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Help for India's Stray Dogs


FOUR PAWS veterinary team treat stray dogs in Chennai


This year once again international animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS is supporting their Indian partner organisation, Blue Cross of India, which runs a clinic for animals in distress in the major city of Chennai. Since end of February, an experienced veterinary team from the FOUR PAWS Stray Animal Care programme has been treating, vaccinating and operating on stray dogs in Chennai. FOUR PAWS staff are also training local vets on how to deal with the rabies virus, which is transferred by dogs, and is widespread in India.


India has more strays than any other country, with an estimated 25 million dogs roaming the streets. These dogs survive by feeding on refuse, and many are either injured or diseased. Dr Anca Tomescu, head of the FOUR PAWS International Stray Animal Care team, reports, “When we’re in Chennai, we usually treat all species of strays, including cats, goats and cows. But this time we have so many dogs suffering here that we have to concentrate just on them. We are seeing around 50 dogs a day that are in urgent need of veterinary treatment. Many have mange, wounds from bites, cancer, or they’ve been injured in a road accident.”


One such road accident happened right in front of the vets, as the veterinary team were on their way to the clinic. Dr Tomescu explained: “that the street was full of cars and motorcycles. On one of the motorcycles in front of us was a man who had a young dog in his arms. At one point he dropped the dog, which fell from his arms onto the road. He was rolled over and was hit by a motorcycle. He was lucky because we were right behind him.” The vets took the badly injured dog to the clinic and treated him immediately. They named the dog Jerry. Jerry had brain damage and couldn’t stand up or eat by himself. “We were very concerned for his recovery; we treated him with minerals, amino acids, vitamins and medicine to support his brain activity. The team’s quick work ensured that Jerry survived and has now made a full recovery.”


FOUR PAWS vets have already been able to help hundreds of dogs on this visit to Chennai. They will stay in Chennai until the end of March and their next visit to India will be in May 2016.


FOUR PAWS’ cooperation with Blue Cross of India began in 2009, and since then the International Stray Animal Care team has been travelling to Chennai twice a year. They were last there in December 2015 on a special mission, after heavy rainfall caused flooding in the city and impacted thousands of animals.