Monday, 28 September 2009

Happy endings for two homeless boys

Hello hello,

As most of you already know International Animal Rescue runs an adoption programme alongside all its rescue work. Many pups and adult dogs and cats find a new home with local residents and some even find homes far away from Goa. Today I want to tell you about two furry friends who have had a helping hand from destiny.

HariHari was first admitted at Animal Tracks a long time ago in October 2008. He could not be dropped back where he was collected as it was suspected that he did not originate from that area. He was therefore sterilised and put up for adoption. His photo was put in the local newspaper and before long a local family turned up to adopt him. They wanted a male guard dog with a good bark and Hari fitted these criteria well, as well as being a friendly and playful dog.

Sadly in June 2009 the family brought Hari back because allegedly he didn’t bark. Well, I remember going for walks with him and volunteers and believe me, the dog could bark! He would have given Boris a run for his money had he become a centre dog.

Anyway, he was put up for adoption again but this time no one came to take him. He was spoiled rotten by our volunteers and seemed happy to be the centre of attention so frequently. He even got on well with us centre dogs because by then we knew him well. Unfortunately it is not possible to keep dogs like Hari in the kennels forever and the time was drawing near where a decision had to be made.

Once again the volunteers jumped to Hari's rescue at the eleventh hour and he is now the proud guard dog of a private residence in Vagator. The volunteers who adopted him are famous for finding last minute solutions for the dogs who seem to have run out of options and we all breathed a sigh of relief that we didn't have to witness the demise of yet another abandoned friend.

Mowgli and his new familyThe other lucky fella is a little dog called Mowgli. He's not a Goan dog but I met him briefly when he came to Animal Tracks for treatment. He was found in Pondicherry at 4 weeks old by a German couple, Daniel and Barbara, and they fell in love on the spot with this little pup. He was in a bad way and had a broken jaw which was treated here in Assagao because Daniel and Barbara had brought Mowgli to Goa hoping to take him to Europe.

EU regulations make it a cumbersome task to take a stray dog out of India and into Europe but Daniel and Barbara embarked on this very mission and nearly lost their sanity and all their money trying to sort things out.

In February 2009 Mowgli was left with a breeder in South Goa whilst waiting for permission to travel. Lots of tests had to be performed and cross-checked and arrangements had to be made with the airline.

Finally in August 2009 Barbara went to pick up Mowgli and take him back to Germany. Sadly he had not been looked after at all well by the breeder who had neglected all of Mowgli's needs in spite of having received money from Daniel and Barbara towards his care. He was starved, full of fungus and ticks and fleas.

Luckily Mowgli has now settled into his new life in Germany and all he has to battle with is the occasional sniffle caused by the cold European autumn. Stories like these are heart-warming and inspiring: they give us hope for the many homeless dogs who could end up suffering and starving to death on the streets.


Olive x

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

We say a sad goodbye to Boxer

Dear Friends,

Boxer at our centre in GoaI write to you all today with a heavy heart. In amongst all the happy endings we experience at Animal Tracks there are always stories that don't go so well...

Do you remember Boxer, the ill and depressed dog from Saipem village that was covered in mange and had a bad ear infection? Well, when Boxer came to the centre his condition was indeed very bad but not bad enough to justify him being euthanised as requested by his owners. Instead he was admitted, treated for his skin condition and operated in the ear to get rid of the infection.

We always knew it was going to take time for Boxer to recover and nothing can drive a dog loopy like weeks and weeks of confinement in a cage in the kennels. That's why we have so many great volunteers coming to the centre every day. They ensure that all the dogs get walked and cuddled at least once a day and the patients love all the attention they get... well, most of them do!

Anyway, back to the story. Boxer was given first-class treatment by the staff and volunteers because everyone felt he deserved a second chance now that he had been abandoned by his owners. The plan was to make Boxer one of us centre dogs when he was well enough. We all regularly got to meet him up close so we could all get used to one another.

Sadly Boxer never made it that far. His condition was not improving satisfactorily and the poor fella was still suffering after several weeks of treatment and care. His owners never made sure he was properly vaccinated and this fact, combined with his age and weakened immune system, made him an easy prey for all the infections that are passed around between the stray dogs in the kennels.

A tough decision lay before our vets: it was clear that Boxer would never recover at Animal Tracks. He had to get away from all the other sick dogs and the stressful environment. Should they send him back to his owners and hope they would continue the treatment and make Boxer well, despite knowing that the owners wanted him dead just a few weeks before? No, that would be sending Boxer back to an ill fate.

Only one thing could be done for Boxer to ensure that he would get rid of the pain and sadness…he was put to sleep on a late summer afternoon and although this brings sadness to us all we know that he is now free from pain and that he’ll never feel unwanted again.

Olive x