India is home to roughly 35 million dogs, a number that’s grown by 17% since 2016 (National Geographic, 2020). These dogs are prone to accidents, injuries, illnesses and even mistreatment. 

Stray animals are exposed to harsh environments and have their guards very high. They might not allow you to come near them. If you approach them all of a sudden, they might get defensive, run away from you or act aggressively. Do not try to touch them the first time. Leave out food and water for them regularly. Once they start trusting you they will let you near them.

We bring to you some simple steps that we can take as a community to extend our care for these stray Indies and make the world a better place for them.

1. Adopt, don’t shop

A movement that started in Namma Bengaluru, is taking a flight to the other parts of the nation quickly. While there are hundreds of wonderful dogs waiting in shelters and strays on the streets, dog breeders and pet stores continue to breed and sell animals only for money. You might want a dog that is just the right size, breed and colour, remember, that for every dog bought, or breed, we lose one in a shelter or on the road.

So if you’ve made your decision of getting a dog, #AdoptDontShop. Or, if you already have a pet and cannot afford another one, spread the word about the street dog in your network and suggest them to anyone looking to bring home a pet.

2. Make a group

In order to ensure safety for all the streeties in your area, build a group of like-minded neighbours. Remember, you are never alone for a good cause. Ask around, observe how people behave with streeties around and you’ll find some like-minded people who want to help street dogs with you. Connect with them and work together to arrange for food, water, shelter, medical help, and more.

Remember, that just feeding a stray dog is not enough. You need to have them vaccinated and protect them from injuries and accidents. When a female dog gets pregnant, take her to a nearby animal shelter to have her deliver the pups safely and healthily.

3. Vaccination

If your financial condition allows you to, take the onus of bringing a stray dog near you to the vet for a thorough checkup. Being out in the open poses a lot of health risks for them, which can be avoided with the right medical help.

Dogs can have a lot of health conditions and it’s important to have them checked regularly. This allows the vet to spot any abnormalities and take appropriate measures to prevent or manage them.

4. Learn the laws

Just like humans, dogs are also citizens of a country and there’s a special place in the constitution for them. They have rights, too, and that extends to the stray dog population. Before extending your care and love to the steeties, remember to read the laws thoroughly and also educate others about them. You can know about some laws here.

5. Safety

If you notice a sick animal in your vicinity, call your nearby animal shelter and their volunteers will be there to take in no time. Be kind and compassionate towards the sick animals and give them food and water while maintaining a safe distance to avoid transmission.

If you notice any neighbourhood kids troubling or mistreating animals, explain to them how animals are fellow citizens and it is our duty to be kind to them. If the mistreatment continues, report them to the nearby police station.

6. Accommodation, food and water

If you cannot afford to adopt an animal, you can still take care of an animal around you. Build a makeshift shelter for them in your garden, backyard or garage to protect them from injuries and bad weather conditions. Give them clean water and fresh food and look out for your safety.
Causing harm to any animal is an offence by law. If you observe anyone harming a stray dog, educate them about the laws. Dogs are our fellow citizens and they need the same care and respect as we do. If even after educating, their tendency to harm stray animals doesn’t stop, report them to the local authorities.

When you approach a stray dog and want to extend your hand of help towards them, check out for any injuries. If the dog is injured or shows signs of pain, take them to the nearby vet or animal shelter immediately. The injuries or pain could be serious and if not looked into immediately, can lead to serious health conditions.

7. Signs of injury

When you approach a stray dog and want to extend your hand of help towards them, check out for any injuries. If the dog is injured or shows signs of pain, take them to the nearby vet or animal shelter immediately. The injuries or pain could be serious and if not looked into immediately, can lead to serious health conditions.

8. Prevent and report cruelty

Causing harm to any animal is an offence by law. If you observe anyone harming a stray dog, educate them about the laws. Dogs are our fellow citizens and they need the same care and respect as we do. If even after educating, their tendency to harm stray animals doesn’t stop, report them to the local authorities.

9. Volunteer at an animal shelter

If you’re unable to take the responsibility of caring for stray dogs on your own, you can also volunteer at an animal shelter.

These are the things you can do to volunteer at an animal shelter:

1. Donate food or other essential items

2. Sponsor for the monthly expenses for one dog

3. Spend some time at the shelter

4. Assist in the admin or management related work

5. Raise funds for the shelter

As much as we’d like, we cannot cater to those millions of dogs, but we can start with a few! The Dog Box has taken the initiative to extend our love and care to our furry friends out in the streets. For every box you buy, we feed a streetie! This way, you and us get to feed 2 furry babies at once. Could it be any more pawfect?

References
Dog Express:
https://dogexpress.in/5-ways-to-help-stray-dogs-in-your-neighborhood/

VOSD:
https://vosd.in/how-to-help-stray-dogs-10-tips-for-dog-lovers/


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