We see animals being abused so often, be it the strays or pets in many households. NT KURIOCITY spoke to the youth of Goa to know their views on standing up for these voiceless creatures, particularly if they are household pets, and also asked how animal safety can be assured

It is sad that humans think they are the only living beings on this planet and no one can ensure the safety of animals. There are only a handful of people who care for animals while most of them do not consider any animal as a living creature. Animals are abused very often. They are used as entertainers in circuses or put in zoos at various places across India while all they seek is freedom. I had only seen people abusing animals on social media until about a decade ago when I visited a veterinary clinic and a rich man came there with his dog who smelled rotten. It had maggots in its ears and one eye and an ear were badly affected. When he was informed that the doctor wasn’t there, he refused to take his pet to another doctor. The compounders there took pity on the dog and took a risk by cleaning. Many adopt dogs but they are tied or caged 24x7, fed only once a day, kept hungry when family members are out of station, not given medication on time and apparently no one can do anything about it. We are living in the era where pelting stones at stray dogs is no crime but feeding them is. There is a need for proper institutions, proper laws for them. A survey needs to be conducted on how many dogs are there in every area and how many of them are sterilised and how many aren’t. More people should be trained and employed to catch dogs for sterilisation. There shouldn’t be limitations to village and municipal areas because everywhere dogs suffer in the same way. Stray dogs are termed a nuisance while we are actually a nuisance to them. We kill them every day on the road, we do not feed the dogs in the colony, and we take away their habitat. They are voiceless and unfortunately, we take advantage of it.

Sachi Naik, Chowgule College of Arts and Science, Margao

First of all, I feel extremely thankful to never have witnessed animal cruelty firsthand. The stories I hear of the instances on animal abuse breaks my heart every single time. Animal shelters are in dire need of proper resources and equipments. There are also multiple reasons that influence people’s decision to get an animal. The vaccinations and treatments are expensive. Transportation, healthcare, grooming, shelters for rent (when the owner want to go on vacations) are also factors that anyone keen on adopting a pet needs to consider. But the bottom line remains constant here. Do not get a pet if you aren’t committed to its well-being. A pet gives you all that it has. So if you aren’t willing to share your life with them and love and care for them, just don’t take up the responsibility. Pets aren’t only for pomp and show. They make you their whole life, leaving them homeless is the cruelest thing a human can do.

Jeena Jose, works in Chennai, resident of Curchorem

According to me it is very difficult to take animals away from abusers but we can surely change the minds of those who do so by spreading awareness, and making them realise the important of pets in our lives. By doing so one day we’ll be able to create a healthy and safe environment for them to live in happily. In the end one has to love animals as they exist for us and us for them.

Devesh Naik, Agnel Institute of Technology and Design, Assagao

Animals are living beings and since they do not have a voice, we as humans have to be their voice. As inhabitants of this earth, we should take care of animals and put every effort forward to protect them from abuse and over killing. Use of animals for experimental purposes as well as making recreational products should be minimised. To protect them from abusers we could train our pets to communicate in some way when they are abused.

Shanteri Bichu, Goa Medical College, Bambolim

The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial one and a relationship that is influenced by behaviours which are essential to the health and well-being of both. This unique bond tends to be broken by certain evil abusers who probably consider animals their slaves. They do not understand this bond which makes them behave so badly with animals. Pets help families bond and give meaning to some people’s lives. The animal abusers have to be taught about all this and they should be made aware of the importance of animals in our lives.

Ruchi Kamat, architecture, Sanquelim

This issue has to be seen in two broad aspects: public spaces – where this applies to strays, abandoned dogs, etc, and domestic – which applies to pets and other sheltered dogs. The latter has several legal issues related to it. Starting from invasion of privacy, NGOs, volunteers and/or reporters have absolutely no legal standing if they want to investigate, interfere or help a domestically abused dog. If a pet is uncared for or even abused by the owners there is very little that people who choose to help can do. At the most they can advise the owners about caring for their pets. The option of removal of such abused pets poses several legal hurdles as the pet is seen legally as their property. Unless there is legislation in enacted to tackle this particular issue, the only way for an NGO/volunteer is to take the help of ‘co-operative’ police officers. In general it is found that even neighbours/reporters refuse to come forward as witnesses. If there is no witness or substantial evidence, a case cannot be lodged. In case a pet is taken away from abusive owners, it may give rise to a myriad of problems. The ultimate aim is to find a new loving and caring home for the pet. In between, the health of the pet has to be addressed or treated. The trauma the pet has suffered has to be addressed before resettling. All this requires space, funds of which there is paucity. Only ardent pet lovers or animal welfare workers can put a dent into the abuse that is carried out in public spaces. That person has to start with a warning and if unheeded have the tenacity of following the process in police stations to apply the sections of the IPC dealing with cruelty to animals which may be frustrating to say the least.

Rati Pai Angle, Margao

Animals are a major part of this environment and protecting their rights is a must for every human being. They deserve the same considerations as humans and they have the right to live their life free of pain and suffering. Protect a pet from the abusers by not leaving them outside alone. And if you have to go out of station without your pet, make sure you leave your pet with some trustworthy friend or keep them in a homestay for pets where they will be managed by professionals.

Kamaxi Bichu, Agnel Institute of Technology and Design, Assagao

There are different types of pets which people tend to buy from pet shops. It is seen that some people don’t take care of their pets as far as their basic necessities are concerned such as food, shelter, etc. Hence, the government should undertake such pet shops and register such pet stores to the government and take a note of the customers who buy pets and then conduct surprise visits to inspect food, shelter, hygiene and other requirements of the pets. The government should also lay down rules on pets and their necessities so that every citizen can follow the same.

Ramesh Prakash Kudaskar, Panaji