Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Welfare of Stray Dogs

The Guys Who Paws For Effect

There’s a reason Mumbai dogs are so friendly. They have been seeing friendly faces and helping hands every Sunday morning. Volunteers from The Welfare of Stray Dogs (WSD) head out every weekend, providing basic first-aid to street dogs, looking for new cases and following up on old ones. Barks don’t scare them. Maggots don’t deter them. And all the wagging tails on the streets mean they’ve been doing their job.

WSD was founded in 1985, to offer a different solution to curb stray population than electrocution of animals. Their vaccination and sterilisation programmes have lowered the number of rabies CASES and they’ve made people realise that stray animals are Mumbaikars too. “We want to build a long-term relationship between humans and dogs,” says Abodh Aras, CEO of WSD. “So we reduce the problems of living with dogs.”

This means, at 9.30am, when you are just waking up, WSD volunteers are already meeting near Eros cinema at Churchgate. Injured dogs that don’t need hospitalisation are treated on site.

The more serious cases are taken to the hospital. The volunteers aren’t the only do-gooders. Aras says that WSD wouldn’t be able to operate at  their best without street dwellers. To date, the organisation has helped almost 1,30,000 dogs using donations and WSD’s garage sales. They also publish calendars featuring the dogs, which are sold to raise money.

Why waste a Sunday caring for a stray? “There is so much you can learn from a dog,” says Aras. Tolerance is just one virtue.

To help: Register at To report about an injured dog, call the helpline on 4222838. 

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