Although street animals normally have a considerably high level of immunity, anti-rabies vaccination is a must, due to the incurable nature of the disease & the fact that it is transmissible to all warm-blooded animals, including man.
This vaccination should be given once every year after the age of 3 months.
Please de-worm the animal a week to 10 days before vaccination.
Some caregivers may wish to give vaccinations for other infectious canine diseases such as distemper, parvovirus, influenza, etc. This is a personal choice & a number of combination vaccines are available in the market. The important point to be noted is that the dog needs to be de-wormed a week to 10 days PRIOR to vaccination.
The sight of an injured animal or a tiny, helpless kitten or puppy immediately gives rise to a feeling of sympathy & protectiveness. This is totally understandable; however, it is better to think practically before taking a hasty decision.
It is important to decipher the extent of injury – life threatening or not, acute of chronic.
If the injury is extreme, extensive and/or life threatening, it is best to call an animal ambulance & shift the animal to a veterinary hospital for further treatment.
In cases of minor wounds (with or without maggot infestation), skin infections, stomach upsets, etc., it is possible to treat the animal at the site itself. This proves to be a better option for the animal as it is less stressful. Take the help of a registered, veterinary practitioner/physician/surgeon & medicate the animal as per the doctor’s advice & prescription only.
Do NOT medicate the animal by yourself if you are NOT a veterinarian.
Please take the advice of a veterinarian.
Homeless & Abandoned animals:
As much as all of us would not like to see a single homeless animal on our streets; this is a utopian ideology.
Many animals have their lives & freedom on the streets & are happy with their lot. If you can support them from time to time, in terms of food, medication, sterilisation & vaccination – that’s great.
In case you come across an abandoned, thoroughbred animal, you may require to attempt to find a home for it or make use of a foster home.
Most people find puppies/kittens without their mothers & promptly pick them up & take them home. You are advised in most cases NOT to do this.
The mother may be foraging for food & will return shortly to her litter. If you have taken away the young ones, she will be heartbroken.
Secondly, taking the puppy home is not a permanent solution, unless you are personally going to adopt it & care for it for its entire life in the correct manner; providing for all its needs & requirements – food, shelter, exercise, socialisation, veterinary care, etc.
It is often seen that such young puppies & kittens are put up for re-homing at adoption camps. Numerous people take these young ones home & after a few days realise that having a puppy or kitten is not exactly an easy commitment to make. The next thing is that these little creatures are dumped back on the road. Hence, the entire exercise has been totally futile & worse for the poor animal.
Many animals that are adopted, go on to live happy, secure lives with their human families, but a majority of them do not.
Adopting an animal, much like adopting a child, is a serious decision & deserves to be thought out clearly, thoroughly & truthfully.
A happy, secure animal needs to be well cared for, for its entire natural lifespan. This is a commitment you will be required to make, no matter what changes & challenges your life throws at you, throughout all the coming years.
Think through thoroughly & candidly why you want an animal & ensure that you can make a lifelong commitment that living, feeling, sentient being.
Here are a few important questions that you need to respond to PRIOR to deciding to bring an animal home.
➢ Does every member of your family want to adopt an animal? If there is even a single member who is against this decision; there will be a lot of problems in store for you.
➢ Do you have enough time to spend with your pet? The animal will need to be taken for walks & exercised, at least 3 times a day, every single day of its life. This includes your off days & holidays & rainy days!!!!
➢ Do you have the required space in your home? A pet is a family member, not an inanimate object that is to be kept tied up outside or locked into a cage. If you cannot include the animal within your family circle, please do NOT get a pet.
➢ Do you have the financial means to look after the veterinary requirements of your pet? This will include yearly vaccinations, treatment in case of illnesses, surgeries if required, etc.
➢ Who will look after the animal if the family proceeds on a vacation? Will you take your animal companion along? If not, who will take care of her/him?
If you are sure that you can make a lifelong commitment to an animal, the next step is bringing the pet home. There are countless homeless, abandoned animal & you will surely find the right on at any reliable animal welfare organisation or shelter.
Please do not buy an animal.
