In this time of turmoil and uncertainty, till the time the chain is broken, we will not see operations resuming like before.
In a country where animal welfare is a considered a first world concern, the facilities available are appaling. Add to that the lockdown and you can't move cities to provide animals with the best treatment possible. Following are the additional challenges that we have started facing in wake of this pandemic:
Blood tests- All the pathology labs related to animals are in Delhi and no, they are not allowed to enter Noida. Right now, we are getting all the essential blood tests done at our Vet in Noida and the running cost of his machines make us pay almost double of what we pay for blood tests. However, we can't skip this because we need accurate prognosis to start treatments and to monitor improvements.
Scarcity of food: It is scary. Our animals consume 500 kg rice, 100 kg daal, 50 kg soya and 100 kg dog food a month. We have rationed around 200 kg rice, 40 kg daal, 10 kg soya and 60 kg dog food but if this lockdown stays, we might not have enough food to last the distance. Unfortunately, whatever money we had, we spent it on rationing. We might have to resort to giving them dog food only, that too, if e-commerce websites deliver.
Lack of medical facilities: There is not a single private animal hospital in Noida, equipped with the usual stuff that you see at human hospitals. There are small clinics which are also opening only 1-2 hours a day. Surgeons are not available. Medicines are not available and all in all, if there is an emergency, we will be at the mercy of police standing at the border. We are stocking up necessary medicines in the wake of this horror and hopefully, we won't lose a soul to the restrictions imposed amid this pandemic.
Our regular fundraiser:
COVID-19 has changed the dimensions and the idea behind this fundraiser and how its funds will be used. In addition to all the new things that we mentioned above, this fundraiser has been created to help ET with the following three expenses:
1. Important surgeries
2. Quarterly medical supplies (tablets, injections, vaccines, specialized medicines for special needs dogs, drips etc.)
3. Pathology needs
Earthlings Trust is a home to 70+ dogs and has been helping dogs since December 2018.
From treating dogs with severe mange to treating bad maggot wounds, from getting critical surgeries done to vaccinating and spaying dogs in and around the shelter, we have successfully treated and released over 175 dogs in past 16 months apart from being a permanent home to 50+ dogs.
What we want out of this fundraiser?
We have three types of dogs at the shelter:
1. Sponsored- Dogs those are sponsored by their rescuers
2. One time sponsored- Dogs that were sponsored once or twice but were later left at the shelter to be taken care of by us and us alone
3. Unsponsored- Dogs that come from rescuers who are economically challenged i.e. slums, farmers, students, low middle class households
Out of our 70+ dogs, more than 60% are unsponsored. But that doesn't mean they won't get the same level of food, care and treatment as others.
I and Sagarika Banerjee, the two founders of ET take care of these dogs on our own and pay for their blood tests, food expenses, vet visits etc. ourselves.
We are creating this fundraiser to so we can support those unsponsored dogs in a better manner because it has become increasingly overwhelming for us both.
Following is the breakup of the usage of funds:
1. Surgeries- We have to pay for a few critical surgeries. Usual surgeries are tumor removal, amputation, pinning etc. An average surgery costs around INR 10k and we have a total of 4 surgeries planned next month, totalling to INR 40k approx.
2. Medical supplies: With more than 60% of the dogs unsponsored, we have to pay for their treatment and that include plethora of medicines to be bought. Some of these medicines are Antibiotics ( Ceftriaxone, Cefoparazone, Sulbactum, Tazobactum, Amoxyrum etc.), painkillers, drips, deworming medicines, liver and kidney medicines etc. On an average, we buy medicines worth INR 25k a month i.e. INR 75k a quarter
3. Pathology needs: Cost of blood tests for sponsored dogs are borne by their sponsors. However, we get an average 40 blood tests done a month only for unsponsored dogs and that costs us around INR 15k a month i.e. INR 45k a quarter
Our quarterly fundraiser will help us increase the volume of the number of cases we take without burdening our pockets further. This will enable us to provide premium care to the dogs that are with us.