Newsletter Q2 2022
Hello Folks! As promised, I am back with this quarter’s happenings. The feedback of our revival edition: Q1-2022 has been overwhelming and I would like to thank all of you who were kind enough to take the time to provide it.
Pardon the overtly enthusiastic, long and verbose Q1 newsletter. The opportunity to finally be of some use had been so overwhelming that I had seized it by the scruff of its thick neck and got lost in its many flabby folds like it were that of a mastiff or a basset hound. So let me make this one snappy – like a good old homebrewed Indie – as you know we Indies economise on neck folds, or for that matter everything – it is a survival thing.
The Apr-May-Jun has been a cracker of a quarter for us with loads of things happening, and as always it was a challenge to pick the best of them for you.
On April 22nd we celebrated our founder Captain Sundaram’s 106th birth anniversary. Captain Sundaram famously flew Sardar Patel around the country during the integration of princely states with the Union of India. While that may have been important, he did something else that forever changed the landscape for many of us – when he saw two pups struggling to stay afloat in the flooded roads of T. Nagar, he took them home. Soon other injured, sick and animals in distress joined them and his Bazulla Road home became an animal shelter. Initially called the Animal Aid Association (AAA), it became 5 years later the Blue Cross of India, with a mission to care for, bring awareness and change human attitude and legislation in support of the voiceless.
On April 24th we had our signature Indie dog show The Great Indian Dog Show (TGIDS) at Phoenix Market City, Velachery after a break of two years. Its a show the Blue Cross has been conducting to bring awareness to our ilk – Indies. The biggest measure of success of this show has always been Indie adoptions. On that count, this year it was resounding with a whopping 94 Indie adoptions in just 3 hours – that’s one adoption every 2 minutes. Even as many little ones found homes, we had 86 of my own brothers and sisters walking the ramp. We had over 5000 visitors at the show and celebrity guests (read all about it here). As always it was the huge support from our die hard volunteers that made this show a grand success.
Talking of volunteers – I have always considered them as our biggest donors – donors of something irreplaceable, something no amount of money can ever buy – it’s called TIME. They have been our backbone, and whatever BCI is today, it’s all thanks to them. I see them every day, and especially on weekends. Weekends that they could easily choose to spend on a couch in front of a TV, munching potato chips and shovelling in bucket loads of Butterscotch. But no sir – not our volunteers.
They show up for back-breaking, gruelling work at the shelter – cleaning poop, bathing, grooming, walking abandoned pets, fixing, painting, scrubbing, fostering & adoption counselling, running rescues, creating, writing, spreading the word, fundraising, and an infinite list of odds and ends. The summers are particularly gruelling – so this summer we wanted to in our small way give them some comfort as they toil – A break room – A spanking new ranch-style ‘volunteer hangout’, so our tired sloggers can take a breather. The entire affair was sponsored by Help Animals India (HAI) our steadfast long term supporter. There are a million things we need, and if you would like to sponsor a small project for us that can directly and positively impact the voiceless – do reach out to email@example.com
In June, philanthropist, environmentalist, animal rights activist, and a long-time friend of the Blue Cross of India, Philip Wollen gave us the greatest privilege of all by becoming our first patron. His guardianship, support, encouragement, and activism over the decades have made us so much better at what we do. Blue Cross of India is privileged and honoured to have him as “The first patron of Blue Cross”. His patronage means a lot to us, and we are sure to reap great benefits from this association which he so kindly has granted us.
On 30th April it was world veterinary day. A day we celebrate our gods – for what else are veterinarians to us but supreme beings, especially the ones with genuine kindness and sincerity who work in animal welfare organisations in service of street animals. This year’s theme “Strengthening Veterinary Resilience” calls for enhancement in knowledge, skills, commitment and passion to enable a strong community that is resilient in tackling the ever changing dynamics of animal health care. I spoke to our vets on the occasion and you can read all about it here.
