India first institutionalized animal welfare in 1960 with the passing of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The law criminalized animal cruelty and penalized those who were proven to harm domestic pets and other vertebrates.
Animals have a special place in India. But despite being the land where these creatures are worshipped, there are rising instances of animal cruelty in the country. Several cases have been reported in mainstream media, including killing an innocent elephant, a jackal, and a pregnant cow in Himachal Pradesh.
These instances have not just enraged animal welfare activists but a lot of people from around the world. One way to bring back our humanity is to provide for our most trusted friends. A good way to start is to donate to a dog shelter where canines’ overpopulation makes it impossible to keep up with the essential demands.
The Statistical Population of Pet Dogs in India
India is known for having one of the most population in terms of land area, but the country is also populated with our furry friends. According to recent statistics, there are over 19.5 million pet dogs, and the population continues to rise.
And this statistic does not account for the stray dogs which are unseen to populate communities within the country. The growing number of canine populations also leads to an increased demand for pet foods. The pet supply industry has grown profusely over the last couple of years, with a skyrocketing worth of $285 million.
As such, supplies for animal welfare dogs have been greatly affected because of government and private funding constraints. People with means can support Voice of Stray Dogs, a non-profit organization whose drive is to provide shelter and care for abandoned and stray dogs.
7 Things You Can Hand Out to Animal Shelters
Donating to an animal shelter is one act of kindness that anyone can do for a man’s best friend. Remember that it takes a lot of energy and courage to give animal shelters some thought. But it is worth all the effort to help sheltered dogs the help that they need.
Here are seven essential things you can donate to an animal shelter:
- Dog foods and treats. Unopened food and treats are some of the essentials that can help a canine survive before being released to new pet owners. Always make sure that the package has not yet been opened or reached its expiration date.
- Harnesses, leash, and collars. Dogs who are taken into an animal shelter also need exercise. A harness, collar, or leash is often not considered among the essentials because dogs in a shelter come in various sizes. If you are looking to donate to a dog shelter, it is always good to consider giving accessories aside from dog food or treats.
- Cleaning Supplies. There are always instances when an animal shelter runs out of cleaning supplies because of the number of dogs coming in. Consider donating paper towels, spray bottles, rubber gloves, poop bags, and Ziplock, among others.
- Cages or Carriers. Although most animal shelters have built-in cages for abandoned pets and stray animals, it wouldn’t hurt to donate metal cages and carriers. Most often, newly caught dogs are isolated from the rest of the group to check for any disease.
- Toys. Dogs in shelters also need to play and socialize with other animals. Donating sturdy toys would allow shelter dogs to find themselves and develop their personalities outside their previous experiences.
- Towels, blankets, and sheets. Bedding materials that would make a dog comfortable when sleeping is also an essential material to donate. Most shelters in India accept blankets, towels, or sheets because they are often chewed on and played with, which is hard to keep a stock.
- Animal care products. Unused and unopened or even gently used animal care products are more than a welcome to dog shelters. Dog shampoos and grooming tools are essential materials to every canine shelter.
Animal welfare organizations in the country have been working doubly hard to provide ample shelter to stray dogs and other animals. People with the means to help these organizations breathe a new life and hope to stray and abandoned canine pets.
VOSD is one of the institutions with a no-kill rescue policy. Aside from the primary service of caring for dogs, the organization also helps rehabilitate our canine friends. VOSD aims to provide lifelong care for unlucky dogs whose owners are incapable of caring for them.