I have hired two men to do all the feeding, assist with vaccinations, transport dogs to the vet, and provide treatment where the dogs live. These hardworking people have made my life significantly easier but unfortunately, this also costs a pretty penny. I pay them Rs. 24,900 per month to cook, travel (from Delhi-Noida), and feed my 50 dogs.
In the last 2.5 years, the dogs have not gone hungry on even a single occassion- come blistering heat or flood!
Vaccination and Deworming: No matter how well-nourished a puppy or dog may be, it is essential to provide timely vaccination and deworming. Without this, dogs fall prey to preventable diseases and oftentimes, they only show symptoms when it is too late. Puppies are more susceptible to certain diseases such as parvovirus, coronavirus, and distemper. These diseases are very, very difficult to treat once they set in and the survival rate is quite low. However, the good news is that they are preventable through timely vaccination!
Another very important benefit of vaccination is to control rabies, a fatal virus that can spread to humans through contact with a rabid dog's saliva- usually transmitted through a dog bite. Unvaccinated dogs are susceptible to rabies, endangering both, the humans and dogs around them. Vaccination is the only way to keep both dogs and humans safe from rabies.
Deworming is absolutely essential, too. Puppies are more susceptible to parasitic infections since they tend to put anything and everything into their mouths. Worms hamper a puppy’s growth and can also be passed on from a mother to her puppies, which is why it is important to regularly deworm both, adult dogs and puppies. Additionally, worms are quite easily passed on to humans who come in contact with the dogs. In my absence, the dogs and pups are immunized and dewormed on site by a paraveterinarian who has been helping me for the last 4 years.
6-in-1 vaccination- Rs. 300
Deworming- free for puppies, between Rs. 80-100 per adult dog, per dose.
Sterilization: This is the only humane way to curb the dog population. Both males and females I take care of are sterilized when they reach 6 months of age.Simply feeding and vaccinating dogs is not beneficial to the dog population unless they are sterilized as well. Well-fed, vaccinated dogs can populate a neighborhood rather quickly! Fewer litters means fewer tragic road accidents, fewer complaints from those not fond of dogs, and fewer chances of human-dog conflict. Additionally, unneutered males tend to display more aggressive/pack behaviours, which are often resolved once the dog is sterilized since they no longer produce testosterone. Spaying females prevents them from developing uterine, ovarian, and mammary cancer, as well as in preventing pregnancies.
Since January 2019, I have had 10 dogs sterilized at a private clinic for Rs. 2,000 (total Rs. 20,000), which includes the surgery, an anti-rabies vaccine, and post-op care.
In July 2019, I will send another 8 dogs. Fortunately, this will only amount to Rs. 1,000 per dog (because of an ongoing sterilization drive) but it still puts an additional strain of Rs. 8,000.
Since most of my dogs live on a busy street, the most common type of injury is due to road accidents. The injuries can range from scratches to fractures, and sometimes even paralysis. Long-term care is totally worth it but it comes at a price.
Additionally, these dogs live near open drains, a huge source of infection. Even a 5-day course of antibiotics costs anywhere between Rs. 1500 - Rs. 2000 because I need to transport the dogs to a private clinic (Vets n Pets, Noida or to a clinic in New Delhi) where they are given the medications by injection- the fastest and most effective way to ensure recovery.
Puppies with parvovirus, distemper, etc, also require long-term care. Besides the expensive bloodwork required to confirm these diseases, long-term medication does not come cheap and costs can vary greatly based on the stage of the disease. This is the most difficult aspect to account for, as it is entirely unpredictable. However, on an average, my veterinary bills come to Rs. 2,000 per month. Sometimes, I have to keep a dog in a medical boarding where the prices can range from Rs.300-600 per day.
I hope you will consider donating to this cause. I hope that this encourages you and your loved ones to do the same for the dogs, cats and birds in your neighbourhood, as well.
Let’s make this world a better place, one happy, well-fed animal at a time!
Thank you for reading!