HOW TO HELP STREET ANIMALS DURING THE MONSOON
With the monsoon already here, it’s the time of year, more than ever, to open our hearts with compassion towards the plight of our streeties, who will be facing heavy downpours and fighting with all their instinct and resilience to survive another day.
According to The State of Pet Homelessness Index data for India, There are around 6.2 crore stray dogs and 91 lakh street cats in the country. These animals have an especially hard time during the rains, being more prone than usual to water-borne diseases, lack of food, and exposure to the cold.
We’ve compiled a short list of all the activities you can take up to make life a little bit easier for the community animals in your area this season:
Give Them Shelter
Help street animals find shelter in dry places during heavy rain – set up temporary boxes made of (or covered with) water-proof material or make use of existing structures to offer them protection. Here are a few options that can be explored:
- Cardboard Boxes: Cut out a small entrance on one side of a sturdy cardboard box and line the inside with waterproof material such as plastic or tarpaulin. Place the box in a safe, dry and slightly elevated location to protect animals who decide to make use of it from the rain.
- Plastic Crates: Place plastic crates outside and cover them with waterproof tarpaulin sheets or thick plastic sheets, secured with ropes to keep them in place.
- Umbrella Shelters: Attach a large, sturdy umbrella that you don’t need anymore to a fence or wall to create a temporary shelter for small animals. Open the umbrella and secure it in place, keeping it tilted to prevent water accumulation. Place a soft bedding material like old cloth beneath the umbrella for added comfort.
Make Arrangements For Food & Water
During the monsoon season, street animals may find it especially difficult to find food and clean water. Consider leaving out food and fresh water in safe, dry and accessible locations in your neighbourhood for stray animals.
- Dry Food: Offer dry food such as pet kibble or biscuits specially formulated for dogs or cats – these have a long shelf life and can withstand moisture better than wet food.
- Wet Food: Provide wet or canned food for street animals, which can be easier for them to consume, especially if they are sick, injured, or elderly. Ensure that the wet food is covered or placed in a waterproof container..
- Rice and Meat: Cooked rice mixed with boiled meat (chicken, beef, or fish) can be a nutritious option for street animals. Avoid using spices, sauces, or seasonings that might be harmful to them.
- Leftovers and Scraps: If you have leftovers from meals, consider sharing them with street animals. Make sure the leftovers are safe for consumption, free from harmful substances, and not overly spiced or seasoned.
When leaving out food for streeties, it’s important to avoid items that are toxic to them, such as chocolate, onions, garlic, or food containing excessive salt or spices. Fresh water should always be available alongside the food to keep the animals hydrated – consider connecting with Water For Voiceless to get free water bowls to keep around your neighbourhood.
Keep Contacts At Hand
Build a rapport with your local shelter and individual feeders or rescuers in your area – you never know when you might be in need of a helping hand in case a community animal is in need of help. Volunteering and donating to these groups is an effective way to do your bit for the animals braving the monsoons on the streets.
Educate others about the challenges faced by street animals during the rains. Share information through social media, organise awareness campaigns in schools or through outreach programs in public areas, or distribute pamphlets to highlight the importance of helping stray animals during this time.
Encourage local communities to maintain cleanliness around their surroundings to prevent the spread of diseases among street animals. Proper waste management and cleaning up stagnant water can help reduce the risk of illnesses and infections.
Donate To Local Shelters & Rescuers
Connect with local animal welfare organisations, NGOs and rescuers who work towards the welfare of street animals. Contribute by volunteering, providing financial support, or donating essential supplies such as food, medicines, or bedding. Such collaborations can help ensure a more systematic and impactful approach to helping street animals during the monsoon season.