Friendicoes saving the lives of Delhi’s street dogs

By Catherine Torbey

Founded in 1979, Friendicoes is an animal shelter and veterinary clinic which provides sanctuary to the sick pets and street dogs of Delhi. According to Geeta Seshamani, the Vice President of Friendicoes, about 20,000 dogs pass through their shelter on average per year. Despite only having room to provide shelter for 70 dogs at one time, there are always many more in their care.

Friendicoes can provide shelter for up to 70 dogs, but always have more under their roof.

Friendicoes can provide shelter for up to 70 dogs, but always have more under their roof.

Everywhere you go in Delhi, street dogs can be seen wandering the streets or searching for food. Geeta says this is due to a problem with people buying dogs as status symbols. Many people wish to buy dog breeds such as labradors, due to the high pedigree of the breed. However, the new owners are not informed of the particular problems the dog is prone to, and as soon as the dog is forming skin problems or becoming ill, they are dumped on the street.

A labrador with some skin problems.

A labrador who is suffering from some skin problems.

Geeta says, “it is quite sad because it’s happening in a country that already has adequate challenges of poverty and other kinds of misery. So when you start talking compassion for animals, and you start talking about regulations and standards for pets and pet sales, people think this is not really a priority subject, and so the problem just gets compounded”.

A couple of the sick labradors with skin conditions in Friendicoes care.

A couple of the sick labradors with skin conditions and injuries in Friendicoes care.

Some of the issues that result in the dogs being brought to the shelter include being attacked by other dogs, malnourishment, maggot infestation and injuries due to monsoons.

This dog has been treated with betadine antiseptic (creating the red colour) in order to treat a head wound.

This dog has been treated with betadine antiseptic (creating the red colour) in order to treat a wound.

This puppy was found on the streets with a shattered pelvis and brought into Friendicoes by a civilian.

This puppy was found on the streets with a shattered pelvis and brought into Friendicoes by a civilian.

As Friendicoes receives no funding from the government, they are constantly relying on donations from the public to allow the clinics to continue running. Geeta says that the shelter is short staffed, receiving 60 to 65 calls per day from people about sick animals and only being able to respond to up to 20 of them.

A dog is recovering from a head injury at Friendicoes.

A dog is recovering from a head injury at Friendicoes.

A sick dog recovering in Friendicoes care.

A sick dog recovering in Friendicoes care.

Friendicoes has a wonderful group of workers who tend to the dogs, including 14 vets throughout their three centres in Delhi.

One of the workers at Friendcoes tending to an injured dog.

One of the workers at Friendicoes tending to an injured dog.

The different medical and sterilisation equipment used to heal the injuries of the animals.

The different medical and sterilisation equipment used to heal the injuries of the animals.

The Friendicoes centre we visited has an outdoor area for the dogs to play, run around and be taken for walks, allowing the dogs to enjoy fresh air and preventing the spread of infections in a crowded shelter.

A group of dogs being taken for a walk outside.

A group of dogs being taken for a walk outside by one of the workers at Friendicoes.

A friendly meeting between a puppy and some older dogs.

A friendly meeting between a puppy and some older dogs.

According to Geeta, the only way to help solve the problem of sick street dogs is to try and prevent breeding, in order to reduce the numbers. Friendicoes performs neutering procedures on some dogs before returning them to their territory. However, despite this, the number of sick and injured animals in Delhi’s streets is immeasurable, with NGOs such as Friendicoes working tirelessly. Geeta says that in order to continue their work and sustain themselves, their focus for the future will be to organise dedicated and regular fundraising.

Friendicoes work has helped saved the lives of thousands of animals in Delhi for over 35 years, and hopefully can continue this for many more to come.

A timid dog hides in the yard at Friendicoes.

A timid dog hides in the yard at Friendicoes.

A mother and her puppy enjoy the outdoors at Friendicoes.

A mother and her puppy enjoy the outdoors at Friendicoes.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s