Have a fabulous 2012


Gaga: Rest in Peace (b.2002 - d.2010)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Treatment with Animals and Animal Rescue in Pakistan

Cat (above) is Kelly (he is a look-alike of my stolen kitty -  Kelly, who  in 2001 was stolen and thrown away by our neighbors and so I named this fellow Kelly and sometimes, I think that its him - he's very friendly) had a 3 inches long and 2 inches deep cut on his left thigh from barbed wires of one of the neighboring houses. Later, when he tried to untangle from  barbed wires he further injured himself - got 2 more cuts one on top of his neck, not so deep but 6 inches long and then another 3 inches long cut on his left front paw...
Dog (below) is Chingu: he used to sit in front of a home and was very very friendly and playful but somehow - is gone.

I am very lucky that I grew up in a family that hold life very precious and here in particular I mean: life of animals (all living things en masse) who can't speak for themselves and are helpless. Many times we have brought them home, cared for them and in so doing faced opposition and anger here and there.

In Pakistan if an animal happens to be a dog then there is a certain stigma attached to it but then we also see an ever growing population of pet owners here. As I always say: Pakistan is a country of great divide, hence in owing a pet, a lot of affluent families have expensive and rare pure breed cats and dogs. Armed forces personnel (retired army officers in particular) who are always seen walking their very favorite breed: German shepherd, is a common sight. 

If you will go through a local newspaper, it is hard to ignore the advertisements on the sale of all sorts of pedigree canines, vet clinics and pet hotels. On the other hand, there is a huge population of local stray dogs and cats whom everyone seems to ignore, detest or show any signs of concern or compassion about. This indicates that though canines are kept as pets but there is hardly 'real passion to care for animals' found amongst people whether its their own pets or the rest of them.

Sympathy is dying in Pakistan and patience is also running out on all counts. We are moving backward as a society but everyone seems to be in a race of some sort in this country and I fail to understand what this race is about but amidst all this people are surely losing the 'human-side' of them.

Chingu : He used to be so delighted but then he disappeared - strange! 

Not long ago, many houses used to keep bowls full of water and leftover food on their walls for birds etc. but not any more. Instead, all those walls are adorned with sharp/broken/pointed glass or barbed wires - one of the main killers of birds and animals in many ways. I have personally treated 4 cats in really bad shape due to the deep cuts from barbed wires. There are cases where these animals have accidentally or intuitively jumped over a wall that was littered with sharp, pointed glass as protection against thieves.
At other times, I have seen reasonably old and intelligent children stealing puppies of the stray dogs from areas near dumpsters or uninhabited nooks and corners of the neighborhood (hardly 10 or 15 days old) to consume them as a toy, pulling them with ropes in their necks etc. These puppies reach near death stages due malnutrition,exhaustion and dehydration etc. and usually die. These kids then leave them on other people's yards thus getting rid of the guilt of killing a living thing which in later years make them more of a barbarian. These kids are capable of doing good acts and show responsibility but then we do NOT teach any compassion to our children these days and hence, these are the consequences - a wild society that we live in.

NGOs and Animal Rescue Organization in Islamabad and also in Pakistan are few and far between. I tried calling three of them which I found through  google, they had facebook page but emails and phone numbers never responded. It was frustrating but it was not totally hopeless. I found one of the NGOs based in Karachi  called PAWS - PAKISTAN quite helpful. At least they have a comprehensive website from where I got phone numbers of vets. 

Amongst them was Brigadier (Retd.) Gardeezi. The day I called him, I had an emergency - a stray cat was struggling with flu (at times it is quite deadly) and was in serious condition. He gave me free advice and tips and also offered me to treat her at his clinic. I did NOT expected that but I was very happy to have found him. He is based in Rawal Pindi near Race Course Ground - very far from where I was based. He gave me a good news that he and some volunteers are trying to set up a shelter for stray dogs and I was very glad to hear that. Pakistan does NOT have any proper animal hospitals and simply "no law" preventing cruelty against animals. I guess more people should join vets like Brigadier Gardeezi in his efforts. Islamabad 's Dr. Faisal's Pets and Vets (F-7/3) and Dr. Rana's Clinic (E-7) were NOT quite helpful.

With my vast experience of meeting vets in different parts of the world, I was fortunate enough to have met some of the best vets around. Amongst them, I will always hold in great respect,  Dr. Mufti (head of veterinary section of National Institute of Health, Islamabad), who was also a close family friend and was trained in Villayat (UK), one of the best vets in the country. May his soul rest in peace.

Another great veterinarian is in South Korea in Seoul. His name is Dr.Seo Jeong-ho - it was  like winning a jackpot. Dr. Seo speaks very good English (which is a rare) and he told me that 40% of his income goes for the welfare w.r.t. stray/abandoned dogs and cats in Seoul. Believe me. Dr. Seo is one of those people who respect his patients and their owners both. He told me that he is thankful to the people involved in animal rescue - who give love to these animals in this time and age when many of us are preoccupied with ourselves.

Kai Kai: Another stray who used to come for food and milk, she died of feline flu epidemic - all over the city. This cat was  kept in a warm room for a week and was treated but she couldn't make it. She could barely walk but still she managed to get to our place because she trusted us and this has happened  many times.


 Actually, you can do a lot...just be compassionate, it doesn't cost a penny.  OR

April 4th is celebrated as the World's Stray Animals Day: So show that animals matter to you too, at least once a year, don't stone them-  and visit THIS site. OR

Educate your children about care and love for animals and there is huge literature for that. Introduce short stories from around the world or from your religion.
Animals are a big part of discussion is Islam, right??
There are so beautiful stories of love and compassion in Islamic history and also Hadith (S.AW.) that revolve around animals.
How to deal with sentient beings is NOT only the domain of Buddhism but of all religion, I believe.  OR

You can also help achieve recognition and protection of animals around the world by signing your support for a campaign to achieve a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare at the United Nations. Do that.

Do you know what WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals) and Pakistan are doing together?? If not then READ here. AND finally....

....Remember that animals and our treatment of them are important.

For Further Reading:

Read here : Dogs Rescue: Another Challenge to Pakistan and US Relations

Rescue story of dogs in South Korea (in Korean Language) is HERE with amazing photos ( it is about a woman who is a mother of 350 dogs that she rescued).

How to treat cat flu?

Cats losing fur, read here at Pet Education.