Winters are here and soon the much loved ‘Dilli ki sardi’ will be at its full swing. While we manage to stay warm in our jackets and sweaters, and enjoy the weather, there are many who dread this weather, especially the stray animals. However, as concerned citizens, we can do a lot to help the strays survive the winters.
“People should make a shelter using cardboards or wooden planks for them around some tree or wall in their area where stray dog are. You should pad up the ground of that shelter with newspapers and old clothes,” says Dr Vijay Kumar, of Sonadi Charitable Trust. Of course, providing regular meals is sure to help the strays in winters.
“People can keep stacks of pual (hay) for the dogs to sleep on as they are very effective in keeping them warm and comfortable. Also, hay is cheaply available. They can also spread jute sacks for them to sit and rest on. Maybe, a high protein diet or regular meals to the dogs will help them survive the winters,” says Ashima Sharma of People For Animals (PFA).
There are many Delhiites who are doing their bit to help the animals in winter. “I have bought coats for the 3 dogs who live in front of my apartments. Once it becomes more cold I will make a shelter for them, so that they are comfortable during the nights,” says Uma Sen, a housewife who lives in Chittaranjan Park.
Madhulika Sinha, a resident of Noida, gives Horlicks to the dogs in winters. “You don’t know if the dog has lactose intolerancy. So Horlicks made in hot water works just fine,” she says. “Make sure you cool it before you give it to them.”
What you can do:
1 Get hold of big empty cardboard boxes. Crush them and line them with old clothes, preferably old blankets and sweaters. You can also use wooden boxes. Place the box underneath some shelter so that it doesn't get wet from rain. Or just put a plank of plywood leaning against a wall in a manner so that it looks like a triangle. Place the box or blankets underneath it.
2 Inform volunteers and animal NGO’s if you see a sick or abandoned animal.
3 Feed them as hungry stomach makes one prone to catching cold in the winter.
4 If there are more than one stray dogs then provide different bowls of food to avoid territorial fight.
5 Donate food items such as biscuits and other dry food items to animals shelters.
6 Help stray cattle as green areas become less during winters, leaving them with nothing much to feed on. You can feed even them chapattis.