In India, the number of dogs roaming on the streets is huge and such a common sight. Poor souls have no shelters, no safe places and they put their lives at risk so often just to be able to sustain. One of the major reasons for stray dog mortality in India is accidents on the road, especially on highways. There are no street lights on highways and there are no effective barricades near the roads that can stop the dogs from crossing the roads. Which is why, there needs to be a solution where car drivers are able to see them crossing the road in the dark. The only way possible is to provide reflective dog collars for all the stray dogs in India. But there’s a story behind this initiative as well. Let me take you all through it.
There are times in life when you witness some horrifying incidents and don’t know how to salvage the situation no matter how hard you try. I came across something like this while I was on my way to work. This was my first week at my new office and I wasn’t used to driving on the highway that often. Half way through, I saw something lying around on the road. When I stopped my car to check, there was a mutilated body of a poor dog who lost his life while crossing the highway.
The sight itself was so painful. Moreover, getting out of the car just to check if he was alive was even more difficult. I quickly realised that he was no more. I picked him up and lay him down on the side of the road just out of respect.
The next few mornings down the line, I would find at least one dog dead 5 out of 7 days of my week on the same highway. It broke my heart and I felt helpless that I couldn’t do much to help any of those poor souls as they succumbed to such situations at night. Highways weren’t the only places these incidents were taking place. Stray dogs were dying on the regular streets as well at night time. I tried saving a lot of them but succeeded in saving a couple of them. But sadly there wasn’t much I could do about really.
The Silver Lining
A Couple of days after this incident, I came across a page on Instagram that went by the name of Motopaws that is founded by Shantanu Naidu, a Cornell University Alumni who currently works with Mr. Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Group. When I went through it, I found out that this organization makes reflective collars for stray dogs that shine bright and bold in the car headlights. This was a genius idea and I couldn’t be happier that I finally knew what how to solve this problem of roadside accidents of stray dogs. The only problem was, the entire world was goin through a pandemic and this organization wasn’t in my city. So getting the reflective collars to my city wasn’t be possible.
But god had other plans. I saw a similar looking reflective collar a couple of days later around the necks of several stray dogs in my area. Later on I found out that a fellow animal lover in my area, Madhurya, had formed an organization that was similar to Motopaws. They were responsible for feeding hundreds of dogs during the lockdown. This organization called their page on Instagram, Mongrels of Ahmedabad. They were also going to organize their first reflective collar drive and I couldn’t wait to be a part of it. It finally happened last month and since then, I have been a part of two of their drives. They have successfully helped more than 300 strays by fastening these reflective collars around their necks with the help of a lot of animal lovers around the city and covered a lot of areas in Ahmedabad.
I am sure that such organizations exist in other cities as well but I feel like it isn’t easy doing this when no one else is doing it. I admire the courage and conviction of such beautiful human souls who have spearheaded such amazing drives. These steps will change the fate of so many stray dogs and make this earth a better place for all animals. The reflective collars for stray dogs in India
The idea of these blogs is to create awareness and increase the chances of adoptions of such adorable rescue dogs. If you are one of those who is a new rescue dog parent, then you should definitely read about PTSD in rescue dogs. These poor souls have gone through a lot while living on the streets. Road accidents is just one of the problems they face.