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Joys of Being a Dog Lover!!

This is perhaps one of the most informal blogs that Tailwaggers has published. Nevertheless I hope that our readers will enjoy it. So yesterday while I was on my regular walk I saw a lady walking ahead of me cringe at the sight of two young dogs that were coming at the passersby wagging their tails in anticipation for a pat or a treat. This happens a lot as there are quite a few compassionate residents who feed these dogs. Although they are extremely friendly yet many people especially ladies get scared upon their approach. These pups and their mother are especially familiar with me as our Tailwaggers team got them vaccinated when they were but few months old. The thought that crosses my mind whenever I see them is that how much more love I am getting in my life apart from what I get from my family and my own lovely dog. I know that all my fellow animal lovers will agree with this fact. I feel sad for those who cringe at the sight of these street dogs because they are losing on so much extra love that we all need in our stressful lives. I also for the fact cannot understand the mentality of the people who are biased towards the breed dogs. Anyways for the time being I will leave you with some of the pictures of these lovely mother and her two sons.IMG00430-20130214-1715

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Project Pole Insulation – An Initiative

Project Pole Insulation was inspired by watching the process of dog catchers catching dogs with catch poles and the injuries caused to the dogs during the process. If you have ever noticed, the dog catching drill is fast and efficient, this is why we fail to notice the inside story. All animal welfare organizations in Delhi city use catch poles for catching dogs. Once a dog is caught he or she can and often does panic and begins to bite the poles in an attempt to be free, usually resulting in some pretty awful mouth injuries. Though these kinds of incidences are rampant, very few even pay attention or for that matter come up with a solution like using net or insulating the poles. Hence  Project Pole Insulation.

In order to prevent these injuries Indigree Angels Trust and Tailwaggers have started a joint initiative in the form of ProjectPole Insulation to try and help save the dogs from this completely avoidable trauma. We are going into animal shelters in the city and insulating their catchpoles by coating it in a way that ensures that if/when the dog bites the pole he does not injure himself. We are also training people within the organizations on how to make and maintain the insulation on their catchpoles as well. Yesterday we insulated PAWS and ANIMAL INDIA TRUSTs catch poles. We thank them for caring. We hope the rest of the shelters will also understand the importance of this Project and welcome us as well.

We appeal you to support us by promoting Project Pole Insulation and making sure that catch poles brought into your area are properly insulated and safer for the dogs.

You can also leave your comments here. Your feedbacks will be highly appreciated.

What to do when you find an injured animal.???

Many a times it happens that we come across an injured or ill animal and do not know what to do. Here are few steps so as to organize you and guide you through the rescue:

1.      The most important thing to understand before undertaking any kind of rescue is that all animals are scared of humans. They can neither understand you nor tell you what is wrong with them. This lack of communication results in generating mistrust. Therefore you have to be very careful in approaching the animal because there is a possibility it could harm you or itself out of fear.

2.      First of all it is very important to understand the kind of injury to the animal because when you will call a helpline, the first thing that would be asked is the same.

 

3.      Sometimes in case of dogs the animal gets aggressive if you try to reach out so it is best not to go very near but to gradually gain its trust. The same goes for birds except birds get frightened and in the course could harm themselves further more. The best way to keep birds calm is to keep them in a dark and quiet place for example a large size cardboard box with holes for breathing.

4.      Immediately call for help. You can get all the helpline numbers that you need from  http://www.tailwaggers.in/AnimalHelplines.html.  You can also try to take the animal to the nearest vet or you can wait for the ambulance.

5.      Make sure that you take the token number that the organization providing the ambulance will give you. This will help you to keep a regular tab on the whereabouts of the animal that you rescued.

6.      You can later give the reference of the token number and verify if the rescuing organization has returned the cured and healthy animal to its original area/street.

Hope these points will help you get organized and you will be able to help an animal without getting panicky.

Flooding Questions??!!!

Once again India has welcomed monsoon with lots of anticipation of abundant yield of crops as well as replenished water bodies. The other by product of monsoon is the dreaded floods. The latter is not welcomed like monsoons but only awaited by a nervous apprehension for the reason that every year floods play havoc in various parts of the country. One of the most furious and dreaded flood wave hits the state of Assam settled near the catchment areas of river Brahmaputra. Brahmaputra is a trans-boundary and one of the greatest rivers of Asia. It is a furious river and through its course from Tibet (its origin) to Bangladesh (where it drains in Bay of Bengal) it covers a distance of more than 1800 miles. The river along its course is the most dangerous in Assam (India) region where it is flood prone.

