“Not only do animals have rights, but unless we respect them, we will never be able to respect each other.”
These wise words from Atul Sarin, founder of the organization Welfare for Animals in Goa (WAG) can inspire us to take action and help the many stray animals in India. Estimates suggest that India is home to more than 30 million stray dogs and 5 million stray cattle. The problem of street animals isn’t limited to one area, with animals being victims of starvation, injury, and human cruelty in both rural and urban areas. In the past, many thought that the only solution was to kill strays. Not only is this inhumane, but it also doesn’t improve the condition of life for the living dogs. The stray animal situation in India and worldwide should be handled with compassion, as this cultivates a respect for life that can be implemented into everyday existence. This can also teach us the value of kindness in conflict resolution, helping build a more equitable society. Honoring the balance of life supports our ecosystem, to which animals are essential, leading to a sustainable future.Some of the practical ways that you can do this are by taking local dogs to shelters, where they can be sterilized and vaccinated, leading to fewer suffering dogs, less violence, and a decrease in the spread of rabies and other illnesses. You can also try to feed the dogs in your area, although it’s important to keep in mind safety while handling these animals. Due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, leftovers of markets, shops, and restaurants are no longer available to stray animals, particularly dogs, so many have starved. In some areas, volunteers have stepped in and supported the local animals, but they could still use your help!