I'm a Goan woman, working in Mumbai as the founder of a studio called Totem Creative. I try to make the world happier, safer and more meaningful. I believe education, knowledge and awareness, art, writing and creating Social Impact are my means to achieve that end.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Sad Rescue Attempt

      I had a really disappointing day today. Shraddha had come over to discuss Totem taxes and accounts. In the middle of our meeting, I got a call from the ambulance guy from yesterday. The day before around late evening, Arvind and I saw a puppy get run over by a biker. The biker and his pillion stopped for a second, turned back and saw the puppy on the road, yelping in pain whilst hurriedly trying to cross the road to safety, and rode away. I had a surge of anger, and we ran to the pup to see him.

      Under the weight and speed of the bike, his hind leg was absolutely crushed. Arvind felt his femur – limp and loose. It was broken. We called Taronish from World For All, who forwarded us to another NGO owner – Sonal. Sonal said an ambulance would be sent the next day.

      Yesterday after constant pressure and following up, the ambulance was sent with 4 men. A handler somehow got the puppy out of his safe shelter with great difficulty and the vet inspected his leg, rendering it severely fractured, requiring possible amputation if not treated soon. I shook my head in disappointment. “Pehle X-ray lena padega, aur jaldi se, nahin toh internal bleeding ho sakti hai. Lekin aap unse baat karo, phir hum dog ko leke ja sakte hain”, he said. I called Sonal again. She said she needed to ask her management and would send the men again the next morning. I was quite irritated, but I decided to follow up the next morning.

      Today after around 10 calls and explaining the address, puppy and his situation all over again to an entirely new set of people, the ambulance arrived with one handler who was supposed to take the pup. As soon as the pup saw him he started growling, yelping and shrieking drawing a lot of attention. He went deeper into the safe shelter and got inaccessible. The handler couldn’t manage to get him out without risking further injury, and gave up. By now I was out of patience, physically and emotionally.

      I got back to work with Shraddha and Arvind. When Arvind asked what happened there, I said, “I wish I had never interfered in this whole thing”. “Ptch! Arre yaar..” he said, about to explain to me that we did whatever we could and we couldn’t have possibly invested more time or energy. "Just call Sonal and tell her to drop the whole thing. We also don't have time to follow up everyday and the puppy will also be separated from his family and habitat".

      Because of us, the pup was traumatized and scared of anyone and everyone and in more pain than before due to inadequate rest and anxiety. I was so terribly upset. It’s also my first day of period, so I’m not sure if it were the chums or if I was genuinely so so upset. I regretted taking any steps to help the puppy. This isn’t the first time this has happened. I have always been the kind of person who goes out of her way to help animals, but sometimes the NGO I call for help takes me, my time and my emotional availability for granted. Agreed they need my help too to help this dog – but there’s only so much a bystander can do. I don’t own this pup, I don’t do this professionally, and I don’t even live near him! Yet I am supposed to be responsible for this animal. If an animal rescue centre cannot help me then who can?? If an animal handler can’t transport an aggressive puppy then who can? Of course I have huge respect and admiration for any and all people who work in animal NGOs; but for common people, such experiences would discourage them from ever helping an animal again.

      I’m trying to stay the same and isolate this experience (and past such experiences) from my ideals and continue helping out as far as I can. It’s hard to not bully myself; sometimes I feel selfish if I am called to take the puppy to the vet, pay for its medication, foster it etc. if I don’t have the time to do it, even though I don’t own the animal. But if I was so selfish, I would have not called for help in the first place.

      I hope anyone else having such experiences approach this the same way. We may not make a huge difference, and we may not be the heroes that save them, but we definitely make the world a better place for animals.

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