Caring for Strays during Lockdown: How and What to Feed the Stray Animals around you during the COVID-19 Curfew
Among the worst hit by lockdowns are stray animals. As you lay in your bed, comfortably cuddled with your family and pets, carefree about your meals because you stocked up well, the animals on the street roam in search of food and water.
With fewer restaurants open and less food waste being generated, strays do not have much to survive on. In order for us to successfully coexist, it is extremely important for those at privilege (us) to lend a helping hand to those in need (strays). Here is how you can care for strays during a lockdown while still not violating any regulations.
Why Stray Animals Must be Fed
Food and Water form the basis of survival for any living being. Dogs, since their evolution, have depended on humans for their food needs. This sharing has been the basis of a peaceful, caring relationship between dogs and humans. Today, food waste from restaurants, eateries, and even households feeds a majority of stray animals. Keeping the deal our ancestors made, it is upon us to provide access to food and water to the stray animals even in the time of a lockdown.
Dog feeders often it upon themselves to feed food to the strays in their locality on a regular basis. These animals, in the long run, become totally dependent on the feeders for their meals as their innate scavenging instinct starts fizzing away. The restrictions on movement that lockdowns bring about also limit the activities of dog feeders massively, affecting the stray animal population dependent on them.
Without sufficient food or water, these animals may eventually starve and perish. The scarcity of food may even result in unnecessary aggression in animals. Those that lose the fight to hunger may die, and their decaying bodies may pose another bigger health risk to human and animal populations alike.
How to Care for Stray Animals during Lockdown
The best way to look after the strays in your area during a lockdown is to leave out a bowl of food and clean drinking water outside your door (or society gate) every day. You need not go out of your way and travel to feed dogs or feed a multitude of them. Just leaving clean food and water at your door for those in need, does your share.
In order for this practice to have a bigger impact, communicate the same to your neighbors, and others in your society. If each person leaves out food enough to feed even one stray; as a community activity, a lot of dogs can be fed.
Doing this also does not break any laws, as you do not need to travel or go out of your way to feed multiple dogs near and far. Know that the restrictions applied by governments during lockdowns are usually with the best interest of its citizens in mind. Breaking the law only puts you, your family, and the community at risk. One must do their best in keeping up with what the law permits.
As per the latest updates, 50 dog feeders per district are being provided with feeder passes by their respective district DCPs to function during a lockdown in Delhi. Feeders can visit the office of their district DCP and request for a pass.
What to Feed the Stray Animals during the Lockdown
You need not cook anything special either, just a portion of your meals works fine. If you feel like you are up to feeding the dogs something more suitable for them you can also boil some boneless chicken and rice, with some turmeric in a cooker, and serve it to the dogs. This can also be made in bulk and refrigerated so you do not have to cook daily.
ALSO READ: Pet Food Recipes for Lockdown by DawgieBowl
If you’re looking for a simpler solution, you can feed boiled eggs, soya nuggets or even biscuits or rotis as the last resort.
Apart from this, you can even leave vegetable & fruits for the cows and other stray cattle. Grass or other suitable waste from the garden or the kitchen also work as a great option for the herbivorous animals.
Donate for the Welfare of Animals during Lockdown
If you happen to be financially privileged, consider making a donation to an NGO or feeder around that is helping stray animals during the lockdown. You could also make a donation to your state’s CM Relief Fund if your state happens to be considerate about the welfare of animals and is taking efforts for their well-being during such conditions.
Odisha: State Govt has approved Rs 54 lakhs from Chief Minister's Relief Fund for feeding stray animals in 5 Municipal Corporations and all 48 Municipalities of the state during #CoronavirusLockdown period. pic.twitter.com/Dermc7nbCK
— ANI (@ANI) March 30, 2020
Whatever you do, don’t stress yourself beyond your capacity. Act in accordance with your ability and do whatever is possible within the means available to you. No act of kindness is too small, especially at the time of such adversities. What we know for sure, is that the strays will appreciate your efforts, no matter how big or small they are. What better time to earn some positive karma!
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