S. Vinod Kumar, General Manager, Blue Cross of India, Madras, says they conducted a survey in Chennai that had found that garbage bins and household leftovers fed 70 percent of stray animals in the city because eateries and hotels closed down.
"When we 'surveyed' about 1711 dogs to know where they got their food and water during the lockdown, thewe that 1356 of them were struggling with insufficient food and 1131 were suffering due to water scarcity.
As a result, we mobilised our volunteers and other animal activists in the town to feed stray animals.
"We distributed 90,000 packets of dog food across the city so far. Our team including 30 volunteers are still feeding at least 2500-3000 dogs every day. We have found no cases of either starvation death of strays or abandoning of pets due to pandemic. It’s indeed an achievement of Chennaites because it is one of cities in the country with high number of tray dogs’, he said.
According to the data available with City Corporation, there are 70,000 strays in addition to 1300 licensed pet dogs in the town. However, the Corporation has no shelter facility to accommodate abandoning strays safely.
Mr. Kumar also points out that each individual can play a role in this noble cause. If there are stray dogs in your residential areas, you can help them. Despite the lockdown we have managed to find enough supplies for the animals and have stocks’, he says.
According to Vijay, a volunteer, who feeds stray animals in Ambattur area, they spend at least 4 hours a day to feed them. ‘If any animal is found to be injured or ill during the patrol, they will be taken to the hospital to get treatment’, he adds. Meanwhile, the Animal Welfare Board of India the other day had directed the local authorities to make provisions for food and water for stray animals during the lockdown....