Millennium Post

All you need is love... and a dog

All you need is love... and a dog
Do animal shelters get money from the government?
No. No animal shelter gets money from either the government or from any companies or large foundations. Each animal shelter is extremely poor and is run by volunteers who take no money. They try and get donations to pay doctors and staff. Each animal shelter is a public service and each one of you reading this should make donations to your local animal shelter so that they can stay open. Rescues and shelters run solely on grants and donations from the surrounding communities. Every species should have medical aid and a place where they can get well. Imagine if you were a wounded donkey or a thrown out dog. Would you not want help? It is important for the community, whether they like animals or not, to contribute in any way they can, to the animal shelters. Blankets, cotton wool, buckets, newspapers, food grains, cleaning equipment, mattresses, X Rays, medicines, scooters; these are some of the many things that each shelter needs. If you ask for the ambulance to come and help you, you should pay a donation not just for the petrol and driver but for the animal to be looked after.

Is it true that all shelter pets available for adoption are old, badly behaved or diseased?
It’s possible to find pets of all ages in shelters (i.e. puppies, adults, middle-aged, etc.) At any given time each shelter has lots of puppies, kittens, rabbits. My shelter Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre in Delhi has over 800 animals for adoption – of which only 10-20 get adopted each week. None of them are diseased – no shelter will give a sick animal for adoption because we know that the adopter will bring it back in an even worse condition. No animals are badly behaved: most have been thrown out by people who refuse to take their dogs on transfer with them, or have allowed their dog or rabbit to litter and don’t want the babies, or have picked up the puppies from the road and brought them. Some are thrown out because they have an itch or a cough and their owners could not be bothered to spend money on their treatment. We put them right and then offer them for adoption.

What does a shelter need the most in terms of actuals?
Everything! Let’s start with some of the basics.
 Food: give rice, wheat, soya beans, dalia, vegetables, milk, eggs, green fodder.
 Cleaning equipment: mops, phenyl, dustbins, buckets, dettol, scrub brushes, bleaching powder.
 Medicines and medical equipment: syringes, gloves, betadine, surgery kits, stretchers, autoclaves, treatment tables, IV stands, oxygen cylinders, Sterilising Cooker, Thermometers, Glucose Bottles.
 Maintenance equipment: fans, coolers, heaters, mattresses, towels, blankets, sheets, paint, distemper, bricks, sand, cement, tiles, geysers, sinks, taps, wire mesh, cabinets, water hose pipes, plastic chairs.
 Kitchen equipment: Refrigerators to store food and medicines, degchis, big Pressure Cookers, big Steel Containers to store rice, wheat, stove, feeding bottles for big animals and small animals, food bowls, pots, ladles, 
 Electricity equipment: generator, inverter, stabiliser.
 Choose a few of these things and instead of having a birthday party this year or even going to a restaurant, donate these. The happiness you will feel will be much greater. If you are in the mood to make a major donation try an X Ray Machine and X Ray Viewer or a Washing Machine.

Do animal shelters only have dogs and cats?
This is what we have : pigeons, crows, peacocks, lovebirds, kites, hens, parakeets, white mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, dogs, cats, buffaloes, horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, pigs, camels, cows, monkeys.  All of them – except the monkeys and birds -are for adoption.

Is it true that shelters don't have any purebreds for adoption?
Most shelters are full of pedigreed dogs that have been thrown out by their disgusting owners. We have Labradors, Pomeranians, Spitz, German Shepherds, Great Danes, Pugs. We try and get them homes first because they pine away and die of broken hearts – as you would if you were suddenly thrown out of your house into an overcrowded orphanage.

Are Adoption fees too expensive?
No. They are extremely low -considering that the animal shelter/rescue has spent the time and money necessary to get him, house him, feed him, medicate him, spay/neuter him, vaccinate him. Each animal costs the shelter thousands of rupees. And the adopter gets him for a few hundred because we are so happy to find him a home and save his life. 

Animal shelters are sad places?
Sometimes. However, this also depends on how you look at the situation. Some go into an animal shelter and see sad and ill faces looking back at them. But imagine if these faces were out on the cold, harsh street with nothing to eat and no friends; with no one to care for them. These animals are being saved, and they need your help, so go as often as you can.
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