Animal cruelty in India


“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” — Mahatma Gandhi
This will make you sick; that is, if you still are that thing called ‘human’. This is a real account that the author has come across on his recent visit to Mumbai.

Some Stories to focus on animal abuse and cruelty to animals

My very dear friend who stays in Mumbai has an adorable dog, a Labrador called Sasha, a one-year-old female. Sasha was brought as a pup by my friend’s 23-year-old daughter, who took it upon herself to take care of, groom and bring up the pup. All was well until she found a job in Delhi and had to shift there. Given the challenges of managing a dog all alone, it became a matter of concern within the family and after much heated debate it was decided that it would be best for the dog to be given away to a family in Mumbai that would give it the same love and care that was given to Sasha at home.

So the hunt for a suitable family started with a post on Facebook. One was surprised to see that there were several individuals who responded immediately and who were very willing to adopt Sasha as a member of their own family. Many phone calls came in but there was one phone call that shook me up completely. It was a call from a lady called Christina.

As I took the call, the lady at the other end demanded why we wanted to give the dog away? She was agitated and then went on to tell me what happens when people respond to such offers and take the dog away saying they are dog or cat lovers and will take care of it like their own children.

So what Christina told me thereafter was not only an eye-opener but made my blood curdle as I hope yours will too as you read on. She was very agitated about the fact that we even thought of giving away Sasha. Would we give away our own child just like that? And then she broke down and began telling me her chilling story.

She told me that people take good breeds claiming to be dog lovers and then use them as puppy making factories. They get to produce puppies after puppies, season after season, until there is nothing left of the mother dog or bitch.

The end leaves the uterus hanging out and the dog is then tied to a lamp post in some remote area and left to die. This is one such example of a brutal act of human greed.

These sick people sell the pups for varying amounts, starting from Rs. 5,000 and going up to Rs. 75,000 or more each, depending on the breed. These sick predators are all over the city, waiting to strike a friendly deal with naïve families willing to offer their dogs.

Her advice was that if we have to give away our pet then we must ‘neuter’ or ‘sterilize’ it so that the pet cannot be misused and will in all probability find a genuine home where ii finds love and care.

Christina’s initial years were in idyllic Goa and then she spent her teen years growing up in Kuwait. Soon she met her husband, who is also an animal lover and owned five dogs at that time. Later, they shifted to Lucknow and chanced upon an injured stray dog on the roadside. They stopped to treat it and since then there was no looking back on a life dedicated to animal care with complete love and dedication. The couple later shifted to Mumbai and carried on the good work in their area.

Mumbai is a fast-paced city, full of energy and activity, with space and time always at a premium. In the race for sheer survival, the care and concern get left behind to fend for themselves where they stand out in stark contrast to the glitz and glamour of Mumbai.

There is an ugly side to this. This is not about people. People can still fend for themselves as people find their way to survive in this city. This is about the ugly side of what a depraved society does to helpless animals that include dogs, cats, horses, birds and many more. A side that Christina discovered to her utter horror.

The Pepper story

Picture this. The location is the prestigious IIT Powai (the place is just a coincidence, not a reflection on the institution). One day Christina gets a call from a student regarding some abandoned pus in the IIT Powai area. She reaches there to discover that someone had put three pups in a plastic bag and wrapped the pups in barbed wire. Yes, barbed wire! The pups were covered with maggots (worms) and lay in a garbage bin. How can any human wrap a living beings in barbed wire? Why? Take a look at the pics.

The maggots had entered their eyes, ears and intestines through their sexual organs and their chances of survival were bleak. Christina, along with a doctor, tried to save the pups that were no larger than a human palm. Two pups could not be saved but one pup, later named Pepper, survived, only to be adopted by an animal lover called Dhruv Sharma. Take a look at the healthy Pepper in her new home!

Pepper Survived 1Pepper survived and healthy 2

Three blind kittens

One day while walking past a dustbin, Christina heard a meow coming from a dustbin. Curious, she looked in and saw a tiny kitten wrapped in a newspaper. She immediately rushed the kitten home, only to discover it was totally blind. Something told her to go back and look for the mother. On returning to the dustbin, she discovered two more kittens. The mother was nowhere to be seen. On reaching home, she discovered that both the other kittens had one eyeball gouged out!

3 Blind Kittens

She rushed them to a vet, only to be told that while one kitten was totally blind the other two had scratched their eyes out due to cat flu. Fortunately, with Christina’s love and care at home, the kittens survived and were subsequently adopted by a caring family.

Virgo (no, not the sun sign!)

If you don’t love animals, why keep them? A cruel family kept Virgo, a dog and her mother, Elsi, in a cemented cage for all their life. Is that how one is supposed to keep pets? Once word got out, a police case was filed against the family and the two dogs were rescued. Both were badly infected with mange, a skin disease caused by parasitic mites. They were treated for over six months. Elsi could not survive her ordeal but Virgo made it through and subsequently got adopted into a loving home that should have been her home in the first place.

Virgo then and nowElsi NowElsi in her prime

If people don’t love animals, no problem, but why the cruelty? Every day there are cases of cruelty being reported in all cities and towns, if only one cares to look.

The unnamed one (Anamika)

It will be sheer injustice if I don’t tell you about the unnamed one, Christina’s (Anamika). One day she got a frantic call from someone, saying there was a group of men beating up a dog with sticks. Christina rushed there along with a friend. The men had left by then, only to leave behind a semi-conscious dog, bleeding from the mouth and breathing heavily. Its one eye had been damaged and internal injuries could not be identified at the time.

It was a brutal, cruel and completely inhuman attack on a poor helpless street dog, and for no apparent reason. Sobbing, Christina and her friend picked up the semi-alive dog and rushed to one Dr. Premal in the area. The doctor gave the dog immediate saline and medication and was then sent to a foster care home for pets for the night. The ‘unnamed’ dog did not survive the night.

Here’s what Christina wrote for her ‘Anamika’:

RIP dear girl. I am sorry that we humans abused you so badly. Go and run free now . . . Dogs are like angels from above, they come and fill our lives with love but I am sorry for what you got on this earth . . . But no more. No one will ever hurt you . . . Find love and happiness on the other side of the rainbow . . . RIP

Let’s do our bit

If there is a ‘human’ in you, reach out and help these poor animals who are completely helpless against an onslaught from human society. If you can’t or don’t want to help, no problem, but at least don’t hurt them. It’s not too much to ask from our “civilised” society!