In India, stray dogs, or “pariah dogs” are a common sight. They roam the city, wandering from place to place, feeding off whatever scraps they can find. While some appreciate their freedom, living on the streets makes them vulnerable to accidents, disease, and unfortunately, human cruelty.
There is one organization, however, that has been a salvation for these dogs. Friendicoes, India’s oldest animal shelter was started in 1979 by a group of school children. There was no electricity or running water.
What started as 30 dogs and 12 cats now cares for over 2,000 animals at a time across four facilities. In addition, it runs two animal birth control centers in East & West Delhi, providing the most successful spay/neuter program for stray animals in India.
It also runs a helpline, coordinates vaccination drives for stray dogs, and most significantly provides 24/7 ambulance service which drives around the North Capital Region (NCR) area picking up have been hit by cars, are sick or have been abused or traumatized by cruel handling.
Their policy is simple: Never turn away an animal in need. But their efforts expand beyond saving lives to changing how society treats animals as a whole. They organize school programs to teach compassion towards animals, and preach the #adoptdontshop mantra.
Unfortunately, it takes resources to provide resources. And the municipal corporation still owes Frendicoes $58,000 for its work, putting them in an extremely desperate financial predicament. If it is unable to pay its debt, it loses its ability to be the only defense many of these suffering animals have.
After revealing their financial troubles on their hugely popular Facebook page, they received an outpour of support. BitGiving, an Indian crowdfunding platform launched called “Lets save Frendicoes”.
Other efforts include Vajor, a clothing label which created t-shirts featuring photos of animals that have been rescued. All of the proceeds go to Frendicoes.
Black Ticket Films also created a series of touching videos to help garner attention to the cause.
A variety of live crowdfunding events such as concerts, Sufi performances, slam poetry, and a comedy show, were also put together. All of this simply speaks to how crucial the survival of this organization is to the animals of India.
All of these efforts managed to get Friendicoes back on its feet, but only for now. While they will never give up on these animals, they still need help to make sure they can continue their efforts.
How to help:
You can donate here. You can also add your name to a petition urging the municipal corporation of India to give Frendicoes the money they owe. You should also follow them on Facebook where they regularly post pictures of animals in need of homes or care.