Shaktiman, the Dehradun Police horse which received global sympathy from celebrities and common people alike after it lost its left hind limb in an attack by BJP legislator Ganesh Joshi, has managed to survive all odds.
But a six-year-old injured and abandoned horse is struggling for its life in an animal shelter in Dehradun and might lose its battle for the lack of treatment.
He is not as lucky as Shaktiman as the police department and various NGOs ensured he received the best treatment by generating funds and calling in the best doctors. Equine orthopedic surgeon Phiroz Khambatta traveled from Pune for its surgery and prosthetic expert from The Maya Foundation in Bhutan Jamie Vaughan was also invited to support the team of veterinarians who were deployed around the clock to monitor its health.
Volunteers brought the horse, which met with an accident and injured its right foreleg about a month ago, to Raahat, a shelter that belongs to a resident of Sapera Basti in Mothrawala on Friday night. They have decided to call it Shaktimaan 2.
Activists at Raahat are struggling to find help as only a couple of non-government organisations have come forward to lend a hand in its treatment. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is one of the two which is chipping in.
“The leg needs to be amputated immediately before the infection spreads in other parts of the body. We contacted People for Animals that runs an equine shelter in Sahaspur. They denied providing services to the horse claiming that the shelter takes only old horses and not injured ones. Friendicoes Seca based in Delhi was also contacted that backed off. Donkey sanctuary, which is based in Gurgaon, however, has promised to support us,” Pankaj Pokhriyal, an activist with Raahat, told Hindustan Times.
The veterinary department has agreed to treat the horse but has said it cannot help them with resources like medicines, bandages, an oscillating cutter for amputation, prosthetic leg and others. Activists from Raahat and SPCA are raising money by themselves.
“Veterinary department doesn’t have anything in the name of infrastructure. So, volunteers would collect money for buying related items needed for its surgery and healthcare that is likely to be done in a day or two,” Pooja Bahukhandi, SPCA’s vice-president, said.
The Maya Foundation’s Vaughan, who has been treating Shaktiman, was approached by Bahukhandi for help. She fixed a PVC pipe on the leg of the ill-fated horse on Saturday.
“I am a prosthetic expert. And I could assist veterinary doctors during surgery,” Vaughan said.
The animal, however, is finding it difficult to adapt as the wounds are leaking with pus, Raahat’s Pokhriyal said.
Dr Ashutosh Joshi, the officer in charge of Uttarakhand Animal Welfare Board said, “The entire life of a horse is spent standing. If one of its legs gets injured and gangrene sets in, then there are negligible chances of its survival unless careful and continuous efforts are made towards amputation and providing prosthetic leg.”
When contacted SS Bisht, additional director at Uttarakhand’s department of animal husbandry, said veterinarians are working on the case.
“We have to be cautious in case of the equine. Gangrene is fatal for any animal,” Bisht said.