Animal abuse is rampant in our Island Nation. One wonders when and where the compassion, loving kindness and sympathy towards the voiceless vanished, as tragic incidents occur daily. This is a never ending battle for the limited Associations and few ardent animal activists who have dedicated their lives solely towards this humane cause.Apart from accidents caused by reckless, hard-hearted motorists; evil public unleash their fury by stoning, stabbing, poisoning and harming the voiceless who are unable to defend themselves.
It is conveniently forgotten that animals are part of this land and are entitled to share it. We hear traumatic stories of owners abandoning their pedigreed dogs who can no longer produce a healthy litter for sale. On the other hand, owners who find it a hassel to handle abandon their stray pet dogs and cats with a new-born litter. So this is a never ending vicious cycle. Below are a few tragic incidents which need to be highlighted.
"Animal abuse is rampant in our Island Nation. One wonders when and where the compassion, loving kindness and sympathy towards the voiceless vanished, as tragic incidents occur daily"
For several years at intervals, puppies and adult dogs had taken refuge in a garden of a particular school in Kalutara without causing any disturbance or hindrance. Two notable animal lovers Dharani Sivam and Jesmin Junkeer living in the area taking the responsibility upon themselves tendered to the needs of these animals -- from daily feeding to treatment, vaccinating and sterilizing and finally rehoming the animals with the total approval of the then school Principal who maintained a cordial rapport with them. This hazardous task was accomplished using their personal funds and any random donations that flowed in. This smooth transition could only be carried out with sheer dedication and utmost commitment.
With the recent transfer of the school Principal, the parent mothers of the school demanded that these dogs be removed overnight. This was a blow to Sivam and Junkeer who were verbally abused, humiliated, publicly disgraced and prevented from continuing with the daily feeding. A request for sufficient time to make alternative arrangements fell on deaf ears as the current acting Principal, herself, appeared to be very weak and under the spell of these cruel parents. The only reply these animal activists received was “the dogs should starve to death and if they are not removed from the premises immediately they will be done away with”. One shudders at these icy words.
"It is conveniently forgotten that animals are part of this land and are entitled to share it. We hear traumatic stories of owners abandoning their pedigreed dogs who can no longer produce a healthy litter for sale"
The latest blow to Sivam and Junkeer was to witness these dogs being thrashed mercilessly, stoned and harmed by the parent mothers. Sadly one healthy male puppy died due to his injuries. It is with utmost compassion that these brave ladies cared for these pups, sterilized them and were striving to re-home them at their own expense. An abandoned compound was offered by a compassionate soul for the dogs to take refuge temporarily, but the premises lacked fencing making the dogs lives vulnerable which caused a delay in shifting them.
Another ongoing traumatic episode was the happenings in Maggona where two pregnant dogs were poisoned. There are also threats by residents of the area to get rid of the new born litters. Animal abuse is at its peak in this district and must be addressed.
Junkeer has opened out her home to more than 25 strays whom she feeds daily, apart from the road feeding programme while Sivam while balancing a full time office job, manages the road feeding on her way to work and on weekends. Any accident victims and tragic cases are taken over by these courageous ladies who are responsible for the medication and vet’s bills. After complete healing all attempts are taken to ensure rehoming. However, it hasn’t always been easy and on many instances these ladies are compelled to take over the animals for a life time.
"Another ongoing traumatic episode was the happenings in Maggona where two pregnant dogs were poisoned. There are also threats by residents of the area to get rid of the new born litters. Animal abuse is at its peak in this district and must be addressed"
They also coordinate sterilization, neuter and spay programmes spearheaded by Organizations.
Sivam and Junkeer are now running low on funds, compelling them to make a desperate plea for public support to continue with their humane task. They stress that sterilization is the key to control the ever growing stray population. They appeal to all Animal Welfare Groups to unite and address this ongoing problem. Junkeer is contactable on 0711460853 while Sivam is contactable on 0776297005. email@example.com is her E-mail.
As a Nation we need to open our eyes to the suffering around us. Appreciating, encouraging and supporting the magnanimous task undertaken by such dedicated, caring folk who strive to make the world a better place, is the least we could do.
The lack of animal laws in the country is the prime cause for all the suffering. Only when the Animal Welfare Bill is legally passed, could one rest in peace!