Every summer, Sudeep Duggal keeps bowls of water out on his balcony. Sumedha Mehta buys big earthen bowls and keeps them near her colony gate, filled to the brim with water. They are doing their bit for the countless animals in the city who have no escape from the summer.
As the mercury continues to rise, it’s not long before scorching summer hits the Capital. Thousands of stray animals — dogs, cats, cows, birds, etc — are out there in the sweltering heat without any relief. Like Duggal and Mehta, you too can do your bit to ensure that these animals get some cool relief and some shelter from the sun. Here’s a look at some of the things you can do. “People can help the strays by doing little things, such as putting water bowls outside their homes or the corners of streets,” says Nandini Gupta of Circle of Animal Lovers. “For bigger animals, such as stray cows, cement troughs can be built outside and filled with water. People can also place wet gunny bags on the back of the cows for a cooling effect. Else, place wet gunny bags where the animal can sit,” she says.
Residents are also urged to build temporary shades, which can keep the animals away from direct heat. “Building shades will give the animals some respite from the scorching sun. Also add one can add electrol to the water in the bowl so that the animals do not get dehydrated. Make sure you keep these bowls under the shade so that the water doesn’t get heated up,” says Dr Vijay Kumar, a vet with the Sonadi Charitable Trust. “Empty stomachs make strays prone to getting heat strokes. Feed them at least once a day,” Kumar says.
There are many ways in which Delhiites are doing their bit in helping animals and birds in the summer. “I have already placed earthen bowls on my terrace and have filled it water and even sprinkled grains around it for the birds,” says Kavita Sinha, a resident of Gurgaon. “I keep a watch on stray puppies near my house to ensure they don’t fall sick in this weather and also feed them and their mother in the morning,” says Nisha Kapoor, a resident of Model Town. You can also donate essential items, such as air coolers for various animal shelters in the city.
Do your bit
Keep bowls of water outside your house for dogs. If you live in an apartment then do it outside the premises so that residents don’t object.
For birds keep flat bottom shallow clay pots of water in a high place which is frequented by them. For cows get cemented troughs and fill it with water
Feed the strays. Dogs can be fed biscuits, bread, chapatti and milk. Feed rotis to stray cattle. Remember, empty stomach makes them prone to heat stroke
Put wet gunny bags for strays to rest on a hot day
Donate coolers to animal shelters