Calls pour in to animal shelters
With the heavy rains, animal shelters across the city have received an increased number of calls about abandoned and abandoned animals.
Sudha Narayanan, Founder of CARE (Charlie’s Animal Rescue Centre), says, “Our managers are carefully monitoring incoming calls to the Animal Husbandry Helpline. There’s been at least a 10-15% increase in calls and we’re picking the tough rescues and trying to do whatever we can.
She points out that most of the calls come from the areas most affected by the rain such as Hennur, Bellandur and Whitefield. “Animals are floating around in these areas, some of them arriving at the shelter barely alive,” she adds.
Stray dogs in South Bengaluru are badly affected, says Girish Anjanappa of Animal Rights Fund, an animal shelter in Kengeri. The shelter reported a 40% increase in calls, mostly from areas like Kengeri, JP Nagar and Outer Ring Road, over the past week.
“We added manpower and vehicles, and worked around the clock to reach the maximum number of cases,” he said.
Calls for wildlife rescues have also increased by up to 30%, according to Col Dr Nawaz Shariff, chief executive and chief veterinarian, PFA (People for Animals) Wildlife Hospital.
“We get a lot of rescue calls in the rain, especially about black kites caught in ropes and other birds as well,” he says.
He mentioned that several apartments where the stray dogs took refuge were flooded.
“However, many apartment owners have been proactive in caring for the dogs,” Shariff added.
Rescue organizations have also highlighted the many challenges they face in saving the animals. “During heavy rains, when animals try to find shelter, they fall into sewers, open sumps and wells, due to poor visibility. When larger animals such as cattle are involved, firefighters are sometimes called for help because we don’t have the necessary equipment”, explains Sandhya Madappa, administrator of CUPA (Compassion Unlimited Plus Action).
Sudha says traffic problems and bad roads caused by the rains add to the woes. “Our ambulances are stuck in traffic. There are inaccessible areas and overflowing sewers, where animals are stuck, which has become a huge challenge for our rescue team,” she says.
She says another additional problem is that most animal shelters lack the space to rehabilitate rescued animals.
The Livestock and Veterinary Service (AHVS) helpline set up in 2014 by the government has been of great help, according to Sudha.
“It’s a 24-hour helpline and you can call or send photos and videos of the endangered animal, which go to all the rescue shelters in town. Whoever is closest to the place can help save the animal,” she adds.