SAVE OUR STRAYS (SOS) is an animal welfare NGO in Mumbai. It was founded in November 2003 by Shirley Menon in her immediate neighborhood of Andheri (west), today our area of operation has expanded from Bandra to Dahisar in the western surburbs.
Our main focus is to keep the population of Dogs & Cats under control and keep the city litter-free.
Project 1- We have a Blind/Old/Handicapped Animals Project for which we need support as we need to raise Rs. 4.5 lakhs annually for the stay of the animals
Project 2- Cat spays costing Rs. 7600 for 5 cats (including transport and post-op care)
Project 3- Ambulance service, vet care and kenelling charges for rescued animals
Project 4- Dog sterilisation
Project 5- Food pool
Our 4 point animal welfare programme advocates
1. Sterilization - Our main focus is to keep the population of dogs and cats under control.
2. Vaccinations and Rabies Eradication - We work to safeguard the health of animals and in turn humans through vaccination and first aid drives conducted in the city.
3. Animal Health Care - With the support of our ambulance and our volunteers, we attend to as many calls of animals in distress.
4. Adoptions - We do our best to find to find ahome for our animals.
The Neglected One - Stray Or Ownerless
Most of the people hear him bark but how many take the time to see the sadness in his eyes? He is unwanted and ownerless. He has a group of friends and lots of enemies. He has no home and his food timings are not fixed. He has to fend for his own food, shelter and safety at the tender age of 3 months as soon as his parents drive him out of their territory. He has to fight death each time he crosses the street. Who do you think we are talking about? Well, it’s our very own "The Great Indian Stray Dog or "the Pariah" as it is commonly called.
Why play with nature? This is the most common question people ask us when we talk of sterilization. Just think, is it natural to keep a carnivorous hunting animal in your living or bedroom? Where did stray dogs come from? Like pollution and the hole in the ozone layer, the stray dog "menace" (as most people say) is also a gift of none other than the supreme animal - man. It is in the hands of us humans to at least try and rectify this mistake by sterilizing these strays in order to make their life just a little less miserable, then why not?
Mating happens in the middle of the road with ten other males trying to rip apart each other. Most of the male dogs die due to road accidents during the heat season. Just imagine giving birth to a litter of 10 and that too in gutter holes or makeshift ditches where there is no shelter from the sun or rain or even basic protection from predators. In spite of all the above is it fair to the female to see most of her puppies die a slow painful death, one by one either due to disease or road accidents?
Now think about the female which has to go through all this twice every year for 10 years. Do the strays deserve such hostile treatment from us when their entire life is nothing but a fight for survival at every step? They wag their tails to every passer by; they look at strangers for a pat on the head or a piece of bread. They guard our societies in the night and bark at all strangers thereby ensuring the best-unpaid security one could ever have. We do not force you to love these strays if you don't. But we do definitely promote and strongly defend their rights to stop people from thinking of them as being objects of sadism and believe that they should be just left alone. Let us join our hands together to ensure that the Great Indian Survivor gets the share of respect that he deserves.
Sterilized 125 dogs & cats in 2004
Sterilised 286 dogs & cats in 2005
Sterilised 555 dogs & cats in 2006
Sterilised 1003 dogs & cats in 2007
Sterilised 1095 dogs & cats in 2008
Sterilised 1578 dogs & cats in 2009
Sterilized 1680 dogs & cats in 2010
Sterilized 1845 dogs & cats in 2011
Sterilized 1978 dogs & cats in 2012
Sterilized 1645 dogs & cats in 2013
Sterilized 1547 dogs & cats in 2014
At SOS we believe that 95% of the cases of injuries that we come across in strays can be treated on the streets by the volunteers. Our Ambulance attends to all such cases from Monday to Saturday with the help of the various volunteers and likeminded residents.
Procedure we follow:
• On being identified, the injured animal is immediately given the basic medication necessary to sustain him.
• General injuries are treated by Maria or any of are trained volunteers on a daily basis until the animal is completely cured.
• More serious injuries are referred to a Vet who then guides the volunteer accordingly and the treatment is duly given.
• Uncatchable dogs/cats are also treated by our volunteers whereby most of their medication is given in food until recuperation is not complete.
• Encourage more and more people especially in the slums/streets who own strays to learn/treat basic ailments/injuries.
Medicated over 250 dogs & cats in 2004
Medicated over 750 dogs & cats in 2005
Medicated over 1500 dogs & cats in 2006
Medicated over 1785 dogs & cats in 2007
Medicated over 1498 dogs & cats in 2008
Medicated over 1250 dogs & cats in 2009
Medicated over 1375 dogs & cats in 2010
Medicated over 1552 dogs & cats in 2011
Medicated over 1817 dogs & cats in 2012
Medicated over 2365 dogs & cats in 2013
Medicated over 2876 dogs & cats in 2014
At SOS, we believe that a vaccinated dog/cat is a healthy and happy one. Initially when we started all the dogs in our area were vaccinated once a year for Rabies (courtesy - The Welfare of Stray Dogs) but over a period of time we realize the importance to immunize them against various others infections/diseases that they are prone to on the streets.
Procedure we follow:
• Every new puppy in the area is dewormed and two weeks later vaccinated for Distemper and other related diseases by a 9 in 1 vaccine.
• When the puppy is 3 months plus he is vaccinated for Rabies either during the Annual Rabies Drive or individually.
