by Adar Kalter, 600 Intern
Have you ever seen stray animals in need of treatment but didn’t know how to help them and wondered what you could do for them?
With a little information and practice, you can do something very small which will be very big for that one animal.
In India, there are currently over 30 million stray dogs, many of them sick from rabies, mange or other grim diseases.
Recently in my travels to India, I met a woman named Sophia, originally from New York who now resides in the city of Pondicherry, along the Eastern coast of India. Sophia has taken it upon herself to vaccinate and treat as many street dogs as possible in the local villages surrounding Pondicherry.
Sophia created Street Animal Care Kits (SACK) tools and education on training locals on treating and caring for street dogs. Every week, Sophia and a few volunteers make rounds around the local villages administering medicine first hand and teaching locals how to continue on their own.
SACK provides each villager with a care kit of medicine and food to give to dogs. Each SACK kit costs $7 and includes many treatments, as well as 10 pills that can treat 10 dogs for one month or one dog for a year for parasites, fleas, ticks, and maggots. By teaching the locals how to care for the dogs, it protects the villagers’ welfare as well, as the number of people getting bitten by stray dogs or catching scabies is widespread in India. In this way, keeping the dogs healthy keeps the people healthy as well.
What can you do to help? Sophia has started a generosity page with information regarding her project and the funds needed to maintain and develop SACK to a national scale. You can also help us end the global dog overpopulation crisis by contributing to our development of the Spay and Neuter Cookie.
Want more ideas? If you are traveling and happen to see strays, try to find a local pet store with food you can give them. You can buy a pill for certain diseases and put it into the food you give them. If there are no pet stores around, you can give them fruits or vegetables, which they will happily devour.