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The Welfare of Stray Dogs

26 Jun 2012 | by | Posted in: Wag Wiki

The Welfare of Stray Dogs (WSD) is a Mumbai-based NGO, which has been working tirelessly since 1989 to ensure the best possible care for stray dogs by taking a pragmatic, effective and solution-oriented approach. WSD doesn’t merely focus on the dogs in isolation, but also takes into account the environment and the people that surround them. It is constantly making efforts to better the relations between strays and humans.

While for the first five years of its existence, WSD concentrated all its efforts on trying to stop the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) from killing stray dogs, today, it is able to centre on trying to give these helpless strays a chance to coexist amicably with humans in a world that is indifferent and cruel to animals. The approach WSD adopts in dealing with the stray dog issue is a four-pronged one: 

To control the stray dog population and keep it healthy through sterilisation, immunisation and onsite first-aid programmes: Till date, WSD has sterilised and immunised more than 29,400 stray dogs (about 180- 200 per month). It runs a By Abodh Aras sterilisation centre near Saat Rasta, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai, where an able 20-strong team of visiting surgeons, doctors, ward boys and field personnel tends to the dogs. Also, more than 30,000 stray dogs have been impacted by three teams of trained volunteers who administer onsite first aid from Cuffe Parade up to Juhu/ Sion. In cases of emergency, where the dog is critical or has met with an accident, the WSD help-line and area volunteers come to the rescue.

 To eliminate human rabies deaths through mass immunisation: As of today, more than 13,000 strays have been immunised against rabies, drastically reducing chances of spread of this disease. The number of rabies deaths resulting from dog bites has fallen considerably since the immunisation programme has been in effect. 

To create awareness through presentations in schools, colleges, offices and other institutions: Regular presentations to thousands of adults and children have resulted in a large number of people – dog lovers and otherwise – becoming aware of the stray dog issue, rabies and dog bite prevention. Rabies awareness drives at railway stations have helped to reach out to a wider section of the populace. 

The promotion of pariahs instead of foreign breeds through an adoption programme: Apart from running a Pariah Dog Club, WSD also organises an annual Stray Dogs’ Day on May 9 and Adoption Melas once a year, where people are encouraged to adopt pariah strays from the WSD kennels as well as made aware of the benefits of adopting a sturdy stray compared to pedigree dogs. More than 300 abandoned pets and stray dogs have been adopted through this adoption programme. Since everything is done in such a well thought out, system-driven manner with documented guidelines, the WSD model can be (and already has been) easily replicated in any other part of the city or country.


How you can help

Volunteer:Being lean in terms of full-time staff, WSD depends heavily on volunteers. Currently about 150 active volunteers keep all the activities going, but there’s a constant need for more. People from all walks of life volunteer for WSD’s various activities. If you are hands-on with dogs and can spare Sunday mornings to help the strays, you could be a part of the first-aid team. Walking dogs at the kennels, making presentations to various organisations or selling WSD products at stalls in various exhibitions are a few other avenues for volunteers. 

Donate: WSD needs Rs 1,50,000 a month (Rs 18 lakh per annum) to carry out all the different activities. Donations are welcome and they even enjoy a tax exemption under Section 80-G of the Income Tax Act (1961). You could also contribute items that are required at the kennels food items, medicines and old newspapers (call WSD for the exact list).

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