• Every adult female dog (if missed during the puppy stage) is vaccinated for Distemper two weeks before she is sent for Sterilisation to the hospital.
• Annually we vaccinate all the area dogs for Rabies.
• Educate adults/children that " A Pagal Kutta " does not always mean Rabies and should be reported to us or the BMC, instead of cruelly beating him to death.
250 dogs & cats in 2004
425 dogs & cats in 2005
750 dogs & cats in 2006
1275 dogs & cats in 2007
1525 dogs & cats in 2008
1850 dogs & cats in 2009
2087 dogs & cats in 2010
3817 dogs & cats in 2011
4012 dogs & cats in 2012
5872 dogs & cats in 2013
5320 dogs & cats in 2014
Save Our Strays has rescued over 2000 dogs & cats from the streets of Mumbai in the last 10 years. Most of them were pedigree breeds, but abandoned by their owners. Most of them have been rehabilitated in lovely homes/farmhouses/shelters within a short time. .
Why And Who To Adopt
• Before, bringing a pet home, do some research.
• Don't pick a breed/species because it's "cute;" choose one that suits your family and your lifestyle. Better yet, adopt from an animal welfare organisation so that a trained adoption counselor may assist you in your decision-making process.
• Think about the costs associated with pet care - this will only increase as an animal ages. To adopt an animal requires commitment. You must have the time available for the feeding, grooming, daily training and exercise of your pet.
• Remember, cute little puppies and kittens eventually become dogs and cats. Pets can live for 15 years or more. and his/her behaviour is the direct result of the time and effort you put into training him or her.
TOP REASONS TO ADOPT AN OLDER DOG
• Older dogs are housetrained. You won't have to go through the difficult stage(s) of teaching a puppy house manners and toilet training.
• Older dogs are not teething puppies, and won't chew your shoes and furniture while growing up.
• Older dogs can focus well because they've mellowed - therefore, they learn quickly.
• Older dogs settle in easily, because they've learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack.
• Older dogs are good at giving love, once they get into their new, loving home. They are grateful for the second chance they've been given.
• Older dogs leave you time for yourself, because they don't make the kinds of demands on your time and attention that puppies and young dogs do.
• Older dogs let you get a good night's sleep because they're accustomed to human schedules and don't generally need nighttime feedings, comforting, or toilet breaks.
BATHE A DOG PROJECT
Save Our Strays has initiated the Bathe a Dog Project to provide on-the-spot relief to dogs suffering from mange and skin infection.
What is Mange?
Sarcoptic Mange, also known as Canine Scabies is a highly contagious infestation and the animal needs to be isolated from other animals. It is transferable to humans too and one needs to wash hands with disinfectant after handling the animal. Sarcoptic Mange is curable and the animal needs to undergo a lengthy treatment which includes oral medication and regular medicated baths to combat the infection. Demodectic mange also known as demodic Demodectic mange also known as demodicosis or red mange, is generally caused if the animal's immune system is compromised due to poor diet and/or illness. It is not contagious to humans and/or other animals. When the puppy is 3 months plus he is vaccinated for Rabies either during the Annual Rabies Drive or individually.
What are the symptoms?
Hair loss, itching, redness, scabbing and sores.
How to treat Mange?
Treatment includes deworming the dog with deworming tablets like Drontal Plus / Worex administered as per body weight and administering Ivermectin. Ivermectin is used to rid animals of many internal and external (blood sucking) parasites. Ivermectin can be administered orally (Neomec) or by injection under the guidance of a veterinary practitioner. The animal should be put on a balanced diet of adequate proteins and fats. Medicated baths should be given to the dog at regular intervals. Also the dog should be put on liver supplements like Liverolin and immunity builders like Immunol. With dedicated treatment, one can witness positive results in about 4 – 6 weeks.
Treatment should always be done under the guidance of a certi?ed veterinary practitioner.
SOS started this programme in July 2009 primarily to prop up dogs/cats who needed that extra care/nutrition for recovery from some of the life threatening condition that they were in. The isolation dogs are the ones which suffer from gastro, distemper, and other such deadly diseases, who with proper care/nutrition stand a good chance of survival were very bleak. We initially started with these dogs(about 4-5 every day), so that even if this healthy food may not help them recover completely, at least it can make the last few moments of their life a bit more liveable.
This programme was brilliantly put together by our volunteer, Amit Gajaria who involved other volunteers as well in this and let them also have this privilege of feeding dogs who are recuperating there. He contacted all the volunteers he met during his work with strays over the past 3 years and the response was amazing. Every volunteer was allotted one day of the week and that's how we started feeding on an everyday basis about 20 dogs. Then, there was no looking back, the word spread and donations started pouring in, from 20, we went to 30 and today we feed around 60 dogs who are suffering from various ailments from maggot wounds, to fractures , jaundice, skin infections, all days of every month. The best part was that the dogs were out of the hospital once they were alright; hence no dog was dependent on us for food later.
This would never have been possible without the cooperation of the hospital authorities. The results were soon to follow, more and more dogs started recovering and going back to where they came from. The medication by the doctors there, followed by the nutritious food given by us helped the dogs recover faster. The sincere efforts by the donors and volunteers was rewarded when the first isolated dog since we started feeding came out fit and fine from the hospital.
When Amit started this work, one of the volunteers told him, "If you start some good work, helping hands always follow" after the food program, he has realized that this is so true."