March 2011

Founder’s Note

   

A chance encounter two weeks ago with a person who’s dog has just been diagnosed with diabetes has taken me down memory lane to the last few months of Happy’s life and I have been missing him more than ever. It is so sad that to hear that the situation in vet care in Delhi hasn’t improved much in the last three years. I remember, with Happy, in the span of eight months visiting 12 different vets in the so called “Millennium City” of India and not one of them had any knowledge on how to treat diabetes or how to measure the amount of insulin that is to be given. At the end, I boiled it down to being in unfamiliar surroundings and unlucky.

However, this person is a native of Delhi and is facing an equally harrowing time that I went through and we have been comparing notes on a daily basis. Vets still have no idea how to treat diabetes here. There has been a recent development in Delhi where a full fledge 24 hour animal hospital opened two months ago with state of the art facilities and they even have a pet psychiatrist on their team due to popular demand. Come on, do our canine friends really need psychiatrists. Back in the day, lots of love and attention, and a run around huge fields would normally do the trick in keeping them content. Why do owners even shelve out enormous amounts of money for a pure bred dog that they do not even have time for? Well, that’s another topic that I have lots to talk about and will save it for another issue. Getting back to the animal hospital, it is a great initiative and I hope it paves the way to improved vet care for our animal friends. At the moment, facilities are only accessible to the rich and super rich and like most commercial enterprises, I hope several animal hospitals with qualified vets mushroom up in the city so that all animals have access to the medical care they are entitled to.

This person is not leaving any stone unturned and is determined to do what it takes to get his pet the right treatment. I see a lot of similarities in my behaviour and remember being certified crazy by the people around me including the vets. I heard it so often that I actually began to believe that I was and it was not normal for someone to go all out just for a “dog”. I am so glad that my conscience didn’t allow me to behave any differently. Everyone used to tell me that Happy was really lucky to have a caregiver like me, and I had to correct them and say, ‘No, I am the privileged one, that Haps chose me over everyone else’.

India for Animals Conference 2011

The Federation of Indian Animals Protection Organisations (FIAPO) organised the very first India for Animals 2011 conference in Chennai last month. The Federation is a fairly new body in India and has been created to provide a common platform for all animal welfare organisations and activists; as well as an umbrella organisation to represent the Animal Movement in India and to fight the larger causes with one voice. It’s all very exciting and they have expansive plans of reducing the disgusting amount of cruelty that goes on in the Indian dairy farms where we get our milk from, the battery chickens that give us our eggs, reforming laws that help the animals to mention a few of their plans.

This conference brought together around 200 people working in the field of animals from all over India. We had attended and had the opportunity to network with so many amazing people doing amazing work for the animals. Our eyes were also opened to the inexcusable amount of cruelty that goes on behind closed doors. We learnt about laws related to animal sacrifice, tax responsibilities, volunteer management, how to design a campaign, how to achieve an excellent street dog birth control program, how to speak effectively in public, how to file a police case and so forth. We are all looking forward to the next gathering where we can share the progress that has been done in all our work.

←Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Dr. R.M. Kharb, Chairman of the Animal Welfare Board of India, addresses the audience
     
  ←Overview of the sessions
     
  ←Group work on putting an animal campaign together
   

Radha Surabhi Goshala

Since we sent out our last newsletter requesting for people to contribute towards the food and hall for the cows, a few donors came forward and I am extremely happy to report that the food situation is under control and the hall has been built. The cows now have shelter from the freezing cold, the burning sun and the monsoon rains.

We went to visit the goshala last month to try and see what else was required to make the disabled cows lives easier. Sudevi requested if we could arrange for ‘wheelchairs’ for cows. It would add some quality of life to those that are paralysed and unable to move on their own. Apparently, it has been done in the US and we are currently doing our research to try and order a couple of them here.

Sudevi also shared with us a recent incident where a group of youths had brought four seriously injured cows to the goshala. They told her that the cows had fallen of a truck and they suspect the truck was transporting a large number of cows for illegal slaughter on the Delhi – Agra highway. All the cows legs were tightly bound with rope, and one of them was tied so tightly that its hoof fell off. They all passed away within a few days off arriving at the goshala. Sudevi has asked if we could do something about this and we are currently trying to figure out how to best go about this situation.

← Calf drinking milk from its Mama.

 

   
←Cows enjoy the company of humans
   
← This cow’s hind legs are paralysed and he is unable to get up on his own. As you can see in the picture, he has to lie in his own waste until one of the workers comes along to clean it up for him. He is an ideal candidate for a cow ‘wheelchair’ as his front legs have some movement in them.
 

 

   

 Almora Animal Birth Control Camp

Animal populations are quickly increasing here in India, and as a result, there are too many animals suffering and not enough homes, vet care and food for them. The Happy Foundation is helping a small animal welfare organization, Bhaumik Pashu Suraksha Samiti, which are based in small town Almora to conduct an Animal Birth Control Camp.

The camp also provides the opportunity for the villagers to bring their other animals such as cows, goats, pigs and so forth for medical assistance. They are planning to organize their third camp in April 2011. A team of two vets, 2 assistants and 1 dog catcher will be sent from Delhi to conduct the 5 day camp. They need a total of Rs50,000 (US$1100) for the sterilization operations, vets travel, medication plus other expenses to make this camp possible. Kindly e-mail us at info@happyfoundationforanimals.org if you are interested to contribute.

 

Kalyani Animal Welfare Foundation (KAWF)          

 

KAWF was our very first project when we started our work last August. We have worked closely with them in the past five months and now they are able to sustain themselves and move along. This is my favourite part of what we do at Happy Foundation.

The founders of KAWF have been rescuing animals for most of their lives and like most people in their field, opened the doors of their home to all the injured and abandoned animals. The founders knew that their life’s work was to look after the animals who weren’t able to look after themselves.

What we did was helped them with a deposit for a small piece of land on the outskirts of Delhi and some of the construction costs in building the animal home. They do not like to use the word shelter. All the animals shifted there in February, and now have nice open spaces to run around in instead of being confined to a tiny flat. They have built a few small rooms in the land space and are currently working on straightening the land and making divisions so that the dogs that do not get along are separated. Stray animals are getting dropped off there on an almost daily basis and the food situation is getting a bit tight. If any of you would like to contribute towards the food costs, you may contact us at info@happyfoundationforanimals.org

 

This image was taken when KAWF first got the land

Some structures have come up and this will be a work in progress for another six months

   
   

 

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