Friday, April 30, 2010

Another IDA Mongrel Goes Abroad

Here's Raj, formerly known as Gunner (when he was at Deonar, Mumbai). You can see him relaxing with his new brother, Jack, in his new home in Texas. Abby, our volunteer from the US, had met him when she spent some weeks, working at our Centre in Deonar. She bonded with 'Gunner'so well that even though she had gone back to the States, she told us she wanted to adopt him. Problem was, the US is 23 hours away from India by plane! Anyway, we all prepared everything and managed to send him at last.
Abby renamed him Raj. The first thing Raj enjoyed in the States was running like the wind! Jack couldn't catch up. He still has to lose some weight! Now we know what all of our doggies at IDA Deonar and Vashi would probably like to do - run like the wind!! Not much place for that at the Centres, still we try to keep them as happy and contented as possible.

1st May - Save the Rhino Day

This is Shiva, the lone rhino, who has been kept in solitary confinement for 32 long years at the Byculla Zoo in Mumbai, now known as Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan. We are using this photo (courtesy Mumbai Mirror of April 27, 2008) to show all of you to what extent this rhino has suffered. Somehow, somewhere, he has been deprived of his horn.
Over the years, many people have made efforts to help improve the quality of his life. The HC granted him the freedom to go to Ranchi Zoo, where a mate had been found for him. But at the last minute, the trip was cancelled as a political party declared that Shiva was not going anywhere. He was the only rhino in Maharashtra and therefore was the pride of this State.
Another attempt to bring a companion for him also fell through, as the Central Zoo Authority found his enclosure too small to accommodate two rhinos.
This year Shiva has been declared too old for any companionship so he will languish in this state till the day he dies.
We are writing to the authorities to enrich his surroundings, (which have always been dull and drab,) to at least make his life more interesting. If you stay in Mumbai, please pay Shiva a visit. If you find anything lacking in his surroundings, like greenary, plenty of cool areas, a spacious pool of clean water for him to bathe in and so on, do complain to the Zoo authorities on Shiva's behalf. Every little effort helps and this animal has suffered too much for too long.

A Fond Goodbye

This sweet old chap was named 'Fracture' by the wardboys at IDA Deonar. Yes, he did have a fractured leg when he was brought to IDA so the name seemed apt. His leg took a long time to heal, so he stayed on the premises and finally remained at Deonar for years. Like our other animals, he enjoyed his food and the laid-back life of lounging about the courtyard and under the trees. But this Summer, the heat proved too much for this old dog. We lost him a few days ago when he quietly passed away.
Goodbye Fracture, many of us will miss you and we'll remember you always.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Water Bowl Project

Heading into the hottest part of our Indian Summer, the temperature all over the country is soaring. One of our IDA supporters had a great idea. She has started a Water Bowl Project all over Mumbai, to benefit all the street animals and birds that have very little access to drinking water. Anyone who wants to, can order a bowl, like the one seen in the picture, and place it in an unobstrusive place, where any thirsty animal can come and have a much-needed drink of water. Already the project has proved to be very successful and over a hundred bowls have been placed in various areas in Mumbai.
The most amazing thing is that Sarita Raturi, the person who started this project, is based in the USA! She is from Mumbai, so understands very well how street animals suffer during the hot season. If you want to learn more about the project, do contact her on

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Day continued

I think today of all days, it is most appropriate to post this picture of this beautiful little bull, to demonstrate exactly how simple it can be to prevent cruelty.

It was 4th June 2008 when I spotted him walking down the Eastern Express in Mumbai, an extremely long and broad road with no shade whatsoever. It was about 2.30 in the afternoon and the heat was unbearable. This small animal was yolked to a huge bull, about one foot taller than he was.

He looked in such a bad condition that I went to have a closer look. HIs front leg was lame, both his horns were broken and one was bleeding and covered with a filthy cloth, he had a large tumour on his neck beneath the yolk and he actually had small holes running along his spine. He was in such a filthy condition, that his actual colour was not discernable.

He was one of our kerosene cart bulls. These small carts take kerosene, for the big oil companies, into the most inaccessible areas in Mumbai.

I told the driver to get him off the road and noted the number of the cart. This is all it takes. This is the Registration number on a small metal plate nailed to the side of any animal cart.

I then contacted another IDA member to take further action.

Fotunately, the next day, the driver actually took the bull to the animal hospital and we were all happy that it would at least get some much needed medical treatment.

Months later, we all went on a trip to the farm for rescued animals, maintained by our President Fizzah Shah. I got the shock of my life when we entered the cattle shed. There before me was the little bull. And he looked just great! The last time I had seen him, he had been miles and miles away from this truly wonderful place. Fizzah has rescued 20+ bulls and saved them from slaughter and all are happy and contented in this peaceful place.

That's all it takes to save an animal from further cruelty. In this case it was the strong, protective circle of care and concern that IDA had provided. The picture above was taken a few days ago and it is wonderful evidence of what happens when you take some sort of action to help an animal that is in extreme distress.

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Day, 10th April

I thought I would post this picture from the DNA of 5th April 2010, for all of you to see on this particular day. This is why we need to be reminded to pause once in a while and wonder just how these things can happen in our country that has some of the best laws in the world for the protection of animals.

The mis-matched pair in front seems to be leading the other two. Why on earth has such a slender animal been attached by a yoke to a mature bull that is twice it's size? One can hardly imagine what it is going through. This took place in Pune, where the summer temperature this year has been in the 40s. This is a normal 'festivity' that takes place in rural Maharashtra between the farming seasons. Dehydrated, exhausted and frantic from the goading and chaotic atmosphere, these animals go through tremendous suffering.

These are special animals in India; they are our working bulls. They are worked hard all through their lives, and then most of them are sent to the slaughter house. So forcing them to race when farming activity has come to an end for the year, simply for the entertainment of the public, is nothing short of the worst cruelty.

As this particular race was described as part of the State level races, you can write to our Chief Minister, Shri Ashok Chavan and suggest that these races be banned as all animals in India are protected against all types of cruelty in the Constitution of India itself.

His email :

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sami and Onni Sleeping

It's still very cold in Finland, and Sami, the IDA pup who was adopted in Mumbai and now resides in Helsinki, loves to have a nap on the comfy armchairs ( he does have his own basket as well). Sami looks a real fashionplate in his hand knitted wooly coat and he likes to wear it indoors. In the first picture he's sleeping with his toy reindeer and his big brother Onni is very comfortable in his basket with all the toys that belong to him! His guardian tells us that Onni loves to rearrange all the little toys in his basket, to his liking, and then he makes himself comfortable among them and takes a nap. A bit crowded, but that's the way he likes it!!
Sami's naughty. He just loves to stretch out on the armchairs meant for the human residents!
But doesn't he look sweet??!