Today's ecology class was one on contemplation of how to be humane, compassionate and merciful to our fellow creatures. Our kids need to be sensitized to the issue of abandonment of pets and I am sure the kids felt a tug at their heart on seeing the condition of the animals today at the animal shelter.
It was disheartening to see the state in which some of the animals were, abandoned, sick, traumatized, attacked, maimed, paralyzed and vulnerable. We were briefed by Shravan about these animals, how he provided medical attention, returned them to their territory or put up for adoption, a commendable job by his team and him.
The children had a lot of questions as to why the pets were abandoned, why are the stray dogs returned back to their territory, who adopts them, what is that thing the dog had around its neck. Shravan patiently answered all their questions and also described that the E collar is put so the animal does not bite where the injury or stitch is placed. (I wasn’t surprised to overhear a fourth grader describe to his friend about the Elizabethan collar and its use before Shravan explained it as I knew they pick this knowledge from the books they read).
Shravan told the children that pets are not commodities to be bought in a store. They are living creatures and when a pet is got, it becomes family and must not be abandoned.
Dogs are territorial creatures and the stray who has been on its own will be distressed to live in an enclosure no matter how spacious it is. Another aspect for returning the stray dogs is they have survived alone for a considerable time and are brought here only because of an accident so they will be comfortable to go back and can fend for themselves whereas a pedigree dog would be unable to survive on its own and forage for food. If an animal leaves the shelter, there is space to take in an additional animal in its place. But sadly, he needs to keep in mind his resources, funds, and space constraints in taking the animals and sometimes refuses to take more animals.
The kids were distressed to see the injured, whimpering and whining dogs, monkey, cats, camel, cow, calves, kittens and pups. They were also scared the dogs would bite them but all fear was blown away when they walked past the dogs to touch and feed an injured pony, feed a recuperating camel, a cow and the pinnacle was to see, hold and pet a kitten. The vets were kept busy on their toes today because of the number of animals that came in to be taken care of. We saw how the vets were
providing the necessary medical aid.
We met Ash who has come to help at the animal shelter and lives in California and has adopted abandoned animals as pets, 16 in total, cats, umbrella cockatoo, yellow crested cockatoo, grey parrot and many more. Some of the kids interacted with her and understood how she had gone to the US for higher studies but found her passion in animals and is doing her Veterinary Medicine after changing her career. She was left speechless by their questions and level of understanding. She couldn't believe they are fourth and fifth graders and appreciated how smart they were.
The kids returned with their hearts filled with love for animals and the conviction to not tease, taunt, hurt the stray animals or abandon pets.