I used to feed a group of puppies and one day I noticed one of the puppies was missing. A few days later, I saw her lying in the sand, not moving. The watchman thought she was dead. As I got closer I said, “Spottie”, and her little tail wagged ever so slightly. I rushed her to my vet, who said not to get my hopes up, because he was sure she would not make it. Miraculously, she recovered and she is now a gorgeous, smart, brindle dog.
The watchman said he saw a group of men waiting for a computing class next to my apartment take cricket bats and stones and beat her. To this day, the only people she will not hide from are my housekeeper and me — the abuse has made her fear all people. I was hoping to find a home for her, but she has so much fear and anxiety that it became clear her home was with me.
Spottie is unbelievably clever and a perfect example of how smart street dogs are. From a young age, she has been able to open doors and cabinets. She's bilingual — she follows English and Tamil.
If people have problems with animals in their neighbourhoods, they should contact an animal organisation and support spay/neuter campaigns. That's the only solution for street animal problems.
If you see abuse taking place, stand up to it. God entrusts the care of his creations to us, and that is a big responsibility. I believe that we have to be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves, even though sometimes it will make us unpopular or cause people to be angry, but if we do not help those in need, who will?
(The author is a teacher at the American International School, Chennai and also volunteers in community outreach programmes in animal rescue and environmental protection)
HERO OF THE WEEK Hema nominates her husband Suresh for breaking down a compound wall to rescue two trapped newborn puppies.
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EVENT Bring home a vaccinated, Indian rescued puppy or kitten this Sunday. The Chennai Adoption Drive will take place on December 18 between 10 am and 3 pm at 6, First Avenue, Boat Club Road, Near Hotel Park Sheraton, Kotturpuram. Call 9025389033 for details.
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