It is no secret that the streets of India are home to several animals. We wouldn’t flinch at the sight of a dog darting across the road as we drive through or a cow unhurriedly going through the trash to find scraps to eat.
While we have a fair share of animals born and living as strays, there are many more that get added to the streets every year. People buy dogs only to realize they cannot commit to the hard work. Some have dogs that are too old, too sick, or now incapable of having babies. All of them become part of the population that survives without a home.
Several people and organizations have come forward to help and rehabilitate these animals. Let us take a look at a few of them:
- Alai: A home in Yelahanka, Bangalore that is famous for bringing in any dog found abandoned and in need, Alai works to heal, feed, and love the faithful four-legged friend. Dogs come in malnourished, injured, abused, and old. Not one of them needs to worry about going back to the streets once they have entered Alai. Although the home is filled with lively barks, wagging tails, and happy puppies, Alai aims to reach out to the hundreds more that continue to struggle without help.
- Sarvoham: ‘Rescue, shelter, protect, and rehome’ — this is the philosophy that Sarvoham lives by. The home welcomes cats and dogs that need care and love. The only criterion that they need to meet is to be an animal in need. They work round the clock, often rushing out late at night to answer an emergent call from a needy dog. While most of us, and sometimes even the animals, give up hope, Sarvoham fights for them till the very end.
- Dhyan Foundation: The Foundation works with over 30 shelters across the country to home, rehabilitate, and care for cows, ox, and bulls. Most of the animals that arrive here are short of being slaughtered. Some are very old or sick. Apart from homing and caring for cattle, the Foundation also works to cure them. Some require surgery and amputation. Others need intensive physical therapy. All these are carried out selflessly at Dhyan, which currently houses over 30,000 cattle.
- Make New Life: Arun Pasare began a small movement when he saw puppies being abused and hurt. Today, Make New Life is home to over 250 dogs. Arun travels around Pune every morning, feeding over 600 others who live on the streets. With the pressure of caring for as many resident dogs, this is no mean task. It involves great physical and financial strength, both of which continue to be a challenge for Arun.
- Karuna Foundation: Karuna extends compassion, hope, and care to any animal that needs it. Injured birds, hungry dogs, and needy cattle are just some of the inmates that you will find at Karuna. 10 ambulances and 2 bikes are constantly scouring the streets of Rajkot to find animals in need and help them. The Foundation also takes freshly cooked meals to feed strays on the roads.
- ACGS: This home is true to its name — All Creatures Great and Small. For here, you will find over 700 cattle, goats, horses, cats, and dogs coexist happily in an environment they can now call their home. Unfortunately, each of them has a painful story that precedes what will be their happy ending. Many of them are very sick, old, and injured. Some come here to spend their last days in comfort, while others are brought in to have a happy and safe future ahead.
While we may not be able to open our homes to animals, we can definitely do our bit by contributing to help make food, medicines, and care available to as many animals as we can. Every helping hand will help make the world a better place.