It is another Monday in Srinagar, Kashmir, and for Dawood Mohammad and his wife Mariya Mushtaq, it means yet another day of calls from people who have spotted an injured animal.  

Being one of the only few rescue centres in the valley, Dawood says that the work at Animal Save Kashmir is never-ending but he wouldn’t have it any other way.  

It all started in 2017 when he returned to Srinagar from London, where he was working and studying plus noticed the particular prevalence of instances of pet cruelty within the valley. This animal lover would often rescue dogs in the neighbourhood that were hurt by helping them get medical aid or even distributing food.  

Stray dogs at the rescue centre
Stray dogs at the rescue centre, Picture credits: Dawood Mohammad

With time, his area of focus expanded. Today, not just people in the vicinity but also those across the area reach out to Dawood when they spot a good animal that needs help.  

And this individual always obliges.  

Mariya and Dawood run Animal Recovery Kashmir, the venture that was started in 2018, that will aims to alleviate the sorry plight associated with animals within the Kashmir Valley.  

A need to help wounded animals

Thinking back in order to the time he or she first began helping animals , Dawood says he observed that the population of stray dogs was the highest.  

Dawood Mohammad with a dog that he rescued
Dawood Mohammad with a dog that will he rescued, Picture credit: Dawood Mohammad

“I often noticed that these dogs were infected with mange. It was the common sight, albeit pitiful, ” says Dawood, adding that this individual noticed this on almost every street. Not having much of a medical background himself, he decided to consult a veterinarian and read up about this condition on the internet.  

“Based on the advice of the vet, I might give these stray dogs the medicines that would help their discomfort, ” he or she says.  

Recounting the first-ever rescue he did , he states it was associated with a paralysed pup near his home. “The pup’s hind leg wasn’t okay and on closer observation, I discovered that will its body was inflicted by multiple wounds plus these had maggots in them. ” 

Dawood immediately rushed the particular pup to the vet and following the visit, kept the animal with him with regard to a year and a half.  

At the rescue centre, animals are given space to stay
At the particular rescue center, animals are given space to stay, Picture credits: Dawood Mohammad

“This incident changed me, ” this individual says. “I couldn’t stop myself through helping creatures. ” 

Dawood and Mariya were fuelled by the common zeal and made the decision to start a venture that could help all of them perform rescues in a planned manner, and also bring the pets to the centre where they could be held until these people felt better.  

‘The joy of doing save work will be unparalleled. ’ 

The duo went on to help many such voiceless creatures, sometimes with healthcare aid and other times by simply taking good care of them at the rescue centre. The space was given to them simply by the local municipal corporation and is usually about 200 sq ft.

Among the numerous cases they will have seen, Dawood says there are usually two he or she holds very close to his heart. One is of a young mare.  

“Her leg was fractured plus broken . The owner had tied nylon strings around its hind legs in order to prevent the particular mare from running away while she grazed, ” says Dawood. He adds that the nylon experienced cut into the bone of the particular leg, thus preventing the helpless creature from moving.  

When he received a call from a passerby who got seen the particular animal, Dawood knew he had to do something to help.

“From our knowledge of animal protects, we had learnt that tending to a horse’s lower-leg when fractured was no easy task. It would certainly be a miracle even if the pet managed in order to survive. ” 

On going to the veterinarian, they were informed that the leg would have to be amputated. Julie, the mare, would live with three legs. As Dawood adds, the girl lived with them for two years at the recovery centre exactly where they looked after her well.  

Another rescue was that will of a dog.    

“One rainy day time we obtained a contact that a dog was stuck in a pool of water on a nearby ground. Whenever we reached the site, her state was pitiful. Half of the animal’s entire body was trapped in the drinking water and the dog wasn’t able to make her way out, ” states Dawood.

A rescue operation
A rescue operation, Picture credits: Dawood Mohammad

On examination, when he went in to the water, Dawood discovered that the particular dog has been unable in order to move as her hind legs had been tied together. She had been thrown into the water by someone.  

What they also figured was that she was a lactating mother and thus began to look regarding her pups around the region. But the rain made it impossible. So , Dawood took the mother to his save shelter.  

The next day, on going back to the particular field, these people spotted four pups that resembled the mother and picked them up in the box plus took them to the shelter.

“As soon as we dropped all of them in front of their mother, they were so happy, ” says Dawood. While the particular mother passed away after two months after this event, two associated with the pups were adopted, while the other two were kept in the recovery centre.  

‘Every rescue is an achievement. ’ 

Helping a voiceless beast always comes with the sense of satisfaction, says Dawood. He adds that will what this individual great team are doing is vital as there are not many rescue operations in the particular valley.  

“We are the most active and the face we have is not our own, yet of the animals. ”

In his rescue work, Dawood is joined by their wife Mariya. She states in her experience “it has been transformational in order to be capable to assist animals within need”. She adds that being able to save a soul which can do nothing intended for you in return has already been an awakening experience.  

She says, “We are often asked – why not help humans instead? This gives us an idea of how important it is to let people know about the particular sufferings plus plight associated with animals. ” She provides that along with the rise of incidents involving man-animal conflicts daily ,   she believes if they will can make changes in people’s behaviour towards animals, several problems may be solved.

Along with Mariya, there are three other people in Dawood’s team.  

The way the rescue procedures work is simple. The team’s numbers are on social media and people in the valley are aware of them.  

Animal Rescue Kashmir
Animal Rescue Kashmir, Picture credit: Dawood Mohammad

“People contact us through call or WhatsApp and since we may not always become able in order to go on-site, we ask them to get pictures and videos. This helps us get an idea of the severity of cases, ” states Dawood.  

Once he receives the details plus can assess the state from the animal, he or she gets his staff with each other and they plan on exactly how to go about it. He says, “We don’t have transport of our own, and so we contact load carriers and auto drivers and ask them to come to the shelter and load the particular equipment such as the cages, medical equipment, bandages, iodine, etc . or in the case of larger animals, ropes, grass to lure animal, and so forth We then go in order to the web site and take the animal towards the vet or the shelter. ”

At the shelter, dogs are provided food twice a day. The meal includes rice mixed with pulses and soybean, and occasionally even non-vegetarian food. Horses and cows are given hay plus dry lawn fodder.  

This individual adds that will the biggest challenge these people face is a lack of ambulances and space. The particular space too is small and overcrowded, increasing the chances of cross infection.  

Additionally, adoptions are a concern. “Though we put up posts on social media, so individuals can come and adopt, you will find a lot of social stigmas here because keeping dogs is not the done thing in a Muslim majority community. ”

To date, the shelter has helped 1, two hundred animals, says Dawood including that they receive 8 to 10 phone calls each day plus can perform around three to 4 rescues.  

“Currently, we are trying to raise funds to get ambulances so we can reach the destinations on period and even in odd times when transport may not be available, ” states Dawood, who finances the venture through the earnings of the clothing store that he runs. “The yearly expenses amount to Rs 20 lakh and thus funds are associated with utmost importance. ”   

If you wish to be a part of Dawood’s endeavour to conserve and save animals, you can donate here .  

Edited by Yoshita Rao

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