We are so busy in our lives that we hardly pay attention to the people around us let alone the stray animals on the streets. This issue is not raised as much as should be, so today I am taking this opportunity to pour my heart out for these poor speechless creatures.
One should always be kind to stray animals. They are unfortunately born on the roads, spend their entire lives there and then die in miserable circumstances without receiving any medical treatment.
The animals that we commonly see on the streets are dogs and cats. The two face tough and testing conditions all their lives. Finding basic food and water is a major challenge for them, and they have to survive on impure water and leftover food, found around garbage and sewers. Sometimes, days pass without them finding anything to eat.
When we confine ourselves to our homes in hot summer days or chilly winter nights, dogs and cats have no place to take shelter in from the harsh weather. We should not forget that they have come to this world for no fault of theirs and have no one to look after their wellbeing. Therefore, being rude and cruel to such creatures, who are already in trouble, is not humane.
Yet, they are looked down upon, considered unhygienic and treated with cruelty by almost everyone. I have seen many people throwing stones at dogs in order to prevent them from coming close and sometimes even when the dog is lying silently in a corner, they are being hit by stones for no reason. And on seeing a dog run in panic, many people laugh — how cruel! People abuse kittens and puppies by cutting their ears or tail. Many of us have seen a cat or dog crushed to death by a fast-moving vehicle on a busy street.
Some people do not even spare their pets and vent out their frustration on them by beating them with a stick, keeping them hungry for days and throwing hot water on them. But, on the other hand, there are those as well who take good care.
A few years ago, a dog gave birth to a few puppies close to my house. One of them, which was white in colour, started frequenting our house. It was a female puppy. I used to offer her milk, biscuits and meat. Slowly she became familiar with us and started coming inside our house. I named her Manji. She used to come inside the house every morning, spent her entire day inside, eating and sleeping, and then would leave the house as soon as the sun set. This routine continued for several months before she gave birth to six puppies inside our house.
All the newborns were very cute but to manage them all was very difficult. Therefore, when the puppies grew a little older, of about two months of age, we took Manji and the puppies and left them far from our house where they could easily find enough food and water for themselves.
This made us sad but one fine day, to our astonishment, Manji returned and was found sitting outside our main gate. The puppies were not with her. We rushed to the place where we had dropped them about 20 days ago but found none. From there on, we decided to keep Manji as a pet and she lived with us.
In the absence of some proper mechanism for rehabilitation of stray animals, we need to play our part to take care of street animals, or at least not be cruel to them. Parents and elders should teach children to be humble and caring with these animals who depend on us.
People put water and grains for birds, so that they can get God’s blessing for showing mercy on a small creature. Don’t stray cats and dogs need our mercy too? Why don’t we put some water and leftover foods for these animals? This is something that we all need to ask ourselves.
Apart from that, it is important that we should report to NGOs, such as Ayesha Chundrigar Foundation (ACF), if we find an injured animal on the road. It is always wise to adopt animals from the shelter instead of buying them. This way the load on shelters reduces and the animals find a loving home of theirs.
The government should also play its part. Merciless poisoning of dogs should be stopped. They should rather neuter them and release them back to complete their lives.
It would not be incorrect to say that these animals love us unconditionally no less than any other highbred animal, despite their dismal conditions. They are also a source of joy and can give us companionship. It is therefore of utmost importance that we realise our responsibilities and work for the betterment of stray animals.
And remember kids, throwing stones or hurting animals doesn’t make us good human being. It only shows how uncivilised, cruel and wild we are. So be caring and humble to the ones who depend on us.
Published in Dawn, Young World, January 20th, 2018