There is a certain sense of responsibility that comes along while feeding animals on the road, since we collectively as a society are responsible for the wellbeing of our fellow animals. Feeding stray animals regularly helps activists/animal lovers to break the barriers of fear between man-animal to make the following easier:
- Satiating the animal’s hunger – Rescuing them from starvation helps in reducing aggression in animals due to hunger, and the need to wander and scavenge in search of food. It is only humane for animals to have the right to a decent meal.
- Treatment- In cases of sickness/accidents.
- Spay/neuter – To control stray animal population in a humane way in cats and dogs. It also reduces aggression in dogs thereby reducing dog bites which further curbs man-animal conflict. It also reduces territorial fights during the mating season in cats and dogs, thus curbing unnecessary infant suffering.
- Vaccination – A complete must that provides immunization from rabies, distemper, corona virus other diseases.
The following are simple guidelines for people who feed and care for strays:
Designate a specific area to feed the animals. The feeding spot should be in a space where no vehicles or people pass by.
Ensure feeding bowls/newspapers are picked up post feeding.
There should be provision of fresh drinking water for animals and birds. Animal lovers should incorporate this.
Children and senior citizens who feed stray animals should not feel intimidated by people who object. Always seek the assistance of a relative or neighbour. Should a situation get threatening for the feeder and/or animals, please approach your nearest police station. Animal caregivers and stray animals are protected under our Constitutional Laws.
Allow stray animals to take refuge in your building/compound/garage during extreme climatic conditions, especially the monsoons. It’s the noblest thing to do. Win the blessings of a mute creature.
Seek medical help for animals as and when required. Please contact an NGO or BSPCA, Parel.
The Animal Welfare Board of India issues Feeder Cards to those who feed stray animals, however, our Constitution states that anyone who is compassionate to animals can provide food/medical aid to an animal/s in need. The Feeder Card is not mandatory however having one makes it easier in places where people object to caring for animals.
Do not feed at building entrances, floor landings, outside the main entrance of your home. This encourages foul odour, creates a mess and sometimes unknowingly encourages the animal to urinate/defecate within the premises, leading to unnecessary man-animal conflict where the animal ends up bearing the brunt of human error.
If you have a provision for drinking water, never leave the water bowl empty or dirty. Always ensure the water is fresh and clean.
Most importantly, never relocate an animal to another area. It confuses the animal, and risks the animal to immense threat to life by territorial animals from other areas.
Never feel over powered by people who object to feeding and caring for stray animals. Always continue your selfless mission without being intimidated. Instead of spiralling into unwanted conflict with a person/persons who objects feeding, try talking it out whilst explaining animal rights and animal caregiver rights.
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