Mongrels and strays bring happiness to Indian homes.
Injured on the railway track, Sara’s leg showed eight inches of blackened bone.
Vivienne Choudhary had not seen “such a horrible injury” before, and to make matters worse, all three of Sara’s puppies were weak and in bad shape.
If not for In Defense of Animals India (IDA), Sara might still be roaming the streets, and none of her pups would have survived.
Today, Sara might have lost a leg, but is more agile than her other four-legged friends. And even though only one of her pups survived, he’s grown into a handsome pooch who loves his mother.
In a country rampant with animal abuse, this Mumbai-based non-profit organisation, established in 1996, helps more than 1,000 animals every month. The lack of effective laws makes animals, especially stray dogs, easy targets for cruelty.
Vendant Jewani, a volunteer at IDA, felt a strong urge to help the dogs in light of the increased cruelty cases. “People hit the dogs for no rhyme or reason,” he adds.
International studies show that ill-treatment of animals is closely associated with domestic abuse and violent crimes.
So, it’s no surprise that organisations like IDA take mistreatment of animals very seriously. Their work include not just the rescue and rehabilitation of abused domestic animals, but also wildlife.
And it also continues to educate the public through campaigns in surrounding towns, and awareness talks in schools.
The work can be physically and mentally hard, but never thankless.
“I can’t tell you how satisfying it is,” says Vivienne, who also happens to be the President of IDA.
Perhaps the most satisfying part is to see these rescued dogs find a loving home. The people who adopt are not charged any fee, but they have to compensate their new pet with lots of love and affection every day.
As adoption is not for everyone, there are other ways to support IDA’s work, like volunteering at the shelter, contributing professional skills during campaigns, and various other areas.
For those keen to help but unable to give time, they can choose to sponsor the pooches and felines instead. For this, they will receive regular updates of their sponsored pet and are welcome to visit them at the shelter.
And of course, you will indirectly be helping them get more Sara’s (and pups) off harsh streets.
Disclaimer: This article was first published in Our Better World, Singapore International Foundation. The views expressed by the author are his/her own and do not necessarily reflect that of YourStory.