For the past several months, a deadly heat wave has been sweeping Northern India, affecting hundreds of millions of people and sending temperatures soaring to record heights. In some areas, the heat has gotten as severe as 49.2 C / 120.5 F. And because the heat wave started scorching the region in mid-March, much earlier than the usual peak summer heat, people couldn’t prepare.
Such heat waves are tough on both people and animals. When temperatures reach such extreme highs, dogs are prone to severe dehydration, heat stroke and even death. That’s why I’m so heartened that our community engagement teams at Humane Society International/India have been on the ground, braving extreme conditions to help provide a safety net for these vulnerable animals.
Our teams are covering over a thousand neighborhoods across three large cities—Dehradun, Vadodara and Lucknow—to ensure that dogs and other street animals have access to water and shade wherever possible. We work with communities to designate water spots for easy access for the animals and ensure that the water is regularly refilled and kept clean.
This is just one of the ways HSI/India works to help street dogs. While our community engagement teams are out in the field going door to door to engage with residents, our veterinary teams are conducting thousands of spay/neuter surgeries to humanely reduce the dog populations in these bustling cities. Together, the teams work side by side to ensure a better life for India’s street dogs.
This year alone, our team has spayed, neutered and vaccinated more than 13,400 dogs. Since 2013, the team has sterilized 170,000 dogs. Our community engagement work, which was launched in 2018, helps create a peaceful coexistence between communities and street dogs. The program works by empowering local communities with information about rabies and dog bite avoidance, the benefits of spay/neuter and how to care for free-roaming street dogs. We have handled more than 14,000 requests to help resolve street dog issues, creating safer communities for both people and dogs, which is our ultimate goal.
It's inspiring to see such compassion at work, and we’re so honored to be able to help.
Follow Kitty Block on Twitter @HSUSKittyBlock.