PAL has been running a feeding program with the help of volunteers for the past 8 years. Everyday 50+ animals are fed by PAL, some injured, such, abandoned and living on the street. However, things changed drastically during the COVID time. With the onset of Corona virus, PAL began feeding over a 1000 animals everyday through volunteers and feeders all around Thane city. The COVID 19 Lock-down continues to be a very hard time for strays. Read further to understand why this is a challenging time for stray animals.
The Importance of Feeding Strays During the COVID 19 Lock-down
The onset of the COVID 19 pandemic in March has changed the world as we know it. The nationwide lock-down enforced in late March has brought about a slew of unexpected problems, not just for us humans but also for the countless animals living on the streets of our country.
The main problem that has arisen for them is the sudden lack of food. Earlier, they used to get their food from roadside eateries, restaurants, good Samaritans and scavenging from garbage dumps. But now, most of these avenues are shut, restaurants have been closed since March and most people are staying at home, leading to increased scavenging.
As expected, scavenging has its many drawbacks, and many strays are still not finding adequate food. There has been an increase in territorial fighting between stray dogs as they guard their chosen garbage dumps for food.
There is also the chance of animals not finding enough food and thus starving to death, which is truly terrible for them. This also brings about more problems as their bodies decay. Other starving animals may eat the decaying remains out of desperation and potentially pick-up life-threatening diseases as well.
One of our regular feeders, Albert Alphonse from Kisan Nagar in Thane, a rickshaw driver by profession, says, “I have been feeding about 100 strays on a daily basis. I feel like I have won a national award when I see all these dogs and cats come towards me with wagging tails as they are all depending on me for food,” and that he loves all the strays he feeds. Albert covers a large area on highways and inside chawls as well.
Another feeder, Shaila Ingre, a housewife from Thane East, says she decided to spend her idle lock-down time feeding the neighborhood dogs and cats because she feels extremely bad when she sees them scavenging for food and struggling to find it. She became a feeder only after the lockdown was enforced and currently feeds around 45 strays daily.
While we might want to sit at home and complain about being bored, let’s remember that there are countless strays out there who really need our help, and lets be inspired by those who are putting their lives aside to care for our strays. Let’s do this together, don’t forget, every effort counts!
If you want to help out but don’t know how, contact us at PAL to find out! Write to us [email protected]