Imagine yourself in a place where no one can understand what you’re trying to say. You keep using gestures and signs, but it’s all going in vain. Now, added to this, what if there aren’t many people around you? And even the ones who are around, are least bothered about anything to do with you?
They keep walking by, ignoring your frantic and desperate calls for help. No matter how much you want to convey that you don’t mean any harm and are just looking for some food, maybe a little bit of affection too, but, there’s no possible way for you to do that.
I know, it feels horrible and helpless, right? But unfortunately, this is the everyday life of a stray during this Covid-19 lockdown period. The ongoing health crisis has not only affected humans, but it has also created severe repercussions in the lives of millions of strays across the globe.
From being targeted for playing a role in spreading the novel coronavirus to facing starvation, the lives of strays have changed abruptly, in a very short span of time. A large number of pets were abandoned as well, in the wake of a misinterpreted report that has led to a further shortage in their already scarce food supply.
With the curfews and lockdowns in effect, most of the strays that were previously dependent upon the scraps and leftovers from restaurants and other roadside eateries are now bereft of their most prominent source of food.
Even the local heroes who used to feed them are not able to go out and feed their furry friend, thus leaving them with a sudden and unforeseen lack of sustenance as well as affection. Apart from the animals living on the streets, the ones at the shelters and rescue homes have also been adversely affected.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an economic uncertainty around the globe, causing a massive downturn in both the adoption rates as well as the donations that the rescue and shelter homes used to receive. Furthermore, the shelters are getting flooded with new intakes every day, making their jobs even more challenging.
While governments all around are struggling to provide for the needs of the poor and helpless among the population, the strays have mostly been left to fend for themselves. So, when the whole world’s been brought to its knee by an unseen enemy, who is going to take care of these helpless creatures who are in the same boat as us but are absolutely clueless about what’s happening in the world?
Yes, these are confusing times. No one knows when this nightmare is going to end. Still, while we are locked up in our houses with our loved ones and able to avail the daily essentials, the homeless dogs and cats are seen wandering on the streets, desperately trying to eke out leftovers from garbage cans and dumpsters.
But will we be able to call ourselves human if we tolerate this inhuman situation to go on? Shouldn’t all of us, who fondly call dogs as our “Best Friend“, rise and join in this worldwide mission to help them combat starvation during the current crisis?
These challenging times call for urgent measures to be taken, and since every little step matters right now, don’t underestimate your power to contribute. The easiest way to provide help would be to feed the strays in your localities.
Designate a corner away from free movement zones and try to leave some food out from time to time. Since it is essential to maintain both personal and social hygiene, wear your mask when you go outside and do not litter the food around. Avoid all the non-essential interactions, including the one with the animal you’re feeding.
Another way in which you can help would be by donating to one of the many non-profit rescue and shelter organisations. Even if the independent volunteers, along with the rescue and shelter homes, manage to feed 100 strays, there might be thousands more that require immediate attention but are going unnoticed.
At present, these organisations are struggling with the massive burden of incessantly increasing strays. In some of the cases, the pets were abandoned because they were suspected of spreading COVID while in some other instances, the parents were left incapable of taking care of them because of sickness and financial troubles.
But, no matter what, the rescue homes took in all the animals with arms open wide. It’s about time we shared their burden as well by either donating or choosing to foster a rescue.
Animals are a vital part of our ecosystem. Whereas even the ones that we’ll never meet affect our lives daily, our pets have a direct and more profound effect on our physical and mental health. Having a pet in these uncertain times will not only keep you calm and sane, but it will also provide you with a company of unconditional love.
Living on streets, being hungry, unloved and misunderstood is a traumatic experience, but we have the power of changing that for at least a few of them. While they will get a forever home and a family, you will have the pleasure of knowing that you helped out a fellow being off its miserable roadside living.
Yes, it’s true that the world will soon come out from the grips of this pandemic and this whole episode will be left as nothing more than a bad dream for us. But your act of kindness now will stay with these innocent lives till their last breath. As for lucky you, well how about having years of relentless devotion and sheer love showered upon you by a furry best friend?