This quarter, with donations received from Help Animals India (HAI) we also started work on what will be a large free-range dog enclosure for my healthy brothers and sisters as they wait to negotiate the lease terms for their permanent housing a.k.a. getting adopted. The place is being designed as a finishing school for them. We are officially calling it ADAC – Adult Dog Adoption Centre and it is soooooo spacious that even I am excited about it – I was part of the planning team and am making sure it will be no less than a full-service facility for my clan with a conference hall for our daily conclaves, air-conditioning, flowing water and on-call sanitation – well I mean, most of those. Room service is also planned. Boarding is presently available by invitation only. But a word of warning to the aspirants – you need to be well-heeled to make it and don’t forget to stock up on grease. I plan to send out invites soon to those with good looks, those on my good books, and tsk tsk those with the resources to lubricate my paws. Thank you HAI.
Watching the ongoing developments at ADAC from just across the stables where they hang out, my archrival and nemesis – F. Cactus aka Catus Domesticus protested by picketing the office of our General Manager, Vinod. But then again, they are always hanging out in his office, despite being at the receiving end of several eviction notices. In any case I decided to relent this time to their demands, sneaking a few greenbacks from the Help Animals India (HAI) funds for this. And Oh! boy are they easily pleased – every one of them – super excited at the scratch poles, tree towers, cat tunnels and water spouts. It’s so easy to appease a cat – I wish I was their leader instead. You should meet my canid brothers – hounding me forever – such a pain in my unmentionable end.
There – see – I am done now – wasn’t that short (or was it! sure felt that way).
Making a difference – One street animal at a time
The rescues, birth control surgeries and re-homing by the Blue Cross Of India during the second quarter (Apr-May-Jun 2022)
Arguably the largest positive impact any single AWO has on the health and well-being of street animals in any city in the world.
Much of what we do and the key programs that we run are thanks mainly to the kind and generous contributions from our close partners and sponsors:
|Animal Health & Nutrition|
Street animals in distress – Greater Chennai Area.
This interactive bubble-o-map (hover your mouse over the bubbles to see the locality wise stats) shows the number of rescue-requests received/accepted and rescued by the Blue Cross of India from the areas that are in the Greater Chennai Corporation limits (and a few outside) in the 2nd quarter of 2022.
Apr, May, Jun 2022
Rescue Requests Received : 5352
Rescue Requests Accepted : 4670 (87 % of received requests)
Actual Rescues : 2637 (57 % of accepted requests / 49 % of received requests)
This quarter Blue Cross of India was able to accept about 87 % of the rescue requests made and successfully rescue about 57% of those accepted.
Animal suffering on the streets is a vicious cycle. Suffering will never end until we address the root cause.
WHAT MUST BE DONE:
- Effectively and efficient implementation of animal birth control program as prescribed by the law.
- Enforcement of sheltering laws of owner animals that are let to roam the streets (mainly cattle).
- Increasing the fines and punishments for animal abuse.
- Encouraging responsible street animal care givers, who work closely with the corporation in co-ordinating the ABC surgeries done in their communities.
Great Comeback Stories
Like the last quarter, this one too posed me a big challenge in picking great comeback stories, as there were so many of them. With a dedicated team of volunteers now helping on our Mange section, it has been comeback stories galore with my mangy brothers and sisters, who are fast becoming my ex-mangy brothers and sisters.
I think they deserve to be recognised with an exclusive feature story of their own. Please head here to read about our Transformers.
Once again I dedicate this section to our untiring rescuers, animal caregivers, volunteers and last but not the least – the vets, whose dedication and commitment brought many back from the edge of existence.
Her eyes reflected a grim resignation to pain when our team set to rescue Abhirami a couple of months back. She was covered with oozing sores, crusty, thin skin, and was severely infected and malnourished. Mange ravaged her, causing scabs, and open wounds, making her wince every time someone touched her. Mange seemed to have taken away the playful light in her eyes, her appetite for food, and unfortunately her hope for life itself.
Even when this darling girl was in excruciating pain, she was gentle and limply submitted, complying with every move we made, not because she was cheerfully willing but because she seemed to have lost her innate resistance. We immediately brought her to our shelter and treated her with many medicated baths and equally essential feedings – all part of the road to survival from mange.
It was hurting to see her fear. Fear of being touched, fed, and love itself. But as days rolled, she chose to surprise us, showing the subtlest signs of her emerging trust. She steeled herself to stand quietly during her medicated mange baths. Her eyes grew softer. And a little paw reached up at the end of a bath!
Little by little, our incredibly introverted girl started to grow. Not just a new coat of gorgeous fur, but a heart ready to love. It’s true that little Abhirami needed weeks to trust, but boy-oh-boy, when she discovered love, she arrived at a gallop! Cured of mange, nourished, and a little fattened up, meet our little girl Abhirami!
Would you send your wishes and prayers to all such little furry angels taking their first small steps on their road to physical and emotional recovery?
Also, you can help the mange-affected fur babies ditch their itch by volunteering at our shelter and donating to our cause!
The Blue Cross special rescue team was busy this quarter with scores of rescues that needed special skills to pull off. Dawn Williams leads most of our complex rescues and trains many willing volunteers to become independent rescuers.
The team practices for hours with great dedication so when it is crunch time they can pull off the most complex of rescues.
I dedicate this section to our intrepid team of volunteer rescuers who pull off the most daring of rescues, literally extracting animals off precarious edges, ledges, pits, sewers and wells to give them another shot at being adventurous.
In 2017 the synthetic manja (a non-biodegradable nylon / plastic single fibre string coated with powdered glass) was banned. But its widespread use continues causing not just animal but human fatalities and many electrical accidents from high tension pillars. It’s use is illegal and violates the IPC, the Environmetal (Protection) Act, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Wildlife (Protection) Act, but its use continues due to lack of enforcement and a lasting effort to end this. Every year thousands of birds lose their lives or have permanent disabilities due to the rampant use of synthetic manja.
This crow was one of the lucky ones, though one can’t but imagine its suffering and pain. Lucky for her someone called the Blue Cross special rescue team. Watch our well-trained action man Ajibur and Special-Rescue-Volunteer Uthra work on this complex rescue.
S’TREETMENT – India’s First And Only On-Location Treatment of Street Animals
We call her MoHo (for Mobile Hospital). I managed to corner her for a chat when she was on a rare break. She looked tired, yet smiled – a shy grin. The attention on her was overwhelming. She was not used to the limelight, yet it had been thrust upon her. She may have been tired of all the attention, but never her determination to do what was asked of her – for that she was tireless.
She had been hard at work, notching up nearly 4500 Kms in about 480 hours this quarter. (check out the bubble-o-map for MoHos travels – hover your mouse over the bubbles to see the locality wise treatment visit stats for the quarter) And it was not all just driving around to see the sights – she had many stories to tell of the narrow lanes and the sharp corners she negotiated. Places she went to help my brothers and sisters, and my other fellow beings. Stories of dogs and cats and cattle, of pigeons and crows and goats – many with happy endings. As always she is not all talk as you can see for yourself from the numbers below.
Apr, May, Jun 2022
Total Animals Treated by BCI (Hospital + Onsite) : 2637
Animals Treated Onsite : 287
No of Treatment Visits (Onsite) : 742
Yes my dear readers, she has shaken up things for the better. Since she started work, she has been the first responder to a whopping 11% of the street distress cases picked up by BCI. In other words she had reduced the BCI hospital workload by 11% freeing up precious resources for those who most critically need it.
In terms of quality too she is breaking her own tall records every month. Also – time to recovery and mortality rates of on-site treated animals were at levels never seen before, clearly proving the premise that street animals recover faster and better in familiar environments.
She is at the top of the world, but as they say – it’s pretty lonely at the top. But not for long.. her sister will soon join her – Yes, MoHo junior is coming. The kind folks from DahNay Logistics took care of all her initial cost. But Boy, Oh Boy!, what a drama queen junior is. Hardly a month old, she is such a brat. I saw her the other day at the workshop where she is getting her outfits tailored. She was worse than a teenager getting ready for her first date. Fussing over little things and throwing a tantrum at the drop of a spanner. Anyway – we hope she gets all straightened out from the experience and delivers on the big hopes we have for her.
Another month I guess and she should be on the road with big sis – but who knows what other tantrums she will throw – for now I am keeping my paws crossed. Oh! and did I tell you we are still looking for sponsors for MoHo Junior’s running costs, and if you have a minute do send in your donations here. From our experience of the last 4 months, we know that it costs us Rs. 2 lacs a month to run one MoHo.
And yes, we are serious about MoHos – we truly believe they are the future of street animal healthcare. So we are getting more streetsmart vets and paravets to join us. If you know any good ones, just give Vinod (firstname.lastname@example.org) a holler. Last quarter we had a couple more of our vets take to the streets on MoHo. Dr Naveen Kumar ran the show for several weeks. And guess what, in June we even had one of our lady doctors run it – Dr Sankavi.
120 days of MoHo and going from strength to strength. Watch this space for more news on the silent revolutions happening in street animal healthcare. Thanks again to Four Paws for making our long term dream a reality and to DahNay for believing we can pull it off again with the addition of our Flying Angel number two.
Animal Care-Givers Of The Month
Every month I am in the committee that picks the best from all the people who care for us everyday.
It is very difficult to choose, when everyone is so good to us. At BCI we are the world, and we will always be. Our caregivers dote on us and we could ask for nothing more.
I picked three sisters – Indumathi, Leelavathi and Lakshmi as the animal-care-givers for the three months this quarter. Their dedication to their work and kindness to us, especially the little ones that need immense care is indeed a service no amount of money can buy.
Indumathi – a dedicated animal attender who has been with BCI for the last 8 years is the employee of the month for April ’22.
Indumathi specialises in handling puppies and kittens and is highly skilled in hand feeding newborns who have lost their mother. A very compassionate lady, she is presently posted in the cat treatment section where she cares for our feline in-patients.
Our cat treatment section has on average over 50 cats recuperating at any given time that need constant attention and care, and Indumathi has been an excellent caregiver to these. She also takes care of newborn orphaned kittens to get through the first critical six-eight weeks so they may be adoption ready.
Volunteers Of The Month
Who in his right mind does not want weekends to last for ever. I mean if anyone can explain to me the point of weekdays, please do – I simply can’t understand. Why can’t we just do away with them – it’s not that someone is going to ever miss them, though my motivations for this demand are a bit selfish – so we can have all our lovely volunteers all the time.
But if wishes were horses, dogs would ride.
Our volunteers of the month for Apr-Jun quarter are Deepa, Vishaak and Shruti. Please don’t miss reading about their great work here.
And if you would like to come hang with at the shelter and help us out with all the ‘human’ things needed to get done please sign up here. We have a whole lot of onsite (Chennai) and remote volunteering opportunities and would be thrilled to have you in our next induction – let get in some new smells, people.
We are excited to announce our Volunteer of the Month – Deepa.
Deepa is part of our elite tactical rescue team.
She has been a dedicated volunteer for Blue cross of India for just over a year. She has done over 20 tactical rescues and has been part of hundreds of difficult rescues.
Thank you so much, Deepa! for all that you do and just for being a valuable member of the BCI family.
TGIDS 2022 – The Great Indian Dog Show is back
It was the perfect day and the perfect place for the perfect show – On 24th April we had the 33rd edition of our signature Indie dog show – The Great Indian Dog Show (TGIDS) at Phoenix Market City, Velachery.
For the last 3 decades TGIDS has been conducted by the Blue Cross of India to support the adoption of homeless pets from animal shelters like our own. The event also has the goal to celebrate Indian Dogs and recognise the city residents of Chennai who have chosen to adopt them over their ‘pedigree’ companions.
This edition like many in the past had the who’s who in philanthropy and animal welfare as judges. Actress, animal welfare activist Amala Akkineni of Blue Cross of Hyderabad, entrepreneur Nishka Choraria of Phoenix Market City and leading Chennai veterinarian Dr Jayaprakash graced this year’s edition.
This has been a three-and-a-half decade journey for the Blue Cross of India – a journey that started in 1987, a journey that has missed only 2 stations, and one that we hope will be a long long one for us and our faithful Indie friends.
A big measure of the success of TGIDS for us has always been the number of adoptions that happen during the event. On that front TGIDS 2022 far exceeded expectations and was a howling success. A total of 94 street animals and abandoned pets were adopted in just 3 hours – that’s one adoption every 2 minutes – a record even for BCI, with every laid down adoption procedure done by the book – again a big tribute to the immense dedication of our volunteers.
INDIE ADOPTIONS : Pups : 79 Kittens : 10 Adult Dogs : 5
Throw a crack team of volunteers and a fantastic host (Phoenix Market City) into one end of a well-oiled process and what pops out the other end – a picture-perfect event called TGDIS, year after year after year. We are grateful to our volunteers and hosts for making it happen once again, and look forward to seeing you again in 2023.
A humongous hug and thanks to Phoenix Market City for hosting this event yet again.
I would like to also thank all the sponsors of this edition : Pedigree Foods (MARS), Relyon Sutures and Oscar & Daisy.
TGDIS 2022 – Volunteers
The 2022 TGIDS roll of honour
Celebrating Our Veterinary Gods
The 8 Veterinarians of Blue Cross speak out on World Veterinary Day
This quarter world veterinary day was celebrated on the 30th of April. – it has been is celebrated every year on the last Saturday of April since 2000 when WVA created it. The health of animals, people, and the environment requires healthy advocates. So, this year, the World Veterinary Day theme is “Strengthening Veterinary Resilience”.
In 2008 WVA and OIE (now called by an onomatopoeically more interesting abbreviation WOAH – world organization for animal health) created the World Veterinary Day Award intended to reward the best initiative of national veterinary associations to commemorate the event.
But one need not go far to see great veterinary initiatives, actions, and miracles – they happen right in our backyard at BCI. With a team of highly skilled and gifted vets, it is no surprise. In this edition, I decided to talk to each of our vets and profile them so you all can learn about the people who make it happen at BCI for many of my injured and sick friends.
On behalf of all the animals at BCI and the streets of Chennai, I send to all veterinarians, our most sincere thanks on this special day and look forward to your continued support in this noble profession for the benefit of all animal-kind.
Dr Anshul Shukla
I am proud to come from a family of veterinarians (4 in my family) and have a master’s degree in veterinary science having chosen radiology as my specialty. I hail from Hamirpur in UP and worked in a farm and pet hospital before joining Blue Cross of India in June last year.
In my current work, I feel immense gratitude for the opportunity as I get to help voiceless sick, and injured streeties who have no one else to care for them but AWOs like BCI. Coming from different geography, this opportunity has also been unique for me from the perspective of meeting different people and knowing their culture and traditions.
I love working in the Out Patient department where I can see both – the animal’s relief and the parent’s joy from the help we provide. My inspiration is my father who was a dedicated veterinarian.
Dr Gisha Tresa Binny
(Surgeon & Senior Vet)
I have a master’s degree in veterinary science from the College of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry, CAU, Aizwal having chosen obstetrics & gynecology as my specialty. After working at World Veterinary Services (ITC) for a year and a half I joined Blue Cross of India in October 2020.
I became a vet to be able to help the “best kind” in all ways possible for as long as possible. I feel that we have a long way to go in animal welfare before it is both ‘well’ and ‘fair’. I hope to stay committed to it till the day we see that. My appeal to all is to be kind to every kind, not just mankind.
In my current work, I feel immense satisfaction in every little thing I get to do for the voiceless angels. I love working in the BCI Cat Section as I believe there is no problem in life that spending time with cats can’t solve.
Dr Ginah Maria Binny
(Surgeon & Senior Vet)
I have a master’s degree in veterinary science from the College of Veterinary Sciences Guwahati, Assam with a specialisation in pathology. After working at World Veterinary Services (ITC) for a year and a half I joined Blue Cross of India in October 2020.
I feel that a majority of humans (especially in the cities) are far removed from the concept of animal welfare. I appeal to people to visit Blue Cross, and I can promise you will have nothing but a wonderful time.
I have always wanted to become a vet since I was a child. This was something I had imagined myself doing for the longest time. Nothing else would have felt right. Working in the midst of so many street animals every day at BCI and being able to make a marked difference in their lives gives me a sense of satisfaction and achievement that can parallel no other feeling.
I love to be in the BCI Cat Shelter – one of the best places to relax and have a puurrffeectt time.
Dr M Silambarasan
I have a bachelor’s degree in veterinary science. I hail from Krishnagiri and worked in a pet clinic for two years before joining Blue Cross of India in July last year.
I have had the opportunity in BCI to lead the launch team of India’s first mobile hospital for street animals. It was immensely satisfying to be part of this radical change in the way we deliver treatment to the voiceless on the streets of Chennai. Besides getting treated faster, my experience working on this project showed me that the approach greatly helps reduce animal stress, mortality and most of all exposure to hospital infection.
I have the opinion that animals are part of our world and we need each other to survive – they are no different from being our own brothers and sisters, but just from another species. I feel true humanity is in treating all living things with the same respect and value that we treat other humans with. I love to work in the Cat Section in BCI.
I have a bachelor’s degree in veterinary science and animal husbandry from Madras Veterinary College.
I feel blessed for getting the opportunity to treat hundreds of sick and severely injured animals at BCI and for having helped them get back to their streets — happy and healthy. At BCI I get the chance to help four legged and feathered friends in a much larger way than anywhere else.
I feel that all animals deserve a life of dignity & care, just as all humans do. I hail from Perambalur and started my career in Blue Cross of India in July 2021.
I love working in the Large Animal Section of BCI. Many of the cattle that I treat are injured in road accidents and I feel strongly that there must be proper enforcement of cattle rules in the city to prevent this, where owners don’t simply enjoy the benefits from cattle but take responsibility for their proper care. My goal is to end animal suffering on the streets.
Dr Bharati Chandrasekaran
I have a bachelor’s degree in veterinary science and started at Blue Cross in August 2021. I feel that all living beings deserve to live in peace and I am committed to help the voiceless – particularly those that do not always get fair treatment by humans.
My father is my inspiration behind my passion for animals. From a very young age he showed me the beauty of the animal world. We now spend a lot of time bird watching. It has been my dream to be a veterinarian since I was a child and I am excited to have realised this dream.I don’t think any amount of training anywhere can make a better veterinarian than one where you have the real opportunity to work with a wide species of animals. I was even more blessed to have this kind of exposure right at the start of my career which is at the Blue Cross.
I love working in the Dog Treatment section at BCI. I’ve been in this section for the most time because no matter my mood, every morning when I reach this section, I get surrounded by these beautiful animals, who despite their distress greet me with much enthusiasm and make my day.
I have a bachelor’s degree in veterinary science and have been with the Blue Cross since Nov 2021. I became a vet and joined BCI to help more street animals, that have no other place to go. Animals deserve to be loved and cared for which is why I have integrated animal welfare into my life, both professionally and personally.
In my spare time I try to work on my artistic side – mehendi designing being one of my interests.
One accomplishment that I am proud of is the number of adoptions when I was the doctor in-charge of the abandoned dogs section. I am also happy and highly motivated from the feedback from owners who have brought their pets to the BCI out patient clinic, when it was my rotation there.
I love to work in the abandoned dogs section at BCI – a place that deserves the most love and affection of all – so they may still not lose all hope of humanity. Whitey – an abandoned pet, greets me everyday with his wagging tail and bright smile.
Coming from a small village where we don’t have proper veterinary services for our animals, I pursued my vet studies and finally achieved my dream so I can serve the voiceless.
Dr M Naveenkumar
I have a bachelor’s degree in veterinary science and animal husbandry, and am with Blue Cross since July 2021.
I feel that the world belongs to all creatures.
At Blue Cross I get the opportunity to treat hundreds of sick and severely injured animals. I also worked on the mobile animal hospital of BCI which is very good for providing immediate relief to many sick and injured animals.
My favourite section is the Casualty Section of BCI as I get the opportunity to provide essential treatment to incoming street animals.
Paying It Forward
Help Animals India (HAI) – a United States based, non-profit 501(c)(3) charity organization has a mission to support efficient and effective animal protection organizations in India and Nepal.
BCI and HAI have had a long relationship that is founded on our transparency, our low administrative costs and the positive impact our work has on the life and health of street animals.
Over the years Blue Cross of India has supported scores of other AWO’s with funds, materials and knowhow – helping some start-up from scratch, some to get operationally efficient and others with equipment, standard operating procedures and advice.
We donated part of the cost of a new ambulance to P.A.W.S. Thane – an animal welfare organisation with a rescue centre and animal hospital in Murbad near Mumbai who have for over two decades made an impactful difference in the lives of thousands of animals in Thane (a metropolitan city adjacent to Mumbai).
With the same spirit Nilesh Bhanage – the founder of P.A.W.S. – Thane decided to pay-it-forward by in turn donating one of their own ambulances to P.A.W.S. – Mumbai to help with wildlife rescues.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his 1841 essay “Compensation” wrote: “In the order of nature we cannot render benefits to those from whom we receive them, or only seldom. But the benefit we receive must be rendered again, line for line, deed for deed, cent for cent, to somebody.”
BCI would like to convey our heartfelt thanks to HAI for their unstinting support over many years. Several projects initiated with the funds from HAI are currently in progress at BCI – Chennai and will come to fruition in the current quarter. Watch this space for updates.
I am not talking about the movie – yeah! sure I have seen it – it was great and all but I am not referring to those shape changing machines here – but to life transforming work.
Surely you all know about Mange. It is a skin disease caused by mites. The term is derived from the French word mangeue (to eat or itch). We dogs get afflicted with two major forms of mange – Sarcoptic (scabies) and Demodectic (red mange). The stress of street life makes my ilk on the roads more vulnerable to this disease.
I had it too – but thankfully, it is now just a bad memory. Properly cared for it is a treatable condition, and the proof of this is in the scores of my brethren that have been sent from our mange section back to their own streets – completely cured.
The transformers we are talking about today – Manasa, Devi, Mayuran, Vishaak, Karthick, and Sarvesh – are volunteers of Blue Cross. For several months now they have spent every weekend with the mange affected animals admitted to the BCI. The result of their incredible effort is finally beginning to have an unbelievable transformation in the lives of these dogs. In these few months I have seen first hand several unbelievable transformations as a result of their initiative. – their hard work weekend after weekend : catching, muzzling, washing, treating and giving the mangies medicated baths.
So what is the secret of so many recoveries? What’s the secret sauce? I asked them and they had no clue – they were just coming and doing their thing, that’s all. But I found out what it really was : it was love, affection, dedication and care. Things that are common but rarely used, things that no amount of money can buy that these volunteers doled out every weekend. Of course the medication helped to some extent, but that is never enough. Mange is an autoimmune disease compounded by stress – the biggest impact the volunteers have had on my mange afflicted brethren is creating an environment of such love and care in the Blue Cross that it has tremendously reduced their stress levels, accelerating the transformation.
What started with these six several months ago has now become a big mission in BCI with twenty regular volunteers now who show up every weekend to handle the huge number of mange cases we keep getting.
Thank you friends of BCI
Vishaal, Devi, Sharat, Manasa, Geethu, Bhavesh, Sruthi, Lakshmi, Dinesh, Dinesh, Sarvesh, Navayugan, Karthikeyan, Dhanasekar, Rishika, Keerthana, Annie, Karthick, Sana and Anita Balasubramaniyam.
If I have missed someone please forgive me – I have the attention span of a goldfish and the memory of a hamster.
Keeping Our Hospital(‘s) Sanity(zed)
Ironically one of the biggest challenges at BCI is not actually big at all – it is tiny, often invisible.
It is the incessant war we wage daily with micro enemies – the air-borne, the water-borne, the fecal-borne, the ticks, the microorganisms that cause infection to already weak and sick animals, causing cross infection, long recovery times and at extremes even death.
Ludwig Philipp Albert Schweitzer – Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize 1952 said something profound “Each of us must live daily from judgment to judgment, deciding each case as it arises as wisely and mercifully as we can.”
So why am I bringing this up – because I think that’s a perfect template on how one could resolve a conflicting situation of how best to keep disease-causing “pests” out without harming the benign and sometimes even friendly lives that co-exist in a complex and diverse facility where we house between 1800 to 2000 animals.
- After all, for the same principles, have we not for six decades fed our shelter and hospital animals a purely vegetarian diet. Even the cats (obligate carnivores) have received specially formulated, nutritious vegan food, with special supplements like taurine...
- After all, wasn’t Blue Cross of India conferred the Bhagavan Mahavir Award for Non-Violence and Vegetarianism.
Think you can be a meat-eating, chicken-feeding, leather-wearing “animal welfarist”? Think again, and this time think hard, think deep. How can you justify killing one to feed another?
As a true animal welfare organisation, BCI has been a beacon for many. Should we therefore not choose “wisely” and “mercifully” the methods we use to keep “pests” away? Be it a tiny hard working ant or a cute adventurous mouse running footloose and fancy-free in our cat section, does it not behoove us that there be no unnecessary collateral damage to some in the name of saving others.
So when Mr. Vinoth of Bruhat who was greatly impressed with our work, wanted to help us, that is what we did – We asked for help with cleaning equipment that would help us keep the shelter clean and sanitized but at the same time reduce considerably the use of pesticides and chemicals.
Without a moment’s hesitation, he had one of the best equipment to do just this delivered within a week – The HydroBlast 250 C Cold Water – An Italian make high-pressure water jet cleaning system. This has helped us not only reduce environmental damage but also prevent unnecessary damage to other micro life forms in our ecosystem, helping us keep BCI sanitised without affecting the biodiversity.
Thank you Mr Vinoth Sampath, thank you Bruhat Logistics – we are indeed blessed to have your kind and generous support.
Celebrating life – Preserving the endangered – Bringing Awareness
We animals lead such a busy life, our calendars are full. Go ahead and get yourself an appointment on our calendars to know and learn more about us.
Click here to download the High Res Self Printable Blue Cross Of India – Animal Calendar and get to know more about the 67 different animal days celebrated around the world using QR codes..
World AQUATIC Day
World KOALA day
Int LEOPARD day
Int LYNX day
Int BEAVER Day
World DONKEY day
SEA TURTLE day
World TAPIR Day
3rd Fri of May (20th)
World ENDANGERED SPECIES day
World BEE day
World CROC day
World TURTLE day
World GIRAFFE day
World OTTER day
World CAMEL day
World PARROT day
The Blue Cross Of India has been serving the voiceless for the last over 58 years mainly through donations from generous individuals like you. BCI is the first animal welfare organisation in India to be awarded the Guidestar Platinum Rating for transparency in 2013-14 and every year since – a stamp of assurance.
Your donations are used in the most transparent and frugal manner for animal welfare, with minimal administrative expenses. The guidestar rating helps potential donors make a well informed decision based on an objective assessment of how donations are put to work by BCI. Learn More…
We thank you for your kindness and generous contributions that help the BCI take good care of us year after year.
(Donations are eligible for 80G tax exemption – Make sure you mention your PAN No)
Make Memories with Blue Cross Of India
Is it your Birthday
A Memory of someone close – a pet, a person
Perhaps your Anniversarry needs a celebration
Or you want to Honour your departed
You care about someone special and want to give a Surprise
Maybe you reached a personal or work Milestone
Or would like to Dedicate to someone you love
Whatever it be, make it a memory that 2000 animals will be grateful for and bless you with their stomachs full.
The selfless gratitude of an animal – priceless……
……..for everything else – there is Mastercard (or Visa or whatever other plastic floats your boat)