In September 2018, The Government of India issued guidelines in order to curb the cruelty against animals that exists in the country’s rapidly expanding pet shop industry. However, having guidelines in place isn’t all that is required, it is imperative to monitor the implementation of these guidelines. At a time when pets have come to become status symbols, it is easy to forget about animals who aren’t cared for or are neglected. Having said that, with the number of adoption drives across the country, campaigns championing animal welfare and organisations working towards the cause, there does seem to be new found hope for the country’s four-legged friends.
Sentient Sanctuary is one such Mumbai-based organisation that is working towards rescuing, rehabilitating and relocating animals in need of help. The shelter officially opens its doors to animals on November 4, 2018, but has been working for the cause for a while now. Located in Panvel, an hour and a half from Mumbai, the initiative aims to provide a safe space for animals with special emphasis on high-risk animals. High-risk animals include animals that have or are still being subjected to severe abuse such as those that have been poisoned or are starving, mistreated cows in Gaushalas or dairy farms, animals being abused in pet shops and more such cases. “It amazes me to see the level of apathy and indifference humans have developed towards the plight of other living creatures,” said Ava Affinwalla, who is the founder and head of cruelty and confiscations for Sentient Sanctuary. Aastha Mistry, head of rehabilitation and rehoming, and Vatsal Nathwani, head of search and rescue operations, along with Affinwalla form the core team running the shelter.
At present, Sentient Sanctuary is working towards rescuing stray dogs in need of immediate attention. “There are around 50 dogs in a high-security and difficult to access area. As it has proven nearly impossible to attain permissions for feeders and sterilisation and treatment vans to reach the dogs, majority of the dogs there have been dying of starvation. The Sentient Sanctuary was put into action when this case was brought to us and we realised that the dogs had minimal to no chances of survival in this area. Also, being a primarily industrial area, there are no regular sources of food such as dustbins in residential buildings or waste from cafe and restaurant kitchens for the dogs to scour through and survive on. Their bodies slowly start to give up, and these poor animals die a slow, painful death. We are hoping to move the dogs out of there as soon as possible as we are running against time, and have been appealing to the public and animal lovers to help us through donations,” said Affinwalla.
Sentient Sanctuary is in immediate need of financial assistance to carry out this rescue and rehabilitation initiative.
Visit their Keto fundraiser page to contribute anything that you can for the rescue and rehabilitation of the dogs.
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