Cyclone Nisarga Threatens Animal Lives, Call These Helplines

Representational Image
Representational ImageMorung Express

As the city is slowly coming to a halt, it would do us all well to remember that we aren’t the only citizens here — our four-legged friends are too. Birds may be able to brave the storm till they find higher shelter but several strays are left shivering in corners, or worse, floating aimlessly through the murky brown water. Other disasters in the past, including the most recent Amphan, have already claimed several animal lives. Let us try to avoid adding to that growing list. A helping hand to all our fellow citizens at a time like this is a necessity.

If you’re looking to save and protect as many animals in your locality or the ones stranded in the street here’s what you can do:

  • Stray cats & kittens: Put them in a spacious carton or cardboard box with bowls of ample food and water so that they don’t have to step out amid the cyclone. 
  • House Cats: Place them in a sturdy cat carrier in case they start panicking due to the loud noises. They mostly do well in dark corners of the room, small rooms work too. Keep comfort items like clothing that smells like pet parents or favourite bedding. 
  • Homeless animals: If an animal tries to seek shelter in your apartment complex or nearby refuge area, please don’t shoo it away. Instead, make arrangements for their food and water supply as they may go without food for days to come.
  • Pet dogs: Make sure they have a collar with their name, owner’s name and contact details. You may create a makeshift tag out of paper, plastic sheet and permanent markers. Move them to a room with minimal windows before the storm begins. Dogs tend to get very disturbed due to loud bangs and lightning. If your pet requires daily medication, make sure you stock it well in advance. 
  • If you’re unsure about how to approach a stray animal, you can always communicate with them from a distance. Open the gates to your housing complex and it will walk inside and take up a safe corner. Our job is to create a safe environment for them to the best of our abilities. 

Gurudwaras in Mumbai are also open for those seeking shelter — irrespective of any caste or community. Animals and birds are also welcome there and will be provided shelter. Besides the closest gurudwara, there are quite a few organizations lending a hand. PAWS previously helped out in the 2005 Mumbai Floods, by sending supplies as well as helping with the groundwork. If you’re unsure of how to help, even providing a safe shelter, food and water will help. If the aid required goes beyond that, here are a few helplines that could guide you, in case of an animal emergency:

  • PAWS: 91- 9820161114
  • IDA India: 91-9320056581, 022-32681418
  • BSPCA: 91-22-24137518, 24135285, 24135434

If the above lines are busy or unreachable, here’s a link to a more detailed list.

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