Anjali Kakati’s love and empathy for stray dogs skyrocketed in 2006 after adopting her pet dog Sweetie two years ago. She was insistent on wanting to make their lives better and feeding them was the first step towards it. It started with two dogs in her colony and slowly expanded to 40 times more – and that’s how she started Each One Feed One, a charity which feeds street dogs in South Delhi.
The national level table tennis player from Assam, who is currently working in FIS Global Business Solutions, Gurgaon as a Manager in Business Analytics, says that a continuous flow of funds is still their biggest challenge as an organisation.
“Presently, the setup of feeding 50-60 dogs together with the salaries of the employees comes up to 16-18 thousand per month. About 80 per cent is funded from my salary and I also get some help from passionate dog-lover friends. This becomes a little problematic when some emergency dog cases come up and I have to divert funds for those. So in order to meet that challenge, I’m in the process of setting up an emergency fund where each month I would deposit some amount and also inspire other members on my page to do the same,” she informs.
Another challenge would be making immediate treatment available for the dogs in cases of injuries or diseases.
Feeding 50-60 dogs every day includes taking care of them and their health. Anjali recalls an incident when one of the dogs, Brownie, met with a minor accident and fractured his leg but on a weekday, she adds, “So I had to wait for an entire day before I could take him for treatment and bandage. To overcome this challenge I would want to have an additional helper as a backup who could take the dog for treatment without delay.”
Anjali knows that people are very happy seeing this new concept of feeding dogs via a delivery bike. It’s cheaper, can easily stock food for 50-60 dogs if not more, can easily be replicated by all dog lovers individually or in a group. She says, “If I can pull this off by myself, alongside a full-time corporate job, a group of even five can easily do it.”
One of Anjali’s success stories is that of a stray dog who survived an accident in 2008 but was paralysed from both his hind legs.
Not paying heed to many a vet’s advice on putting him down, she found a shelter for him and started exercising him and taking care of him. As a result, he started running and walking on his own.
On plans of expansion she says she wants to have branches in other parts of the country, “I hope to set up a mini ambulance to cover a distance of 10-15 km radius with all the facilities available for treating dogs both on site and also transporting them for complicated cases, hire a couple of additional dog helpers for assisting in catching and taking dogs for treatment, sterilisation and set up a fund to meet these emergency cases.
We also hope to get more volunteers, that is the only way in which my charity will grow faster. If I can get more people to participate and also replicate my charity model elsewhere, I would know that I have truly done something substantial for making the lives of our four-legged friends better.”
Tips to take care of street dogs in your locality:
- Keep big bowls of clean drinking water in your colony.
- Don’t shoo away the dogs in times of heavy rains and storms when they may want to take shelter in your garage or staircase/balcony. These dogs would anyway go away once the rains stop.
- Stray dogs easily get maggots during summers which need to be treated immediately to prevent a dog’s slow painful death. As soon as you spot a maggot infested dog, please call up your local NGO and help them catch the dog for treatment. The right information at the right time will help save the dog from a painful death.