By Saloni N


For the ardent dog lovers and animal lovers in general, October 4 holds a special place as it marks the occasion of World Animal Day (WAD). Traditionally known as the feast of Francis Assisi, the patron saint of animals, this day was established in 1931 by ecologists in Florence, Italy which has now spread across the world to celebrate all kinds of animals as well as raise awareness about the rare, endangered species and animal cruelty.

This special day might not have been highlighted in the city but a lot of work was taken up by the Blue Cross of Hyderabad. A well known voluntary organisation, Blue Cross was founded in 1992 by film personalities Nagarjuna and Amala Akkineni for the welfare of animals extending help to abused, abandoned, injured animals and birds. On the occasion of WAD, Blue Cross administered free anti-rabies vaccinations to community dogs and pet dogs that came in for a shot.

It is easy to say that they are human beings leading tougher lives but it is equally sad to see cattle, dogs, cats, etc. being abandoned because of old-age and diseases. Animals are voiceless and unless they pose a direct threat they shouldn’t be aggravated. It is disheartening to see people on the streets, even those educated, treating dogs and cats as their playthings, kicking them for no reason and sometimes just for their sadistic pleasure.

One of the most common sights is that of hens being carried upside down in trucks and tempos to butcher houses. It also isn’t uncommon to come across carcasses of dead dogs or cats on the city roads, which points to a distinct lack of empathy amongst the denizens and drivers, who are in such a hurry that they cannot stop for an animal.

A fact validated by veterinarians and animal activists alike is that people are enamoured by fancy breeds of dogs, but their maintenance and issues of health have the owners take the easy way out by abandoning them instead of contacting the various animal specialist NGOs in the city that could be of assistance. Some of them include Blue Cross, Caring Hands for Animals and People for Animals headed by Ms Maneka Gandhi.

The least one could do when they come across an act of animal cruelty is to report the culprit as there are mechanisms in place for this called the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. According to a recent news report published in a major newspaper, a case was booked against a person for the alleged cruel treatment of chickens.

Even if the World Animal Day comes once a year, it doesn’t mean that we forget about our furry friends. Keep out a small water trough for the birds, give your left-over food to the animals instead of throwing them away, do not pelt them with stones as there are some better and non-violent methods of shooing them away instead of scarring them for life and affecting their mobility.

So, be kind, be human!