There's a reason why dogs are considered man's best friend. For generations, humans and dogs have had a particular affinity. These affectionate pups assist us in reducing anxiety and stress while also loving us unconditionally. While we offer our dogs nice and reassuring cuddles, there are some miserable pups that live on the streets and are frequently denied any affection. Continue reading to learn some guidelines about how to help stray dogs in India.
What should be your motivation to help stray dogs?
The solution is straightforward. You frequently find yourself surrounded by stray dogs when you leave your house. Some appear to be in good health, while others appear to be injured, hungry, or feeble. Some of them are even showing signs of illness. Should you simply walk past them, avoiding their gaze, and go about your business? What will happen if you do so? The stray dog population is growing, and you will see more of them on your streets in the coming days. This is not beneficial to you or your community, and it is especially harmful to these pets.
The environment has an impact on a dog's behaviour. Dogs who have been abused or abandoned in the past will be aggressive. It's just normal. Hungry dogs will seek out food and hope that it will arrive from passers-by. When confronted with stray dogs, people must have a fundamental grasp of this.
• These canines have nowhere to go and will beg for food on the streets. They could get lost in the middle of the road and injure themselves. Furthermore, this may result in an accident. In this situation, both the stray dog and the people are affected.
• There will be no location for stray dogs to mark their territories, and there is a chance that urine or faeces may be strewn about. Dog excrement can contaminate your water, and germs in the dog's faeces can make you sick. They are dangerous to one's health.
• Because they are terrified, stray dogs may be aggressive. Children may not realise this and may reach out to pet them or push them away so they may play. A scared dog may become enraged and aggressive.
• Dogs on the loose are regarded as a nuisance. They may be noisy, and they may be seen as causing a general disruption in the area.
You don't have to love dogs to have sympathy for them. Compassion is a natural human trait. And when it comes to animals, we have a soft spot in our hearts. Despite this, there has long been a myth regarding stray dogs, which is that they are violent and unpleasant to be around. The fact is that most of these dogs were formerly pets or were part of a long line of domesticated breeds that had to deal with stressful conditions such as desertion and mistreatment.
Even stray dogs need the same amount of love, care, and attention as their domestic counterparts, according to dog enthusiasts. So, if you ever have the opportunity to care for a stray or abandoned pet, you can apply these helpful pointers.
Tips how to help stray dogs in India
Look for like-minded neighbours in your neighbourhood.
The first step in assisting stray dogs is to create a safe refuge for them by forming a community of dog lovers. Remember that in the struggle for a good cause, you are never alone. Finding other dog lovers in your neighbourhood is actually fairly simple. Simply study the behaviour of stray dogs toward humans in your neighbourhood, and you'll likely find a number of individuals who share your desire to aid street dogs.
Strays acquire a good sense of where to go and when to go in order to meet basic necessities such as food and shelter. Simply connect with people you trust once you've determined who to trust. Work together to locate and arrange for veterinarians, food, housing, and other necessities. Remember that simply feeding stray dogs is not enough; true compassion is demonstrated when you feed them while also ensuring that they are sterilized/neutered by an NGO and receive their annual anti-rabies vaccination. Caring for dogs as a community will help to reduce the stray dog population, relieve overcrowding at animal shelters, and provide stray dogs in your neighbourhood with someone to love and trust, allowing them to have a healthy and tranquil life even if they are on the streets.
Make plans for shelter and food on a regular basis.
The real labour now begins. This is when accepting responsibility becomes important. You should strive to divide chores among your fellow dog lovers to better function as a community. Some people may know the best things to feed stray dogs, when to feed them, and what to avoid feeding them, while others may be eager to build improvised homes out of cardboard boxes.
You'll also have a youthful audience who could be interested in taking in a stray for personal care. Ensure that children do not pick up puppies and bring them home for entertainment. This is animal cruelty at its worst. The puppies should be left with their mother, and it is beneficial if the mother receives adequate food at least once a day so she does not have to roam away from the infants during the day in search of food. Once the mother dog has stopped breastfeeding, please contact the local NGO to have her spayed so that no more pups are born and she can have a healthy life.
Adopt stray dogs and help them.
A happy dog is one that is healthy. Before you contemplate adopting a stray dog, be sure it has had its medical check-up and vaccines. A brief trip to your local veterinarian is required. If the stray dog's signals of uneasiness remain after therapy, get a second medical opinion.
Remember that you may come across stray dogs in bad shape; they may appear hungry, exhibit indications of abuse, or just be too old and feeble to be adopted. Don't worry, you can find a permanent home for such stray pets where they may live and be loved just as much as a healthy dog.