Make it a point to visit the animal at least 3 to 6 times before bringing her/him home. Develop a friendship with the animal, take it out for walks & observe the animal’s behaviour & temperament. Give the animal an opportunity to trust you. This is very important. If the dog has had a traumatic past, s/he may be scared or unwilling to trust another human being very easily. Give the poor creature time & space.
Once the animal comes home, allow her/him at least 10 to 15 days to settle in. Everything will be new & unknown. Be patient & kind. Do not resort to hitting & shouting.
There are a lot of very good articles on the net that you can use as a guide for welcoming a new animal into your home & family.
Due to increased demand, there are animal foster homes springing up all over. This is a good method of increasing one’s income. Though there is nothing wrong with this, it is critical to your pet’s safety to personally check out a foster before admitting your pet there.
A few points to look out for:
➢ What are the living conditions for the animals?
➢ Are there individual kennels or common holding areas? How large & airy are these areas?
➢ Are animals kept constantly chained up?
➢ Are males & females segregated?
➢ Is there any separate exercise area provided?
➢ Are the dogs individually walked?
➢ Is there a fan/cooler provided for the animals, especially during the summer months?
➢ What is the capacity of the foster home?
➢ Is there a cut off number, after which the owner will not take in more animals and run the risk of overcrowding? This is very common during vacation months.
➢ Is the entire area clean & free from unpleasant odours?
➢ What type of food is provided?
➢ What are the meal timings?
➢ Are animals fed individually or is a large common feeding tray provided? Timid & scared dogs will be left hungry if common feeding is the norm.
➢ Can the establishment cater to your pet’s special dietary requirements, if any?
➢ Is there a rule to admit only vaccinated pets wherein a vaccination certificate from a registered veterinarian is mandatory?
➢ Is there a veterinarian on call for regular checkups & any emergency?
➢ Is there any grooming/de-ticking protocol?
➢ Does the owner live on site?
➢ How many handlers/helpers are provided to care for the animals?
➢ Do these people live on site?
➢ Is the owner pet friendly?
➢ Is the pet owner required to fill out a detailed questionnaire before admitting his pet, so that the foster is well acquainted with the animal prior to admission?
➢ Please be aware that you pet, in case s/he is not sterilised is not used for the purpose of mating or gets pregnant by mistake.
➢ Is there any method by which a daily update is provided to the owner about their pet?
There may by other criteria that you may think is important. Please go ahead & check those out too.
The above checklist is applicable for a pet parent/owner who is utilising the foster facility for their own pet.
In the case of admitting an unknown animal – maybe a lost, abandoned or homeless animal, then just provide as much information that you can & keep a regular check on the animal.
In all cases, find out clearly the charges & the payment schedule so that there are no disputes at a later date.
• While conducting a rescue in a Public Place, maintain decorum.
• Always use all Safety & Handling Procedures that you have been taught.
• Do not walk into someone’s personal property or government property without permission.
• Do not pick up animals and bring to NGO’s without asking first!
• Do not medicate without consulting an NGO or vet first.
• Every case is different – age, size, weight, condition, breed. So every treatment will be different!
Superficial Wounds – Steps
1. Clean with Betadine and cotton
2. Carefully cut any hair that’s in or around the wound
3. Apply any dressing powder
4. Apply Scavon or Topicure ointment on and around the wound
Superficial Wounds – Tips
• Daily treatment is required for at least three days
• Consult NGO or Vet for advice on oral medication
• Do not use Sprays on street dogs, they do not like it! (Vets do not always know this)
Deep or Maggoted Wounds – Steps
1. Flush with dilute hydrogen peroxide and clean in and around the wound
2. Carefully cut any hair that’s in or around the wound
3. Flush well with water
4. Clean with Betadine and cotton
5. Insert crushed camphor into wound
6. Apply Scavon or Topicure ointment on and around the wound
Deep or Maggoted Wounds – Tips
• Daily treatment is required for at least five days
• Always consult NGO or Vet for advise on medication or if the wound is very large (Antibiotics may be required)
• Sometimes sedation is required, contact NGO/Vet
• Do not use hydrogen peroxide after day two, unless the wound is extremely dirty