What steps should you take to rescue a street dog from its distressed state?
Street dogs are an integral part of areas of human settlements. Although seeing them around us is a fact, the hardships they endure to survive are painful. Every day they get into brutal dog fights to safeguard their packs and territories, struggle for food and water, and protect themselves from harsh weather conditions and deadly diseases. Along with these struggles, they continuously suffer from severe malnutrition, painful illnesses and conditions, and human abuse. So, witnessing a dog in a distressed state in our societies and communities is not uncommon; the challenge is how to rescue it from its dreadful situation. In this blog, we will discuss what steps should be taken if you encounter a dog who needs immediate help.
First, observe the dog from a safe distance: Dogs get aggressive and feel threatened or scared if you attempt to enter their zone uninvitingly. You must read the dog’s posture and temperament before getting closer, even if the dog seems harmless. You must observe all caution if you see a dog howling, growling, or incessantly crying. Please ensure you maintain your safe distance from the street dog showing signs of anxious behavior while you are following it. Keeping a safe gap is required from two aspects; a) it should not get alarmed by your presence as that may let it run much farther from you and may turn it into a stressful exercise to locate it again, b) it may bite you in its state of anxiety or confusion, which may contain a transmissible virus.
Call the street dog helpline numbers: If you conclude that the dog needs immediate attention, please look for the NGOs, dog shelters, or animal welfare organizations for street dog helpline numbers to get instant help. Please note that in more organized cities like Chandigarh, Mohali, and Panchkula, you can find resources quicker to help the dog than in smaller districts and towns. Some organizations may charge money, whereas others may come for free. So you take a call at what works best for you in this situation.
Leave some food and water: While waiting for rescuing vehicles and teams to arrive, you offer food and water to the dog from a safe distance. This exercise will build its trust in you and engage it for some time before the help arrives.
Help strategize catching: Give the rescue team vital information, tips, and cues about the dog to let them strategize effective rescuing. Inform them about the dog’s temperament and behavior, friendly nature or aggressive demeanor, where the wounds are, and any other vital details necessary before catching.
Exchange information with the team for follow-ups: Once the dog is caught and placed safely inside the rescue vehicle, quickly exchange all the necessary details to follow up with the rescue team. You could inquire later on a phone call which veterinarian they took the dog to, which shelter the dog is admitted to, and how long they believe its health recovery would take.
In short, you must exercise extreme caution while attempting to help rescue a street dog. You have to be proactive and alert in following some basic and standard rules of being cautious while following a street dog that needs help. Remember, dogs cannot help themselves. It’s we, humans, who can relieve them from their sufferings and painful states. Our small contributions in any form to the well-being of street dogs can make a substantial difference in alleviating their survival conditions.