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Helping the under‘dog’ by appealing to strangers...

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Posted on June 27, 2016: A cowardly canine whose food would be snatched away by crows, and was too timid by nature to shoo away sparrows which teased him; won my heart. I would feed him daily, as I felt very protective of him. I named this nervous dog Scooby, after the fictional cartoon character who is popular for being a bundle of nerves. Scooby was missing for a few days after which he returned to the doorstep of the office where I would work, fatigued and whimpering, he had a ruptured scrotum, it seemed that he had been involved in a dog fight, which he expectedly lost and had come to my doorstep, with the plea to save his life.

Scooby’s story

I called the vet at a nearby clinic. She told me to either get the dog to her clinic, else call the local animal rescue organization, Save our Strays (SOS), to rescue him. I didn’t have my own car and didn’t make too much money, so I called the NGO. An ambulance was immediately sent over. Scooby’s injured photographs were uploaded on the Facebook requesting funds for his surgery. Thanks to the generosity of strangers, Scooby underwent a procedure, which was a success. This was quite an achievement considering the fact that he had a very weak constitution and had almost died. He returned to my office compound, not only hale and hearty, but also vaccinated, de-wormed, sterilized. And I’m happy to report that he lives on contentedly in the same territory.

There are two morals of this story, one is that if you see an injured or ailing stray animal, please don’t walk away. Call one of the animal distress helplines in your city. If it’s an NGO that lives up to its word, then they will rescue the pet like SOS did. And second is that social media and the expansion of internet has brought animal lovers closer – emotionally and financially. Crowd funding is not just for startups and creative businesses. It is also a major way for rescue organisations to raise money, of raising the money. Philanthropic animal lovers tend to come forward to help animals in distress housed by charitable organisations, which have credibility.

Cracki’s story

There are numerous successful crowd funding stories. Recently it was reported  about how Cracki, a puppy was left paralysed on the streets of Chennai by a speeding car. His photo and an appeal went around on the net. This fortunate dog’s sky rocketing treatment costs were raised by the staff and members of the gym, which he hung around. Even the security guards chipped in. The recuperation cost of the dog was also a huge amount. The dog now uses a wheelchair, which was brought by a resident of the USA. Interestingly, those who donated for this pup, all weren’t pet parents, yet came forward to help.

Josuah’s story

It’s not just in India but all over the world that unfortunate animals are helped through crowd funding. The website youcaring.com, a crowd funding portal, shares the story of the stray dog Josuah. He was chanced upon in the streets of a country in the Middle East, dehydrated, starving and with deformed legs. Monetary contributions from friends and family helped to rescue him and get him to a loving home. A generous person donated £3500. The whole cost to operate on both his legs is over £8000, which is being raised by crowd funding.

Set backs

There have been times though when those wanting to raise funds have gone through frustrating experiences. Not realizing, that helping hands is better than praying lips, many write that they are simply praying or sending ounces of positive energy, but don’t send even a rupee to help the animal. A post on the forum of an organisation, which asked for funds for coolers for animals, said, “Last time when we asked for coolers there were numerous likes but no one gave us a single cooler. This time don't just like but do contribute.”

Caution

Something to be wary about is that certain crowd funding ventures have been known to overcharge by stating inflated amounts for the treatment. Also, try best to donate through cheque or bank transfer, instead of cash. Especially for cash donations, ensure that you are given a receipt.

Crowd funding via social media

On Facebook, some of the pages/ groups/ organizations help animals through crowd funding:

  • Guardians of the Voiceless: group of young men in Patiala undertaking daring rescues and helping out suffering animals including dogs, cows, snakes etc.
  • Save our Strays: This page is regularly updated with pictures of animals with grotesque injuries. The amount needed for treatment is mentioned. Success stories are uploaded.
  • Animals - Love Care Compassion: This group has posts which encourage kindness towards animals, about animals for adoption, requesting funds to help ill animals get better and also for other animal welfare causes.
  • Indian Animal Forum: We see enquiries on distressed animals on this and some fund raising requests.
  • In Defense of Animals (India): There are updates on the charitable work of the organisation, essential information on animal care and some fund raising posts.

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