The value of strays is simply that it is alive

That is the call for action for ‘The Voice of Stray Dogs’. Animals – stray, semi-owned, owned, community animals, pet animals, birds, wildlife – are easily used, abused, exploited, dumped, destroyed, and rarely cherished or accorded the dignity and protection, that we believe must be accorded to all life on the planet. Moreover, (and sadly), in this era of diminishing inter-species hospitality and respect, animals are often denied the protection of the very laws enacted by the law makers, that provision for animal rights, animal welfare, and the prevention of cruelty to animals. ‘The Voice of Stray Dogs’ believes that animals, who live in our midst, share our space and our lives – as they have done for 14,000 yrs or more – have to be treated humanely.

VoSD provide an emergency helping which is manned and connected to a CRM system developed by founder, Rakesh Shukla, absolutely the first of its kind in India. It is integrated with many platforms so it sends a trauma alert on Facebook, e-mail, an online CRM blast and also on SMS to registered ‘volunteers’ in addition to their own team. This innovative service is scalable and VoSD directly impact the dogs with their service as well as legal support.

It is estimated that Bangalore has around 350,000 street dogs with possibly 10% of them in very poor health condition and at least 100 severe trauma cases a day. A little support for dogs here goes a long way.

BC Mehta Trust is supporting this inspiring and honest non profit that acts 100% in the dogs interest. Please follow their FB page:

Your voice makes a difference!

Animal Rehat

Animal Rahat (“rahat” means “relief”) is a nonprofit organization that is making a difference in the lives of thousands of working animals and their owners in often drought-stricken regions of India. PETA India has joined forces with the BC Mehta trust supporting this group and helping to expand its services.

Deeply impoverished villagers who use working animals depend on them in order to eke out an existence. Ignorance of basic care causes not only the animals to suffer but also the owners because they cannot work when the animals are sick or injured. The loss of even one day’s work means that a family will go hungry.

Animal Rahat operates in the Sangli, Solapur, and Pandharpur districts of Maharashtra (one of the largest and most populous states in India). Villages in these districts often suffer from severe drought that can last for several years at a stretch, and farmers often have no water for themselves or their fields, let alone for their animals.

Animal Suffering

One of the most common sights in the region is that of a bullock straining to pull an overloaded and often poorly balanced cart, a heavy yoke across his shoulders, being goaded along in the heat and dust. These animals, along with horses, donkeys, ponies, and others, pull carts and tongas (passenger carts) and are used to haul iron rods, bricks, and cane for sugar mills, factories, farms, and markets. They are also used in the brick kilns, where temperatures can reach more than 284 degrees Fahrenheit.

People there are so impoverished that they cannot afford any medical care for their animals and do not expect to do more than use weeds or mud for wounds. The animals suffer horribly from poor nutrition (sometimes they eat only weeds), dehydration, untreated sores, overloading, and even beatings. The three biggest problems are lameness, yoke infections, and depression—the despairing animals understandably lose the will to carry on.

Furthermore, countless homeless dogs in poor condition roam the roadsides and villages of this region. With no one to care for them, they fall victim to starvation, dehydration, heat stroke, disease, mange, parasites, wounds, and abuse by unthinking people, and many are hit by vehicles.

The constant sight of animals in distress generates a vicious cycle of human desensitization to it and a loss of the awareness and consideration of animals’ most basic needs.

Providing a solution

Staffed by a team of veterinarians and their assistants, Animal Rahat seeks to bring vital relief to working animals and to help their owners, who are often too poor to afford the greens or hay that these animals need to maintain stamina and muscle or to pay for veterinary care in times of illness and injury. Animal Rahat also teaches locals an awareness of basic animal welfare, which includes practical measures such as providing animals with a nutritious diet and adequate water as well as reducing and balancing the loads that they are forced to carry.

Animal Rahat has now grown to serve more than 52 areas and is on call 24 hours a day every day of the year for emergency response when animals become lame, are hit by lorries, fall, or suffer from malnutrition, exhaustion, or medical conditions, including “yoke gall” (a sore on the skin caused by the rubbing of the yoke) and rabies.

In villages throughout the region, the group has installed various concrete water tanks to provide water to thirsty working animals. The Animal Rahat staff has also installed “travises” at treatment centers along the route. These are devices that restrain bullocks humanely so that they won’t kick and can be treated without being cast to the ground and held down (a stressful and frightening position for these gentle prey animals).

Animal Rahat has also conducted vaccination camps for foot-and-mouth disease, inoculating thousands of animals against this often fatal ailment. Thousands more have been vaccinated against tetanus.

Reaching the impoverished drivers of these animals often takes flexibility and persistence. For instance, the Animal Rahat team was having trouble getting bullock drivers who supplied a sugar mill to take the time to get their animals examined and treated. So Animal Rahat staff members checked the delivery schedule of the plant and have now made themselves available at off-hours. As a result, they’ve seen a big jump in the number of vulnerable animals who have received treatment.

Before Animal Rahat was created, animals would commonly be worked to death following an injury. We’re pleased that many owners of working animals now call upon the Animal Rahat veterinarians when their animals become sick or injured.

Giving animals time to heal

One innovative service that Animal Rahat provides is paid rest days. Many people are living at a subsistence level that does not allow them to sacrifice the income from even one day’s work in order to give their animals a day of rest. Therefore, when Animal Rahat staff members encounter an animal who is so ill or injured that rest is imperative for recovery, they provide the owner with enough pay to cover the income lost from the prescribed rest days for the animal.

Throughout the past two years, there have been cases in which owners have agreed to provide rest days for their bullocks yet have refused to accept any money from Animal Rahat to compensate them for the days of lost work.

For example, recently a pony used to pull a tonga was unable to bear weight on one leg, so Animal Rahat paid the animal’s owner to allow the pony to rest for two days. The man did so, and the pony showed 80 percent improvement but still needed more rest. The Animal Rahat team then offered the man another two days’ payment, but he refused, saying that he would allow the horse to rest but that Animal Rahat had already helped him enough and that he would bear the remaining two days’ expenses himself!

This is terrific proof that people value the Animal Rahat program to such an extent that they want to preserve its resources for others in need.

Helping to retire working animals

A very important aspect of Animal Rahat is its animal-retirement program. Often, when they become too old or ill to work, long-suffering cart animals are sold for slaughter—which is generally performed without stunning and usually follows an unbearably long and hellish journey. As an alternative, the Animal Rahat staff encourages owners to allow animals to continue living with their families until they die so that their remaining years can be free from work and pain and the terror of the slaughterhouse.

To lessen the expenses incurred by owners when they are not earning money with their animals, Animal Rahat pays for part of the animals’ feeding costs if the retired animals are kept with their owners. Currently, four retired bullocks and one retired horse live with their families, thanks to Animal Rahat.

On these 4 acres of land, retired animals are left free to roam all day long. During the day, the animals enjoy grazing, nibbling on food that is scattered throughout the property to encourage them to exercise their aging limbs, drinking from the water bowls provided around the grounds, and enjoying the shade of the trees. The only time in which they are confined to their sheds is at night; when the caretaker arrives, they stroll to the sheds to bed down for the evening. Four bullocks, three donkeys, and one buffalo currently live at the Animal Rahat retirement facility, where they will never have to work again. Other horses and donkeys have been transferred to the Nilgiri Hills station that PETA subsidizes in Tamil Nadu.

The retired animals serve as models for respectful relations between humans and animals, just as the overloaded bullock carts represent the cruel practices that Animal Rahat hopes to make a thing of the past.

The BC Mehta Trust © 2017 - registered charity: England & Wales 1143092