Help animals in need during storms!
Cyclone Tauktae that intensified into an ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’ made a landfall on Gujarat coast late on Monday evening leaving a trail of destruction behind. Meanwhile, the Gujarat government has shifted over 1.5 lakh people to safety and has mobilised disaster response teams. But what about all the animals left to brave the storm both in the affected areas and areas all around hit by rainfall? Here is a small way you can help animals in need around you in your city.
- Contact animal rescue organisations in your city if you see an animal in need! They have access to people who are familiar working with injured animals and supplies. If the animal is injured do not move it unless necessary.
- Animals will be running from the intense rain. Open your garages, backyards, driveways and basements to strays that need shelter. It is not easy for them outside with most of the roads flooded. Both dogs and cats will be looking for a dry place to take refuge.
- Set out some newspapers, dry food, blankets and water bowls. Though most of your guests may be dogs and cats, remember to set up some small water and dry seed stations on windowsills and rooftops for all the birds trying to get away. Most animals would be hungry and would not have eaten for days so your leftovers will go a long way.
- If your basement is flooded or going to potentially flood, please search it for any animals that might have taken shelter within. Also check under cars and the hoods for animals before starting them.
- Donate to animal aid organisations and rescue shelters who are working tirelessly through this pandemic and now thunderstorms to help local animals. Your donation will save a life and feed several more.
- Don’t assume someone else will help! If you see an animal in need they are asking for your help and someone else may not reach them in time. Call for the nearest vet if you cannot help yourself!
- Help your community and neighbours take in stray cats and dogs even as fosters for a short period during the cyclone. Hopefully they will also fall in love being stuck with each other indoors and have a new member for their family.
If you have a pet yourself, prepare for what might be a tough time, with a pet emergency kit. Stock up several days' worth of food, and gather blankets, toys, and other comforting objects to try to calm your dog or cat down in case the weather gets loud and frightening for them. A lot of times sound breakers like music, high speed fans or distractions could work keeping your pet calm. Get together your pet's medical records, and make sure you've got its identity tag on. It is not uncommon for pets to run away to evade the storm or in a state of panic so make sure you have a recent picture of yourself with your pet, just in case you have to prove ownership or file a missing report!
As the western coast of India recovers from Cyclone Tauktae, there is another one brewing over the Bay of Bengal called Cyclone Yaas that will be affecting the coastal regions of West Bengal and Odisha by May 26. Let’s do our part and help animals in our city!