IDA: Standing for those who cannot defend themselves
20 Jun 2013
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IDA or In Defense of Animals is an organization that gives voice to those who cannot defend their own rights. The organization has been working from 1996 to give animals their due rights. What started as a small set up by a zealous woman is a thriving organization with five centers across Mumbai now. Their area of expertise includes proving sterilization and promoting adoption of all stray and abandoned animals.
Pet Santa had a one on one with the Vaidya Goodicia, she is responsible for rescuing pets from any bad owner or rescuing abandoned animals from the streets. Here is the conversation
Q: How was IDA founded?
Vaidya: IDA was founded by Sudnya Patkar in 1996, prior to starting IDA, she was working for an NGO that helped in the welfare of all stray animals. She felt that she needed to do more that is how IDA got registered. Since then there has been no stopping, they conducted their first sterilization drive in March 2007. These drives were conducted from garages and rooms given out to us by various NGOs. Then in February 2000 we were allocated our first center from BMC and today we proudly boast of five centers across Mumbai. Whenever a dog is sterilized, a v shape is marked on the dog in order to avoid the dog being captured again for sterilization. After every surgery we house the dog for up to seven days before the stitches are taken off. We also actively treat dogs of tumors and skin infections as well.
Q: Throw some light on the various reasons animals get abandoned?
Vaidya: There are varied reasons as to why people abandon their pets. There is an increase in pet abandonment during vacations. People do not want to incur the high cost of boarding and they abandon them on the streets. The pedigree pets cannot adapt to the streets. There are a lots of pets abandoned when they get old and not fun anymore, it becomes too much more. At times the pet owners abandon pets when they need them the most in case they have some chronic diseases or the treatment is very expensive.
One of the most common issues that I have found is that when a baby comes to the family, the pet is abandoned because of hygiene issues. When the owners move out of town they want to leave the pets to the shelters as taking them requires a lot of paperwork and hassle. One has to remember that your pet is your family member, respect it as one.
Q: What is the kind of care that abandoned pets require?
Vaidya: A pet requires a lot of care, at IDA as soon as we get a pet. we give him or her a bath, feed them and give them sterilization, which is essential. Once this is done we provide them shelter till the time they are adopted and placed in good homes. There is a regular follow up with the owners after the pet is adopted. There are times when some dogs do not survive in shelters in those cases they are placed in foster homes.
Q: How do you support your organization?
Vaidya: Support comes to IDA through various quarters. BMC pays us on monthly basis for sterilization of each dog. We have our group of regular and on time donors; these well wishers of the organization provide us with the necessary funds to provide support to the organization. Our bulk of the donation comes from our international partner in the USA by the same name IDA.
Q: What do you think can be done to promote pet adoption and spread awareness against animal abuse?
Vaidya: In IDA we promote our through Facebook, what better way to look for a home for your pet than word of mouth. We also tried visiting schools to raise awareness of students towards animal rights but we have stopped doing that now. pet adoption
Q: What is the process of adopting a pet?
Vaidya: Our adoption procedure is fairly simple. Anyone interested can adopt a pet, we pose a set of questions to the prospective owners to ensure that the pet is not abandoned again. The questions asked are generally simple like Have you ever had a pet? How many people live in the house and how open is the family to the idea of having a pet? How will the routine of the dog be managed by the family? If you adopt a pet from us we provide free neutering of the pet. If it is a pup or a kitten then we will neuter them once they reach adulthood.
Q: Do you take volunteers? If yes then how can they contribute?
Vaidya: Our organization is supported by the volunteers. We need them for every facet of our work. We need volunteers to check on the adequacy of the adoptive parents to ensure a safe house for the pet. There has to be regular follow up on adopted pets to ensure they are treated right. We need people to look after the animals in the center. They have to be regularly applied medicines. We at times invited to various seminars, IDA puts up merchandise for sale, and the volunteers are needed to manage the stall. We will welcome anyone who wants to help.
Q: What is the message that you would like to share with the world?
Vaidya: There has been a growing awareness among people for pet adoption. We receive regular calls for animal rescue. I observed that there is a general rise among people for stray animals. People have starting caring for them.
Just remember a few pointers when adopting a pet. if you are adopting an adult dog remember that he will take time to adjust to his or her new surroundings. He may not be that jumpy and full of energy. Just be patient he will come around. Keeping a dog is not really a expensive most stray have a strong immunity and neutering cost is paid by us. You can feed a dog for anything between Rs 500 to 3000.
The voice for animal rights is growing, from a small squeak it has come to be a bark but to make it a roar, we have to work harder. Animal rights have not yet found a strong foothold in the country. Facebook and social networking sites are spreading the cause. It is the NGOs such as IDA that providing the much needed push to it. It is time we do our bit. If you can adopt a pet, volunteer, donate or simply feed a hungry stray. Remember they may not be able to speak but they overcome it with their unconditional love and loyalty.
As narrated to PetSanta.in