Unfortunately the only home to one-horned rhinoceros – Kaziranga national park is right in the eye of the storm. There has been a regular case of floods at the national park since 1988, yet till now the park authorities or the ministry of environment and forest have not got a robust disaster management plan to evacuate animals in case of flood scenario. According to the statistics in 1988 floods killed around 1,203 animals and in 1998 around 652 perished. This year the death toll at national park is 573 till now and this is when the floods have just started!! More flood waves are expected this season and we do not know how many more innocent animals will die.

It seems as if authorities are dependent on the animals’ adaptation to the flood-dependent ecology. However this approach is extremely pathetic and disgusting especially when the 11th five year plan has allotted around 80 million INR to the state government for flood control. The records have it that 30 million of these funds have been utilized so far.

Then why is it that animals are still dying??? Why nothing is done to save them??

Reports have it that most of these animals are run over by speeding trucks while crossing the highway to reach elevated grounds??? There are no officials or volunteers to stop the speeding vehicles on the highway nor there are sufficient speed breakers to check the speed limit. Moreover the disaster management department could not come up with a simple water management plan!!! This apathy of the authorities blatantly shows the misuse of flood control funds. Should it not be a priority to safeguard Kaziranga which carries rare and endangered species of Rhinos??? 

Events like floods and droughts as well as their annual repetition makes us wonder that a country that boasts of being a rising economic superpower cannot even manage its water problems. And it is true that unless India leverages its agriculture based sectors as well as safeguard its ecology, it is only a matter of time when it will no longer be able to sustain other sectors or for that matter its economic growth speed!!!!

 

Indian Tigers: Hunters or The Hunted!!!

One of the biggest threats to tigers in India is not the receding forest cover but the ever-increasing gangs of poachers. The latest victim of one of these gangs is a full-grown male tiger of Chandrapur (Maharashtra’s Tiger Reserves). Needless to say the gangs are brutal. This poor tiger was cut into pieces and thrown at the side of the road. Just like serial killer these gangs have their own style of killing the tiger. Where some gang uses iron claws, the other uses electrocution as the means to kill.

Despite of an alert at the reserves the poachers were successful in punching holes in the tight security ring. This brings us to the question – Why did this still happen? Is the claim made by the officials, of a tight and high alert security, is just a cover to save their face?

The fact of the matter is that there is nobody to provide for the answers. Even if an RTI is filed it will only lead to vague answers instead of solid facts. The authorities could always find a loophole. The few people who are really sensitive to the problem and trying to book the culprits are transferred due to politics prevalent in the bureaucratic league. A Tiger’s skin sells for over 10 million INR in international market and its nails, hair, bones sell for over 6 Lakhs. Even a 10% commission paid to the official could easily provide security holes.

Sometimes there are reports of tigers being accidentally killed. There would be hundreds of explanation for these accidents but we fail to understand an accident happening at the hands of the trained officials. Millions of rupees are invested in the Tiger project, yet there are inadequately trained people handling the tiger population and letting them die in accidents. Tigers are not stray dogs who could be helped by common man; they are big majestic beings who could only be handled by well-equipped trained professionals.

It is sad to see the sorry state of affairs of the tigers despite the high proportion of money and publicity being invested for them. However unless the administration does not put a stop to these gangs of poacher the brutality would continue. Tigers are an indispensable part of our ecological system. With their current population dwindling at 1,706 (till March 2011) it is important to follow the popular saying ‘Desperate times call for desperate measures’.

How useful is the Government ban on use of live animals for educational & research purposes?

Last month the ministry of environment and forests made a decision based on prevention of cruelty to animals act 1960 and henceforth banned the use of live animals for dissection in educational institutes and research work. The guidelines have been issued to organizations like university grants commission, ministry of health and family welfare, pharmacy council of India and the medical council of India to discontinue the practice of animal dissection. However the ban is not absolute and exempts scientists conducting new molecular research. The bone of contention here is the exemption part.Image

One of the first questions that we ask ourselves is what is new molecular research? Although a scientist could better explain it yet in a layman language molecular research is the research work done at the molecular level that forms the component of our body cell to improve human-life and devise remedies for deadly diseases. In today’s world technology provides near accurate computer simulations of these molecular models as well as the drug’s molecular component. So the question arises why the exemption for molecular scientists. The ministry has guided the educational institutions to use alternatives in the form of CDs, computer simulations and mannequin models, which is a very good thing, but is the exemption to molecular scientists really needed where on molecular level most of the experiments are performed through computer simulations??

The ban looks good on the outside and is a step towards eradicating animal cruelty in the form of experimentation however on the inside it leaves loopholes which could be exploited blatantly. Sadly this is the case with most of the laws in India. The constructive criticism would be that the though ministry thought about animal welfare and did a good job in banning use of live animals for education and research yet it has miles to go before it sleeps !!!