For such a huge country, India has far too few animal shelters and serious animal-care places.
I visited one such place yesterday, Umeed For Animals located in Baliawas Village, behind Pathways School, Gurgaon-Faridabad Highway ( Opp. Teri Gram) in Gurgaon (Gurugram) Haryana. The best landmark is to look for the Pathways School board, that is where you have to turn inside from the highway. Their website is not currently working so the best place to know more about them would be their Facebook page (Link)
The NGO is run by Mr. Nikhil Mahesh (and others – we met him when we visited) who works tirelessly in his endeavor to care for our animal friends. I got to know about the place when he took a step against the illegal methods monkey-catchers were using in Gurgaon. The MCG was turning a blind eye towards it all but eventually, his efforts led to that specific contractor’s contract being canceled.
The Umeed Center is built on quite a huge sprawling space with around 100 pets (mostly dogs, a few horses). The dogs are of various breeds, ages and health conditions.
The little girl above, Muskaan, was such a cute dog. Both the hind legs were paralyzed but she was the probably the most active of the lot 🙂 . Moving about (dragging her legs) had no effect on her love and enthusiasm. She was already virtually adopted – the center has a plan where you can virtually adopt a pet. The pet stays at the center but your monthly donation pays for its upkeep and you will get regular updates. You can get more details on their facebook page.
The ever moving Dalmatian pup – this was probably the only 2 minutes in the 2 hrs we were there, that he was stationary. Rest, he was running around everything and everyone. Coming from a troubled and abusive past, it had taken Umeed two years to bring down his fear and temperament issues.
Umeed For Animals Foundation has many demarcated areas – there are open places for normal pups and cages in many sections where those undergoing treatment or currently adjusting are kept. The pups we saw, even those injured, looked otherwise healthy and well fed.
Most of the pups were loitering in the shade, with only one St. Bernard chained (he seemed to be new and not yet trusting strangers). A few were in the cages.
Another one of the paralyzed pups stayed a bit away but was eager for some love and ear scratches 🙂
A place like Umeed, especially in a location like Delhi-NCR, has a lot of seasonal requirements. With approaching summers, and many pups of breeds that require a cool climate, they would need funds for coolers, electricity, water and similar. Please go over to their Facebook page and see where you can help. Also, do try to get in touch with them if you have a professional skill like a CA – as they would need such services as well.
Their virtual pet adoption is a great way to help if you can’t physically adopt a pet. They will even give the pet your last name if you want 🙂
Further, be more aware of the reasons why these pups end up in a shelter. Be a responsible pet owner, don’t buy if you can adopt, keep a lookout for bad breeders (we have a short article here on what to look for in a breeder) and raise your voice against animal cruelty.
Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.