It's not an unknown fact that stray animals, especially in India, suffer a lot. From their birth to their tragic deaths, they almost always go uncared for.
Although there are a few who adopt and shelter poor stray animals but sometimes adopting may not be possible for some due to multiple reasons.
But that doesn't mean you can't lend your hand in making the lives of stray animals a little bit bearable. If not adoption, here are a few ways you can help.
1. You can become a sponsor.
To treat and feed stray animals living on the roads/shelters requires money. And, since shelter homes and NGOs struggle to pay the bills, what you can do is cover their costs. You can sponsor their food, pay their medical bills, or even for their surgeries.
2. Volunteer to look after stray animals.
There are many NGOs/groups/societies running in the country who look after these neglected stray animals. They provide shelter, conduct a daily food drive to feed them, and even run campaigns to get them adopted. You can always volunteer with such groups and help them in any way possible.
3. Foster. Foster. Foster.
If you're in a position to keep stray animals momentarily but can't promise them a forever home, then you can always choose to foster them till they can be adopted. You can get in touch with nearby trusted NGOs, welfare groups to know more about the proceedings.
4. Feed and vaccinate nearby animals.
You will always find starving animals anywhere you go. Be it a cow or a dog, they are always on the lookout for food. You can invest in some animal food and feed the strays who live near you. This way you can guarantee them at least one meal a day. Meanwhile, also get help to vaccinate them to ensure their good health.
5. Donate & spread the word.
Donating money, food, clothes, toys, etc always helps and if you're not in the position to do that, you can always spread the message through social media or even call up friends to donate.
6. Read more about the conditions of stray animals in India and create awareness.
If there's one thing gravely lacking then that's awareness about their conditions. Many animals die daily on the street due to ignorance. One way to tackle this is by gathering more knowledge about them and creating a platform for other people to know too. Other than that, you can also equip yourself with laws regarding stray animals in India and combat prejudices and biases set against them.
7. Contact a vet/ animal shelter the moment you see an injured/sick animal.
The common notion is that an injured/sick animal will survive on its own because he/she is habituated to living in harsh conditions. But this isn't always true. Sometimes, depending upon the severity of the injury/sickness, the animal may even die or be disabled for whatever little time he/she may has anyway. So, the next time you come across an injured/sick animal, call a vet.
8. Keep a comfy bed and water outside your house.
Indian climate is not known to be kind to any of us. While we may have the luxury of blankets and ACs, strays don't. If you leave a bed and water outside your house, they would see your house as safe territory.
9. Be mindful while driving.
Every day so many stray animals get injured and die due to rash/careless driving. What we can do is be a little mindful while driving and check every time we start the car if any animal is sitting near the tires or under the vehicle.
10. Callout & report people who ill-treat stray animals.
With many cases of animal cruelty coming out in the open recently, we need to be vigilant now more than ever. Any time you spot an animal being beaten or mistreated, call out the perpetrator. Cruelty against animals is viewed as a criminal offence under Sections 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Report them to the authorities.
This world will be a better place if we learn to love and respect animals.