Vaccines and sterilization/neutering
Don't hesitate to get some stray dogs vaccinated if your local animal expert or vet detects ones that are of the suitable age. Adolescent dog neutering is also encouraged and mandated by the Indian government, since it considerably aids population control and improves their health.
If you don't feel safe approaching a stray dog who needs to be neutered or vaccinated, contact a dog-related NGO. After undergoing the requisite sterilization/neutering surgery, a dog may require five days of rest and medical attention before being returned to the area where he or she was picked up. Animal birth control rules in the country require that the stray dog be returned to its original site.
Raise awareness and familiarise yourself with the legislation.
Dogs have rights, just like people, and this includes the stray dog population. For years, dog lovers have fought for a robust legal structure to be put in place to protect stray dogs from cruel treatment. India has one of the greatest laws protecting the rights of stray dogs in the world. This legislative foundation for stray dogs may be found here. Unfortunately, the legislation' execution leaves a lot to be desired. As a result, it is critical that you raise knowledge about such regulations in your community; when in doubt, get legal guidance and precedents established by Indian courts.
Because a dog's loyalty is one of its most valuable assets, guaranteeing their safety and security from criminal activity can help you strengthen your relationship with them.
Animal abuse should be avoided and reported
If you come across animal maltreatment, don't just stand by and watch. Take it personally if you observe someone abusing or torturing a dog and object. Instead, try to educate them. Inform them that harming or forcibly relocating stray dogs is illegal.
Some folks in your neighbourhood may not have the finest intentions when it comes to pets. Keep an eye out for them and be prepared to resolve any potential problems. In severe instances, seeking legal counsel might be beneficial.
You may help a lost or abandoned dog by rescuing it.
As previously stated, lost and abandoned pets make up a large portion of the stray dog population. It's not difficult to spot them. They'll most likely be wearing a collar and responding to orders. Due to separation anxiety, past abuse, neglect, or illness, such dogs might become aggressive or defensive. Here's how you can assist a lost or abandoned dog:
• Attempt to secure the dog and ensure that it receives food, water, and medical attention as soon as possible.
• To distribute photographs of the dog, use Facebook groups, WhatsApp, or other social media channels.
• Look for lost dog signs in the neighbourhood.
• If you get any claims of ownership, double-check them before releasing the dog.
• If no owner can be discovered, consider adopting the dog.
• Contact a dog sanctuary and surrender the dog if you can't identify its owner and there are no leads for adoption.
India's streets are home to millions of stray dogs. The majority are direct descendants of their wild canine forefathers, a "breed" that predates any other. With the recent rise in popularity of full-breed dogs among Indians, an increasing number of street dogs have been abandoned pets or have mated with pet breeds.
Despite the fact that some street dogs carry rabies, India's street canines are generally not violent and will only attack if provoked. Many dogs are terrified of people, and their worries are well-founded.
The population of street dogs in India is intimately linked to municipal cleanliness policies – or lack thereof. Because these homeless dogs generally subsist by scavenging waste, exposed garbage equals more healthy dogs — and more puppies. In an ironic twist, this gives the dogs a public health benefit. They eliminate perishable trash that may otherwise be a cause of contamination for people by scavenging rubbish. Other potentially harmful scavengers, such as rats and mice, are kept at bay by their presence around waste.
Unfortunately, fear and ignorance have caused many Indian residents and officials to regard street dogs as a nuisance that must be eradicated through barbaric means such as poisoning and beating. However, for every dog killed, another is usually brought in to take over the area of the previous dog. Spaying and neutering, often known as animal birth control, is the only proven way for humanely reducing street dog numbers (ABC).
All canines in a town or area are neutered and then released back into their territories through ABC programmes. As a result, dog breeding ceases and the number of dogs decreases.
When it comes to India's street dogs, rabies is a serious concern. Despite the fact that the figures are debatable, the World Health Organization estimates that rabies kills roughly 20,000 people in India each year. This equates to 36% of all rabies deaths globally.
Controlling rabies is clearly critical to winning hearts and minds, as well as saving lives. The anti-rabies vaccine (ARV) component of our ABC programmes is very visible and helps to create community support. People are less likely to desire to kill dogs if they have less cause to be afraid of them.
It is possible for people and street dogs to get along. ABC and ARV programmes are steadily bringing that ideal to fruition where our partners operate in India, thanks to the kind support of our donors.
A friend in need is a friend indeed. If we work together, we can be a dog's best buddy!