Saturday, July 12, 2008

Loui - My first ResQ

It was bright Wednesday morning, when I received a call from Neha, asking me to join in for a rescue near the airport road. By then I was almost at work (near Baner) and decided that I might just hold them up by travelling so much. The most effective aspect of this model is that you call in the nearest volunteer to support.

In the evening, when I was on the way to the GYM on FC road, and I asked her about the morning rescue, she mentioned she was trying to coordinate another one near about Alka theater and there was no volunteer in that area. I volunteered to go check it out, since I was so close by.

The case was reported by a family staying in the by lanes near Kaka Halwai on that road. When I landed there, I saw a puppy lying on one side and with these people from the family watching over it. A student (who expressed his desire to become a volunteer) was also part of the group. The puppy had been hit by a vehicle and his right hind leg was broken just below the elbow.
Even though it was a small puppy (around 4 kgs and maybe 4 months old) I used my newly acquired training before handling it. I checked the spine, I felt its body for being warm and sensation, I checked for bleeding. I was told that he had been howling every time he moved. Also observed that he had his right hind leg pulled into his body (mostly in pain). I didnt feel the need to muzzle him or sedate him since he was quite down anyways.

I carefully moved him into the jute bag, (like a makeshift stretcher) holding him by his scruf (to prevent any bites to myself)...he did howl a lot. With the help of the family, I moved him into my car and got him to Neha's home.

She made me give him a shot, cleaned up his wounds, applied an anti flea powder, we tied his leg in a makeshift splint, and let him sleep. I left him there, after which I learnt that he was taken for an xray and his leg professionally done with a splint to help him recover and he was christened Loiu (since he looked like another dog they had got who was called Mario and loui was mario's brother :-)

This was my first rescue with PAWS (i have done several others but would typically move the animal to the Blue cross pound so that a vet could attend or else if I couldn't move the animal, call Dr. Ahir from the pound to check it on the spot.)

Here I observed that the PAWS team takes ownership of the helpless lone animal, nurtures it back to health and rehomes it. I have to comment on the tenderness with which Neha handled the animal. There was a deep concern and desire to see that the animal would be well. At that moment, she was with the animal completely and didn't for once think of it as another one in the crowd. That animal was treated with utmost respect and as a unique spirit. I am sure the others in the organisation think similarly, which explains the mission and passion with which it is run.

Most people I know, would say that someone else will come and take care of it (shrugging off responsibility). I say, we need more people like these, and the family which not just reported the incident but also stood by until we reached there to take charge. Like Osho has said, forget about humanity, and instead lets work on the individuals, the world will be a better place automatically. So citizens, please be more aware while you are living on this planet and sharing the same space with other living beings who deserve as much if not more respect.

BTW, i went to the kennels to look at loiu. The cute guy had his leg up in a plaster and was sleeping peacefully. Anybody want to keep him at home...I guarantee you unconditional love by Loiu :-)


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

ResQ - The paws pack

Recently while going to my office, I saw a donkey sitting in the middle of the main road, right across the lane leading to my office. Its not abnormal to see donkeys resting near or on the road, typically separated from their pack or with their pack in the vicinity. But I noticed that he didn't look too well. The traffic flow was heavy and despite people trying to move him (stubborn as they are), he wasn't moving. But I could see that it wasn't a steely resolve to stay put but a lack of energy.
That's when I called the PAWS pack, which is an animal rescue organisation, started and managed by three like minded animal loving girls (Neha, Shruti and Tanya). I got through to Tanya, who gave me basic instructions, guided me to contacting a vet, coordinated my meeting with the vet, so I could go and bring the vet over to the site.
The donkey was diagnosed to be having a high fever. The doc gave him a couple of large shots, we fed him a couple of times and the guy recovered. Before long he disappeared, probably joined some passing tribe. I also learnt that PAWS was already aware of this case (was called by some more people) and was keeping an eye on the donkey via some of its volunteers
After this incident, I was inspired to become a member of this team. The concept is amazing...a central point of coordination, relationships with 20+ leading vets in Pune, a 50+ strong volunteer network to cover the city. The model is to get a call of an injured or needy animal, send the nearest volunteer to get first hand information, report back to HO, while the team organises the protocol to rescue the animal.
While running this setup, they I guess, figured that it would be useful to have the volunteers be able to administer basic first aid to stabilise the animal (thereby increasing the chances of survival) while more help comes its way.
Leading towards this they organised a first aid work shop last Sunday, which I attended. It was extremely useful to learning about the common ailments, common protocols to approaching and muzzling the dogs, and very basic treatment (of course in consultation with the vet network).
How can we help this cause?
1. Become a part of the volunteer network.
2. Participate actively in the rescue or help in the back end operations (organisation)
3. Funds (always welcome). Currently the girls are pursuing related professions (like Tanya is a dog trainer & behaviorist, Neha is studying to be a canine nutritionist) to support the cause financially.
4. Awareness...spread the word and educate the masses to help prevent accidents and treat animals with respect.
5. Support by buying/selling their produce. They are now manufacturing dog snacks to generate revenue

Hats off to the effort of the girls and their core team.