Wednesday, May 10, 2006

May 14 is Stray Dog Day!!!

Via email from Abodh at Welfare of Stray Dogs:

Meet the Stray Dog Heroes Lara and Jerry.

Lara – She wasn't born a stray, but she became one when her callous owner abandoned her on Sion highway. Not surprisingly, she was soon hit by a car and both her back paws were severely wounded and fractured. In fact, the toes of the right hind paw were completely severed. When she was brought to the WSD kennel in January 2006, she was unable to get up. Instead of sinking into self-pity as most humans would have done, Lara made the best of what she had and started propelling herself around on her front legs. As her wounds healed, she started using one of her hind legs, and finally, a couple of weeks ago, she began walking almost normally on all four paws. WSD salutes this quiet, gentle little dog for her tenacity and will to survive, and above all for retaining her trust of human beings even after the cruelty she had suffered.

Jerry - Those of us who are different from the mainstream are usually burdened with the pity and low expectations of our fellow human beings. Perhaps only in the eyes of dogs are we truly equal. Adopted from WSD four years ago, Jerry lives at the Helen Keller Institute of Deaf & Deaf Blind . She performs a valuable and unique service by providing love, companionship and lots of fun for the students. Like all dogs, Jerry does not discriminate in any way, and to her the children are simply her beloved playmates, no different from other children.


In 2005, The Welfare of Stray Dogs decided to celebrate the second Sunday of May every year as Stray Dog Day.

This year, Stray Dog Day will be held at the Dhanraj Mahal in Colaba (Near Cottage Industries/Gateway Of India), Mumbai on May 14, 2006 at 4:30 pm.

Seven individuals will be felicitated for their outstanding contributions to the cause of stray dog welfare, public health and above all, furthering the goal of harmonious co-existence of dogs and humans. Seven of these awardees are human; two are dogs.

WSD will felicitate two Stray Dog Friends, five Stray Dog Saviours and two Stray Dog Heroes.

WSD products (for humans and dogs) will also be on sale. You can buy gourmet vegetarian food prepared and sponsored by the Taj President, Mocha, Zaffran, Joss & Patchi chocolates.

Cyrus Broacha will compere the event and Cyrus Guzder, CMD, AFL will hand over the token of appreciation to the awardees. The honorary director of the Helen Keller institute, Ms Behroze Vaccha will also be present.

Children can get themselves photographed with the kennel dogs and the Stray Dog Heroes by WSD volunteer and professional photographer Rohan Mukherjee.


Who are the Stray Dog Friends?

The Hiranandani Gardens Residents group, and lawyer Porus Kaka.

The Hiranandani Gardens Residents – All citizens reserve the right to complain about civic problems, but most shrug off their responsibility when it comes to solutions. Given that garbage is one of the main causes of the stray dog population, everyone in the city is actually contributing to this particular problem. The residents of Hiranandani Gardens decided to take positive action with the support of the Hiranandani Constructions and took the unique initiative of carrying all the dogs in the colony to NGOs to be sterilized and vaccinated. The process took several months of consistent effort, and there are now no pups being born in the colony. If all housing societies followed the example of Mriganko Chatterjee, Mrs. Shahani and others, it would be a huge step towards permanently reducing the dog population.

Porus Kaka – Helping dogs does not necessarily have to mean spending hours with them on the street. A few high-calibre professionals provide invaluable service to the cause by actually adopting four street dogs, including an amputee. As a prominent and very successful tax lawyer Porus has extremely hectic work and travel schedules, but this has never prevented him from befriending dogs in any way possible, whether by giving advice or lending his premises for WSD activities.


Who are the Stray Dog Saviours?

Suresh Naidu, Vijayan & Aspi Chinoy, Zal Andhyarujina, Jerestin Sidhwa

Suresh Naidu – Most people see volunteering as a hobby, to be indulged in only in one's leisure time. Not Suresh Naidu. For years, he has managed to do a full-time job, care for his family, and be a full-time animal lover. Humane, conscientious and incredibly dedicated, he cannot ignore an animal in distress. After office hours, when ordinary men would want to put their feet up and unwind, Suresh goes on his first-aid rounds with his medicine kit, treating injured and ailing strays.

Vijayan – There are many people in this city who deserve our compassion – especially the homeless, and those scratching out a living in slums and on the street. A little-known fact is that some of these people, in their turn, give an enormous amount of compassion to those even less fortunate. Vijayan is a familiar sight outside Standard Chartered Bank on DN Road, where he has been shining shoes for many years. He is a familiar sight to the local dogs, too, for different reasons. Vijayan takes all the needy strays around under his wing, bringing them to WSD for sterilization and vaccination, and caring for them when they are ill or injured. He even nursed two semi-paralysed dogs back to health.

Aspi Chinoy, Zal Andhyarujina, Jerestin Sidhwa – If not for the support of these talented and eminent advocates, the stray dog sterilization programme might not have still been in existence. Aspi Chinoy, Zal Andhyarujina and Jerestin Sidhwa have always come to the rescue, somehow managing to include the stray dog matter in their busy schedules, even when it must have caused them considerable inconvenience. Stray dogs are extremely fortunate in having such staunch and vociferous supporters to fight their legal battles.


Please be there and support these wonderful efforts!!!

(Many thanks to our friend Abodh for the detailed email!!)