HOW TO HELP STREET ANIMALS IN SUMMER
With the climate crisis already upon us, summers are hotter than ever, even projected to worsen in coming years, according to the 2022 IPCC Report. Exposure to extreme heat puts humans, community animals and wildlife at risk of deteriorating health. As temperatures rise in India, we must reflect on the impact of anthropogenic (or human-induced) climate change on the animals we share our living spaces with, and take proactive measures to help them beat the scorching summer heat.
The current heatwave across the country will only get worse in the coming month, with temperatures already touching 45 ℃ and soaring higher by the day. Here are a few ways we can make the lives of street animals in India easier in these trying months:
Provide Water Bowls
More often than not, street animals tend to live difficult lives of uncertainty from one day to the next – dehydration and heat stroke are major causes of death in the summer months. From dogs and cats to birds and cows, all animals can stand to benefit from people leaving out water bowls n front of their houses and buildings as reliable sources of water for animals in the community.
Water For Voiceless is one such initiative that provides sturdy water bowls to be used for street animals. People living in Mumbai can also contact Sarita Raturi at email@example.com for free water bowls for animals
“A simple act of kindness and compassion towards a single animal may not mean anything to all creatures, but will mean everything to one.“
Give Them Shade
The best way to keep community animals in your area from resting under vehicles is to bring the shade to them, DIY style! For instance, you can make use of old cardboard boxes and cloth material to craft temporary shade spots for dogs and cats. These can be placed in quiet areas around your neighbourhood where animals normally sleep during the day.
Ice Cubes & Fruity Treats
A little treat to keep it chill never hurts! Adding ice cubes to water bowls is a great way to help stray animals cool off and keep the heat at bay. Similarly, street dogs can be given little fruity treats as well in the form of frozen watermelon, banana and apple cubes.
Check Under Vehicles
The lack of shaded areas in cities and urban spaces may lead to animals seeking shelter under parked vehicles. Therefore, it’s important to make it a habit to check under your car before getting in to ensure that the coast is clear and no animal is at risk of getting run over by accident.
Pay Attention To Young Animals
Puppies, kittens and calves may have a tougher time than adult animals in the blazing heat. Keep an eye out for excessive heat exhaustion, panting, drooling or general signs of discomfort, pain and distress. It’s always handy to have the contact numbers of your local animal shelters, vets and rescuers to reach out for help whenever you spot an animal in need of medical aid.
Invest In Reflective Collars
Animals tend to have low energy and slower reflexes during the summer months due to the incessant heat.
One way to keep street dogs and cattle safe from being victims of rash drivers at night is by using reflective collars. These are useful not only in helping animals stay visible at night, but also show that the animal has a regular caregiver who will follow up on any mishaps that may occur.
Raise Awareness & Educate People
Raising awareness is the best way to help people understand how to be kinder to community animals during summer and the rest of the year. Encourage kids in your neighbourhood to keep out water bowls for animals, create temporary shade spots out of cardboard and not chase away animals who may seek respite from the heat under cars or under staircases in buildings.
Donate, Sponsor, Volunteer
One of the best ways to help your local street animals all year round is to get yourself involved with animal shelters and individual rescuers. From donating food and sponsoring medical aid to lending a hand in rescue work and volunteering, there are a lot of ways to contribute to the welfare of our community animals.
चरकली Charkli – A Water for Animals Initiative
Under the Street Brigade objective – dealing with street animal welfare and how to help stray animals in India – Earth Brigade Foundation has teamed up with DCF Amrita and Ronin Adventure – an offbeat experience provider based in Udaipur – to launch Charkali, a project to provide clean drinking water for street animals and birds.
With this project, we will be giving away more than 2000 water bowls free of cost to people and animal welfare groups in and around Udaipur who can refill, clean and take care of them.