I, along with other animal lovers associated with Kashmir Animal Welfare team are fighting odds to save and rescue distressed stray, injured and abandoned animals in valley but no matter how hard the efforts we put to save each needy animal, our heart breaks into pieces.
Only when we face worst situations in life, we are triggered to change things. I recently lost one of my rescued and then adopted dear cat, who suddenly developed breathing issues at night. Before we could even understand his problem or have him examined by our trusted vets, he gave up his fight because he had in less than 24 hours gone into respiratory distress and succumbed just as we arrived at our local Vet hospital in Maisuma, Srinagar Kashmir. He couldn’t take the stress of the long, arduous drive or the assistants unnecessarily poking him with a thermometer to check his temperature. I’m not blaming anyone but the whole experience at the hospital was a total hell for us and the cat.
Our only intention of taking him all the way to the hospital was to have him supplemented with some emergency oxygen so that he could be stabilized before his underlying issue could be understood. Much to my despair there wasn’t any oxygen available and it turned out, it never is a practice in veterinary centres in Kashmir to keep such emergency equipment available for immediate use. Sad and an unimaginable truth because it must be the first thing available in any emergency situation.
This was not the first incident we have lost endless animals due to lack of oxygen facility in valley for animals .
Yet, we made a last-ditch effort and desperately hunted for oxygen in medical stores around the hospital, I called people up and was given some leads. COVID situation has made access to O2 nearly impossible. I had left the cat in the car with my sister. The cat was already in a bad state so when I got back, he was gone. He could have been saved if only he was given timely oxygen to stabilize him. I am sure you can imagine our frustration and grief as animal lovers those who are selflessly trying to save animals in Kashmir valley where life is very difficult even for humans. We put my dear little cat through so much thinking his treatment and diagnosis will start after he is stabilized in the ER, but to no avail. We have nothing but regret, sorrow and guilt surrounding me at the moment.
It’s not the first time someone has experienced a situation like us and I’m sure it won’t be the last. In fact, even as I write this, some little voiceless four-legged soul somewhere may be in need of oxygen and his human friend may be out frantically looking for help.
I have seen too many battles for life lost due to lack of emergency treatment for many animals I have rescued or adopted. However, by far the most critical thing that I have lost animals very rapidly to is respiratory distress. Respiratory distress is a symptom of an underlying medical issue that to be addressed or diagnosed would first of all require the animal to be stabilized. In Kashmir, while some vets are exceptionally good at their work, none of the clinics or hospitals here provide oxygen therapy to animals in critical conditions. It is heart-breaking and I am sure there are many like us who may have gone through the same experience at least once, and if not, it's only a matter of time when your beloved pet / stray / rescue may need oxygen supplementation in those few critical hours. Emergency oxygen means life and death for everyone and COVID-19 pandemic has made it all too clear.
Therefore, if you have any sympathy for our voiceless companions, you will help me raise funds for at least one oxygen concentrator so that they can be made available for animal in need or rescuer whenever they need it. The cost of 1 concentrator is about 65,000 and it can be used by two patients at the same time.
Please help us to save those who can’t defend themselves, help us to make difference for four legged friends in valley. Please contribute.
Thank you for your generosity already.