Due to the nationwide lockdown, most of us have been forced to stay indoors within the comfort of our homes with fast running internet and adequate supply of food, owing to the daily grocery runs. But amidst all this, stray animals have been adversely affected, as their main source of food and livelihood were hitherto leftovers from local eateries, or the occasional food they would receive from passers-by.
Delhi-based animal rights activist Raina Kapoor told Mongabay-India, “The lockdown has affected all of us but has a very big impact on the stray animals and birds, specifically near the markets and near corporate setups. The strays have no means of feeding themselves as all offices, restaurants, roadside eateries (where they had easy accessibility to food) are closed. The strays and birds are starving. They will die in such a scenario.” Adversely, a lack of food could also lead to the display of some unruly and aggressive behavior as these strays enter other territories in search of food.
These helpless animals are on the verge of starvation and we need to do all that we can to help and feed these stray animals.
There have been some cases of abandonment of dogs due to fear of contracting coronavirus from them. There has been a lot of misinformation which has led people to believe that dogs are also carriers of the novel coronavirus. This gravely affects stray animals as they are deprived of food and essential care, potentially causing a change in their behaviour patterns.
The Animal Welfare Board of India, the country’s main body for animals, has issued several urgent circulars, intending to clear the misinformation. On March 11, 2020, it was brought to notice to all states and union territories that animal owners were “leaving their animals to stray without proper food, water or shelter” due to the spread of COVID-19. The circular stated, “In this regard, the World Health Organization (WHO) has clarified that dogs and cats are not involved in spreading infection in the current episode of coronavirus infection.” Many such efforts are being taken to maintain order and make sure that our companions don’t face such extreme backlash amidst all this.
The least we can do, sitting at home, would be helping and feeding these stray animals. By providing food to the helpless animals around your society, you would be saving their livelihood. There are innumerable instances of people going out of their way to provide these strays with the basic needs, and that has helped a great deal. An initiative of issuing “feeder passes” was taken by several cities, including Delhi and Jaipur. This permitted people to leave their houses to care for street animals—such as dogs, cows, birds, and monkeys—mostly on their own accord.”.
Since private persons who were feeding the stray animals. Are unable to venture out of their confined spaces due to the lockdown, the strays outside of these areas are suffering from starvation. NGOs and animal lovers across India are trying their best to try and protect these stray animals. With masked faces and sanitized hands, these NGOs are feeding the strays, with the help of donations and noble volunteers. Further, due to a lack of funds and support, these organizations are unable to provide for the voiceless strays. So, here are a few organizations that could do wonders with your help: