Everyday news is so horrific these days that our society has become apathetic to the loss of innocent lives and it is refreshing to learn about people who are trying to go the extra mile.
Kiran Maheen, with help from her fellow animal lovers, has managed to establish a great setup for scared and traumatized animals.
Todd’s Welfare Society in Lahore has rescued countless dogs, cats, birds and rabbits and they need your support to continue their amazing work.
This is a purely non-profit system because they only work through volunteers and the permanent members admitted to not being able to fund the operation out of their own pockets TWS has managed to establish a proper operation over the last year with 7 board members, 13 permanent members, a VP who handles finances from abroad, a general secretary and an advisor.
The monthly cost of running this whole operation comes out to be around Rs. 120,000 /- and TWS affords this only through donations from Pakistanis here and abroad.
“We started in March 2016 and the first thing I wanted to do was get registered. I had worked before with an unregistered organization and it was just very difficult to get anything done. Hence, we got TWS registered in June”, says Kiran.
TWS has two main departments; the operations team and the field team. The operations team is responsible for taking care of the animals once they have been rescued and are kept in the foster home while the field team is responsible for the actual rescue process which can be really challenging sometimes. Volunteers are required to work on operations for at least a month before they can shift to the field. This is important as they need proper training to handle animals during a rescue. The two departments work closely together however with the field manager coordinating with operations during any rescue.
TWS members face a lot of problems in their rescue missions and dealing with people who may not know how to deal with animals.
“We have two foster homes. One of our board members has been kind enough to let us use her house in cavalry as a foster home and we have rented out another place in Burki where we currently have around 50 dogs.”
One of their biggest challenges that came right at the start of establishing the animal shelter was deadly diseases that threatened the lives of their animals
Just a little while after Kiran and her friends established TWS they ran into their first disease, Parvo. WebMD describes Parvo as ‘highly contagious viral disease that can produce a life-threatening illness. The virus attacks rapidly dividing cells in a dog’s body, most severely affecting the intestinal tract. Parvovirus also attacks the white blood cells, and when young animals are infected, the virus can damage the heart muscle and cause lifelong cardiac problem.’
It is more likely for animals to contract these diseases in a shelter or foster home in comparison to a household. These are animals rescued from the streets and even though their immunity is high, they tend to have picked up a lot more diseases.
Before the disease hit they had rescued a heavily pregnant dog, Emma, who had given birth to eight puppies shortly after arriving at the shelter. TWS lost four of Emma’s puppies to Parvo.
Among other things, the members of TWS want people to understand how all animals have a personality and the way you treat them affects their personality severely
When they rescued an animal in a severe condition, it would be violent and easily panicked but after getting better they became friendly and loving. Kiran explained to us why this happened.
“If you keep bullying someone, at some point they are bound to fight back. These animals are vicious because they are scared and they are just trying to protect themselves”, says Kiran.
Most of their volunteers are aged between the ages of 16-19 and that’s been a very positive addition to their work
Even younger kids ask to volunteer but we don’t allow that because of risks involved with the job but they don’t find the same kind of support from fellow NGOs.
“We recently tried to form a united front to raise awareness about animals rights and we reached out to other shelters and NGOs in Pakistan but these organizations weren’t as responsive as we had hoped”, shares the President of the operation.
TWS continues to face a lot of problems and obstacles in their daily rescues.
Vets and Pet Clinics have been generous and kind to give them discounts on surgeries and help them take care of these animals in the best way possible. They were particularly grateful to Asim Pet Clinic where they have also received a 70% discount for massive surgeries.
Because there’s severe lack of empathy for living beings in Pakistan people think it’s TWS’ job to support their pets too
People think that it is a boarding facility and TWS members get calls from families with pets asking them to take their pets despite them being completely healthy. A shelter is not the place for healthy animals unless they are born there. These animals will get sick and won’t survive.
“People actually threaten us over the phone and say that if we don’t take their animals they will throw them on the street”
Their long term aim is to introduce TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return). This policy will keep the population of these animals from getting out of control and will also ensure that they won’t carry diseases because they would have been vaccinated.
This is also important because Pakistan faces a real problem with rabies. There are around 90,000 dogs in Pakistan who have rabies and that is why they get violent and bite. Killing animals isn’t the solution because their population will continue to grow and you can never really kill them all.
They recently captured a dog who was kept by a doctor living in Punjab Government Servant Housing Society who, along with this dog, was beating 4 other dogs because one of them ate their chicken.
Currently. TWS has a new shelter being built on Ferozpur Road which has been sponsored by one of their benefactors in the UK and hopefully after its complete they will be able to help many more animals in need of a being rescued.
MangoBaaz was lucky enough to witness an adoption taking place. A loving family took the cat, Popeye, to his new home!