Ms Sally w/o Sancho
I know. I am on to my favorite topic once again – dogs.
Today morning I went to the People for Animals (PFA) shelter in Trivandrum with a couple of friends. They are contemplating on getting a dog; I suggested that instead of spending a few thousands on a so-called 'breed', give a home to a homeless. Sally, one of my two dogs was adopted from this shelter. Two year old, she is an extremely friendly and touch wood, equally healthy specimen. People look at her coat and ask me if I oil her. When I saw her for the first time, she was a scrawny 4-month old pup, one among the abandoned. I took to her because of her coat, which was excellent even then. She looked demure and meek enough to be the mate for Sancho, the most loved, fifth generation dog in our family.
The PFA shelter looked resplendent. They seem to have overcome the teething financial problems and now has 4 or 5 permanent staff, an in-house vet and a full fledged surgical theatre. It is now home to nearly 100 dogs, a few cats, a bull and a horse, all abandoned. Most of the dog inmates are strays and abandoned puppies; but what is really heartbreaking is the matter of dogs who had been pets. People discard them when they become old or injured. Sometimes a dog would have bitten somebody. No dog bites without provocation. Either you maltreat it or forget to keep your respectful distance. One dog like the Labrador Retriever had belonged to a breeder; when she became too old to produce more litter, the breeder threw it out. The unidentifiable old terrier was found suffocating in a drain, sunk in mud. It has no disease; it is just old. The Rottweiler is so friendly and not very old; his hind foot was injured and thats it. The handsome, dignified Basset Hound is again old; it has cataract in the eyes. Great Danes, German Shepherds – the list goes on.
I can understand the fear of dogs, but what kind of monsters are these who kick out their loyal, faithful friends of many years just because the dogs have become old and ill? And even many household pets suffer greatly. They are kept chained and housed in cramped concrete shelters all the time. Is it any wonder that many of them turn vicious?
If you have the time and inclination, please go through the links I have given here to earlier stories. If you cannot adopt a stray, at least donate a few rupees for the care of man's best friends.
Please visit www.pfatvm.in. Also, if you plan to buy calendars for 2014, please buy from www.wsdindia.org, an organisation based in Mumbai, working for the Welfare of Stray Dogs. The calendars, both desktop and wall are beautifully brought out. Each costs Rs.150/- plus courier charges. Please visit the website for more information.
*********** Balachandran V, Trivandrum 03.12.2013