Credits : anipixels.com
There are an estimated 50-60 million street dogs, 10 million stray cows and 5 million stray cats in India. There are no official statistics on illegal dog breeding in India. However, there are a number of reports and estimates that suggest that it is a widespread problem. Humane Society International estimates that there are at least 10 million puppies born in illegal breeding facilities, in India, each year. These puppies are often kept in cramped and unsanitary conditions, and they are often subjected to neglect and abuse. They may also be bred with closely related dogs, which can lead to genetic defects.
According to a 2018 study by World Animal Protection, an estimated 1.5 million street animals are killed in roadkill in India each year. This number is likely to be an underestimate, as many roadkill incidents go unreported. The instances of human inflicted cruelty to street animals is growing.
Problems faced by street animals: Overpopulation, disease, loss of territory, human inflicted cruelty, natural disasters, among others.
Solutions to mitigate the issue systemically: Sterilization, waste management, education & awareness, legal policy work et cetera.
The animals to vet ratio in India is estimated to be around 5000:1. This is a very high ratio, and it means that many animals do not have access to veterinary care. This puts NGOs, rescuers and animals lovers under immense stress, and at the mercy of good vets and hospitals. According to the Animal Welfare Board of India, there are an estimated 3,500 animal shelters in India. The majority of animal shelters are privately run, with very few government-run shelters. The privately run shelters are often underfunded and understaffed, and they face a number of challenges, including:
- Lack of funding : Animal shelters are expensive to run, and many shelters struggle to raise enough money to cover their costs.
- Lack of space : Many shelters are overcrowded, and they hardly ever have enough space to provide adequate care for the animals.
- Lack of staff : Animal shelters often lack the staff they need to provide proper care for the animals, primarily because of low pay scales, work hazards, health conditions and overworking.
- Lack of resources : Animal shelters often lack the resources they need, such as food, medicine, and veterinary care, literally leading a hand-to-mouth existence.
Despite the challenges, there are a number of animal shelters in India that are doing great work. These shelters provide food, shelter, and medical care to animals in need, and they also work to educate the public about street animal welfare.
Interventions for animals on the street includes many critical pillars, one of which is extending medical attention, efficiently and quickly; for this, it is imperative to ensure better coordinated teams that work towards ensuring relief from suffering via urgent medical attention. Centrally managed communication and data infrastructure, locally, is, hence, important for empowering animal lovers, rescuers and NGOs, via more know-how, skill sets and resources. Besides this, bringing some some sanity to a highly fragmented, unevenly distributed and poorly resourced animal rescue is vital. Another important aspect is to build a rich database of the constituents of the eco-system to expand the network, build SOPs and scale footprint.
- To create an ecosystem enabling animal lovers to ask for assistance, support animals in need, report animal cruelty, and promote animal welfare.
- Provide information and resources to people looking to help animals.
- Secure an ecosystem that will provide a real-time connection between animal lovers, NGOs, and volunteers.
- Ensure support for quick deployment across India, enabling quick set-up.
- The overall goal is to help improve the quality of care for animals.
SPCAs in every location, network of NGOs, private ambulance service providers, pathology / radiography and other testing centres, crematorium / burial services, subject matter experts and volunteers
IAF is working with partners to establish animal helplines, pan India, via funding of implementation partners, and assisting with relevant partnerships and collaborations.
Rescue and Rehabilitation
Every day, hundreds of urban animals are temporarily incapacitated as a result of a harsh life on the streets. They receive no relief from their situation unless there is a voluntary effort from the people in their surroundings to help. Currently, several individuals and organisations are working hard to contain the daily cases they receive. There is an urgent need for scaling-up facilities in these centers.
- Increase the capacity for rescue and rehabilitation of animals in distress.
- Reduced cost of treatment per patient.
- Better quality of diagnosis and treatment.
- Freeing-up bandwidth with in-house infra so that the organisation can focus on the core mission and growth.
Through funding secured via HNIs, retail campaigns and from the CSR corpus, many R & R partners have been assisted with food supply, medicines / treatments / diagnostics, infrastructure ramp-up, among others. This enables partners to help more animals in need of care, facilitate their release post treatment and enhance awareness amongst communities pertaining to animal rights and welfare. Some of the partners IAF has worked with include Umeed, People For Animals uttarakhand, Nishabd, The Planetic Foundation, Humane Animal Society and many others.
Join the cause
Each day we are partnering with NGOs to amplify their efforts. We cannot be more thrilled about it.