, volunteer, tell us how we can help.
Vaccination and Sterilisation
The sterilisation/spaying/neutering is basically a small operation which ensures that the animal cannot reproduce. It cannot be stressed how important this is. Sterilisation not only controls the population of strays but also reduces aggression in the animal, thus avoiding street fights. To check whether the animal is already spayed or not, check their left ear – if it is notched (a small piece is cut off) – this means the animal is already operated. If you notice any animals which are not, call an NGO to inform them and they will do it for free. When PMC is picking up animals, please ensure that they are officials.
Call For Help and Report Animal Cruelty
If you see an injured animal, call an NGO. If physically possible and if you are friendly with the animal, you can take them to a vet yourself for minor injuries and look after them. Additionally, please do report animal cruelty to welfare centers or file an FIR and legal action will be taken against the violator.
Foster and Shelter
There just isn’t enough shelter to go around. If you can foster an injured animal for a short period of time, the NGO will be more than willing to guide you in the process. In fact, they will provide you with all the support required including the treatment, medication, and food. All you need to do is give them a loving environment and home to recover in.
Volunteer or Donate
There are never enough volunteers, you can register yourself as one or you enroll yourself in a workshop which teaches you basic first aid and treatments for animals on the street. If you are unable to take out the time to help, you can help NGOs financially by donating money or by helping them buy utilities they need – food, treatment, sterilisation, anything.
Adopt, Don’t Buy. Please Don’t Breed
There are already so many animals out there that need homes – don’t differentiate between them, they will all love you equally, I promise. I, myself have adopted a stray kitten and couldn’t be happier with this little one. Most of the fancy and furry breeds are not even meant for Indian weather conditions and environment and they suffer. If you cannot adopt a stray, you can temporarily foster them during the rains or feed them/give them water.
NGOs in Pune
Blue Cross is probably the most known NGO in Pune, however, due to the same reason they are already swamped. ResQ Charitable Trust is probably the best one in the city and they deal with over a hundred cases a month. Mission Possible in Saswad is another reliable NGO. Bodhisatva is an NGO which works in collaboration with other NGOs. They provide to arrange for on-site treatment, first aid or transport to a medical facility, depending upon the situation. They also have a database of volunteers around the city who would probably reach you sooner than a medical center would.