It is estimated that there are around 30-40 million stray dogs in India. Unfortunately, due to fear and ignorance they are often seen as a threat or a nuisance, which makes very few people feed stray dogs. Everywhere you go, you can see street dogs wandering through the garbage to find something to eat or going from one house to another to get a few crumbs of food. There are also people who give them old leftovers but aren’t ready or do not care enough to give them proper food. However, for me, dogs being my favourite animals, spending time with them is a way to relieve stress. Therefore, I took CAS as an opportunity to help stray dogs by feeding them and making sure that the dogs in our building got proper vaccinations.
LO2 : Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process.
One of the major challenges I faced was handling society members who did not like stray animals. They did not support feeding street dogs because they claimed them to be “dirty and aggressive”. They would often say that feeding them would create more nuisance in the building and the dogs would start biting the people. Therefore, handling people who did not support feeding stray dogs and making them understand that they are just innocent animals who have a right to proper food as well was challenging. However, seeing malnourished dogs and dogs being abused remained my motivation to overcome this challenge.
LO4 : Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences.
I have been feeding and helping street dogs since April of 2021. I feed them almost regularly and spend some time with them. I have also taken them to vets to get a few dogs vaccinated or sterilized when needed. Seeing the dogs playing and always greeting me when I enter the building keeps me going. Addition to that, seeing malnourished street dogs was also my motivation to stay committed to this experience.
LO6 : Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance.
Unfortunately, fear and ignorance have led many Indian citizens to see street dogs as a nuisance or a threat. Through this service, I wanted to focus on SDG’s like zero hunger, good health and well-being, and life on land. I also wanted to address animal cruelty and take a step forward for animal welfare. I strongly believe, humans and animals both have an equal right to proper food and good health, and believe that street dogs need to be treated better. Being aware of the fact that many street dogs are dying of starvation, I wanted to take action on it. Even though my role is on a very minor scale for such a global issue, it feels important to take action and help these street dogs.
LO7 : Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions
Not all street dogs are vaccinated and some also carry rabies, it might sometimes get risky to feed stray dogs who have anger issues. For this, I made sure to tag along with an adult. We also paid for vaccinations and sterilization of 7-8 dogs in our building, in addition to that, we helped dogs with some injuries to recover. Living on streets stray dogs barely get proper food and water let alone proper shelter, which makes it important to help and feed them. Therefore, a little risk should not mean to let the dogs suffer.
To conclude, this experience helped me develop sympathy and caring as a learner profile. Throughout this activity I have realized something that makes me relieve stress and do something good at the same time, therefore I will continue feeding and helping stray dogs.