Diwali is synonymous with lights and crackers. But, before you light that favourite cracker, spare a thought for birds, dogs and cats, which suffer injuries every year thanks to lack of proper care and precaution during the festival.
The worst thing is that most pets get lost during celebrations, with the number going up every passing year. To protect and treat pets that suffer injuries, NGOs in the city are launching helpline services, which include an exclusive ambulance.
Last year, over 60 pigeons had died, and many suffered severe injuries at Khabutarkana in Koti during bursting of crackers. “Youngsters fire rockets, and most of them get stuck in trees, and eventually birds get injured, and most die,” explains Mahesh Agarwal, member of the State Animal Welfare Board and Bharatiya Prani Mitra Sangh, an NGO.
Beginning next week, special awareness drives will be conducted at schools, colleges and community welfare centres on injuries suffered by animals and birds during celebrations.
Dogs and cats have keen hearing ability, and, naturally, they get scared when crackers are set off in the neighbourhoods. “While stray dogs suffer injuries, most pet dogs and cats run away from their owners in a bid to avoid the fearsome sound,” says B. Padmaja of Caring Hands For Animals (CHFA), an NGO.
“Last year, we received 28 phone calls from various owners about losing their pets. This apart, most dogs tend to meet with accidents on the road and suffer burn injuries, and 34 such cases were reported last year,” she adds.
This year, CHFA is launching a special ambulance service (97019-48888 / 96420-57881) to take care of dogs and birds that suffer injuries. Volunteers from the organisation will receive calls and visit the locality and shift the animals or birds to their shelter home at Shamshabad and provide treatment free of cost.