With the spreading of Covid-19, the world is seeing a lot of changes. People are dying and there is not enough equipment and medical staff to save everyone. In the midst of all this, we are neglecting those beings that heavily rely on vendors and footfalls to feed their hungry stomachs. The coronavirus lockdown might starve stray animals, here’s how you can help.
This pandemic is not just affecting stray dogs and cats but monkeys as well. News outlets inform that with the decrease in tourists, a herd of monkeys raided local shops in Thailand in their quest to find food.
Street animals are becoming emancipated and weaker puppies and kittens may not survive this ordeal. But there is a way to help them and we have outlined some things you can do to make sure they have something to eat.
How Can You Help Starving Stray Animals?
Just like us, they need food to survive. There are currently two positive canine coronavirus cases. Both of them are from China and both of them got it from their owners. Though neither of them show any symptoms, many pet owners and societies have started to panic and abandon their pets.
There are no studies to prove that dogs can transfer the disease to us. In fact, there are more chances for us to transfer it to them. This is why a responsible feeder will take all essential precautions needed before and after feeding a stray dog.
1. Safety First
Better be safe than sorry. When you go to feed the strays make sure you are wearing a clean mask. Keep a hand sanitiser and a newspaper with you. Use the sanitiser before and after you feed them.
Feed them at a time and place when there are fewer people on the road. With the pandemic, there are fewer people on the road during all hours, but even then we suggest the night time is the best time to feed them. Avoid public places like parks and the outside of shops, rather feed them in a secluded corner that doesn’t attract passersby even when there are no virus threats.
Remember that our government stresses that nothing is more important than cleanliness. Hence, as a responsible feeder, we suggest laying a newspaper first before giving them food. Once they are done, wrap the newspaper and throw it in the dustbin.
2. Feeding On The Go
You can keep dry biscuits and dog treats with you when you are running essential errands. Ideally, you shouldn’t give dogs Parle G because it is too sugary, however, for dogs that haven’t eaten in a while, the sugar will be beneficial for them. It will give them the energy needed to find their next food source.
Remember to sanitize your hands before and after feeding them biscuits and dry treats.
3. Avoid Contact
Since we know little about the virus, it is important to avoid contact with stray animals to avoid spreading the virus. Give them the food on the newspaper or throw dry food on the floor, instead of letting them take it from your hands.
Avoid patting or scratching them or coming near their faces. Remember, this is for their safety.
How To Help Abandoned Pets
Though the government has stressed not to abandon pets, many pet owners are leaving their pets on the road. If you find an abandoned pet, you can lure them with food and shelter them if it is possible for you. Alert your local authorities and your building/complex.
Remember that it is illegal to abandon pets so if you act immediately you can find the culprit and take action.
Shelters are overcrowded and a pet dog may not be able to survive it. Rather, we suggest getting in touch with organisations and other animal lovers who are willing to foster the pet for a few days/weeks. You can take turns to foster the pet until they are rehomed.
Don’t Do The Following
At this time of crisis, we really need to look out for each other. All of India is making efforts to clean the country and it is our job to ensure the place around us remains clean.
If you want to help the dogs around you, we suggest giving them nutritious food. Avoid giving them table scraps, fries and stale food. This can make them sick and we cannot afford more sickness around us.
Do not give them chocolates or any other edibles that are not good from them. Even dogs with a strong immune system can have a negative reaction to edibles that are toxic to them.
Do not leave food on the streets. Rotting food can increase contamination around your locality. Since it is the flu season and mosquitoes fly rampantly on food. Stale food can also lead to other illnesses and lower everyone’s immune system.
Do not pick or caress stray animals. You shouldn’t do this for two reasons. Firstly, the strays aren’t getting enough food hence they are agitated and hungry. Picking them up can make them snap or react out of self-defence. Secondly, with the virus spreading we don’t know if we are carriers. By touching and caressing strays we may be spreading the disease.
Lastly, we urge you all to feed at least one stray every day. It will protect them from starving. At a time like this, we need to spread love and kindness to all species, both humans and animals. Let’s spread this information and not the disease.
What have you done to help the strays in your locality? We would love to know your thoughts.