NCR’s good Samaritans come to the rescue of strays
As summer approaches, many residents of Delhi-NCR have taken the matter in their own hands, to help street animals cope with the rising heat.
Soaring temperatures and dry, sultry weather pose a challenge to all city dwellers. And it’s no different for our furry friends on the street, who are often spotted scouting for shade and cool water on sunny afternoons. Moved by their plight, many animal lovers in Delhi-NCR have stepped up to take care of street animals, one water bowl at a time.
NCR-based Amritika Phool, who feeds animals and birds in Gurugram’s sector 65, 57 and DLF Phase 4, says she is putting out “lots of bowls with fresh water”. “The best is to use mitti ke bartan as they keep water cool. I’m keeping some water at a higher level for birds and squirrels so they can drink peacefully without being threatened by the dogs. Also, the water bowls for birds are big enough to bathe in them,” says Phool, who owns a pet shop.
She also keeps disposable bowls and water and food handy, on the go, and is always on a look-out to help any dog that look dehydrated due to the heat. “Even in the bowls that I keep, I make sure to change the water on a daily basis. And while I put out the bird feed early in the morning, I take to feeding the dogs late at night since they go hiding during the day and come out only when it’s cooler,” adds Phool.
“I’ve been putting water in bowls at multiple places for birds,” says Kalkaji-based advocate Aditya Verma, who adopted two kittens during the first lockdown after putting out milk and water for them. “After a while they kept following me to my house and ever since I’ve been taking care of both of them... Keeping water bowls for birds is something that I’ve been doing ever since I was young, and took it up after seeing my grandfather do it for a very long time.”
And north Delhi-based Shivam Khatri, who runs an animal welfare NGO, says, “We have air conditioned rooms where we can sit and relax, but stray animals have nowhere to go. It is to help them that we have installing water pots and tubs in our locality; for them to drink water or even relax from heat. Last year, we installed around 50 tubs and this year we have a target to install more than 100 tubs. We clean those tubs regularly and refill them as and when required. Some people are trying to follow our efforts, and it feels great to see that. All that a voiceless animal needs is a cool place, water and something to eat. This much we can provide, at least.”
Feeding about 450 dogs daily in the vicinity of New Friends Colony, Divya Puri, from Karan Puri Foundation, shares that her team is also tending to injured strays. She says, “We keep water bowls for dogs, cats and birds, and bigger ones for the cattle. We try and tend to their small wounds immediately, as maggots set in these in summer. We carry our medical kit and depending upon the kind of wound we provide first aid immediately, on the spot... Bathing and shaving dogs that have heavy fur coats, helps keep them cool. A lot of mix breeds tend to have a matted coat. We shave it, for them to feel lighter. For the remaining, we spray neem water once every 15 days to avoid tick infestation.”
Author tweets @siddhijainn