Street Dogs in India
They have no lobby and are exceedingly pitiable creatures: stray dogs in their struggle for life on the streets.
Without the help of concerned people, they would have no chance. For many years, the Akademie has thus supported the organization “Auroville Stray Relief and Animal Welfare”, which was founded by Ingrid Tscharntke.
Animal protection in India already presents a special challenge. It breaks my heart so often because I’m just not able to help. For many years I found a good way, after initial difficulties, to work with my Tamil veterinarian. But then he began to suffer from depression, which is still regarded as taboo in India. He was afraid to ask for help at the risk of being labeled mentally ill. He was frequently called irresponsible although he was usually simply unable to answer phone calls. And it is always a highly emotional situation for owners when animals are sick. Humans and animals suffer when the veterinarian just doesn’t arrive. They then let out their frustration on me.
With a heavy heart I ultimately had to let him go, well aware that I didn’t have a replacement and couldn’t offer callers anything. That was extremely exhausting. I even considered giving up. Then I had to even appeal to our arbitration board because the veterinarian didn’t want to return the blowpipe which the Akademie für Zoo- und Wildtierschutz had donated. The board convinced him that he had no right to keep it.
And then everything changed all at once, completely unexpectedly and suddenly at the beginning of February 2017 in the form of an enthusiastic, 23-year-old veterinarian. She really came out of nowhere and we hit it off immediately. I asked her if I could observe her during an operation and she agreed right away.
I have never seen such preparation in India. Our operating room was in a dilapidated house but she had everything with her and prepared the little female dog for neutering with the attention you would give a human patient - absolutely sterile, with infusion and vein access. It was unbelievable. Yes, and with this incredible young girl, everything runs wonderfully. She can even operate on cats, which is unusual. Since the beginning of March, she has already sterilized or castrated 49 dogs and 11 cats! That means thousands of puppies and kittens which will not be born into this misery: nursing bitches which won’t have to give birth twice a year and have nothing to eat themselves, and male dogs which will not be forced to tear each other apart in territorial fights.
I will now try to instruct Dr. Kavitha in the use of the blowpipe. Then she will have the perfect tool for even the aggressive or rabies-infected dogs in the form of the only blowpipe used for dogs in India.” ■