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      Covid-19 has made a comeback with its second wave. Everyone is sat tight at home anticipating another lockdown, a repetition of April 2020. Lives of everyone around us has changed, for better or for worse. Mostly worse. But for some, it is still the same. The four-legged beings that live in harmony with us. We know some, we care for some. They come on this planet, come in our lives. Teach us a lot about surviving, and go. One such four legged being is the one I am going to acquaint you all with, today.


      The dawn of 5th April, Mr. Pavitra Sampat and Ms. Rima Joshi were out on a drive when suddenly Rima’s eyes fell on a stray lying on the side of the road, in the Gorai locality of Borivali, Mumbai. Stopping the car, Rima and Pavitra found this aged dog whimpering in pain. After figuring out the dog had huge maggot wounds, they couldn’t leave the dog there to die. With the help of their friends, who are veterinary students, they started cleaning the wound with saline and a maggot cleaning cream. Seeing that the dog needed a professional’s care, they called an ambulance and got the injured pooch to the safety of Dr. Premal Darji’s clinic at 5.30 in the morning. The vet started the treatment that morning but the canine showed no signs of recovery. The rescuers and their friends, all were taking turns to look after the dog, who showed minimal signs of survival. Since the treatment was causing a hole in the pockets of these students, they took to social media to get funded for the medicaments required to get the dog better. The Nature’s Ally Foundation, founded by Dr. Sagun Bhatjiwala, who himself is a veterinary student, came forward and helped with the funds. Dr. Sagun extended his medical expertise and helped with looking after the dog. Many other friends of Mr. Pavitra donated money. The ambulance driver fostered the dog for Rs. 300 per day and tends to the dog on a daily basis. Mr. Pavitra and Ms. Rima has now collected a god sum for the nursing of the doggy. He is now healthy with constant care from good humans.


     This old pooch got lucky to get noticed by kind strangers who took immediate action. What would have happened if this dog were to go unnoticed? The doctor said he wouldn’t have survived another day if it hadn’t been for Mr. Pavitra and Ms. Rima.


     


      Dogs benefit us in many unimaginable ways. They keep their humans fit, happy and are the biggest stress buster out there. Let’s not forget about their loyalty and unconditional love towards their owners. How can us, as humans, return this favor? When asked about how one can help, Mr. Pavitra, who has the experience of rescuing and successfully saving a lot of abandoned, unclaimed or roaming strays, gave us a few suggestions. He said that the first and the best thing we can do is have co-operative societies neuter the dogs in their surroundings. This will help in controlling the current over population in stray dogs. Secondly, donating to NGOs that keep transparency as to what is happening to our money should work too. Another thing that Mr. Pavitra pointed out was that there is nowhere, one can seek help at, at night. During the dark, no NGOs, no Veterinarian clinics, one can approach due to emergency and in most rescue cases, not getting immediate help becomes the reason for non-survival.                       


     We can also urge the government to build more animal hospitals and operating centers which have subsidies for strays because many who are willing to help, hold themselves back because it is not affordable for them.  


     We have a lot of people to thank who helped in saving the precious life of this old canine. Special mention goes to the founder of Nature’s Ally Foundation, Dr. Sagun Bhatjiwala, who took a lot of initiatives. Even a friend of Mr. Pavitra, who didn’t wish to be named, became an angel in disguise for saving this pooch’s life as he donated a heavy sum that helped in buying basic medicaments. “Ahimsa” is one other NGO/ Animal hospital, in Mumbai, who help in rescuing strays.


     As said earlier, we know some of these strays, and we care for some. Let’s not stop caring. Let’s put constant effort in saving lives. We have a lot to offer, let’s not limit ourselves to trivial things. After all, this earth was made for all beings, not just human beings.


    


A few helplines to rescue stray animals are listed below :


1)   Animal Matters To Me” Rehab Centre


Bungalow No. 14, Chikuwadi Road, Marve, Malad West, Opposite Tulsi Bungalow, Opposite Tab Cab Godown, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400095


Contact: 098193 80310


2)   Asha Foundation – 9833684434


3)   Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (SPCA)


Dr. S. S. Rau Road, Parel, Bombay 400012.


Contact: 022-24137518 | 022-24135285 | 24135434


4)    PETA:


PO Box 28260, Juhu, Mumbai, 400 049.


Contact: 022-40727382


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