The Warriors of The Voiceless Paws .

By Menaka Indrakumar 

To two individuals constantly on the move to rescue and re-home the voiceless four-legged dumped on the streets to old aged or being unwanted by the owners. The two rescuers, Shivanthi Sansoni, the founder of Charlie’s Home by Save-a-paw and Sahana Ravishankar, an animal rescuer, are fighting endless hardships to stay afloat in these difficult times and the struggle to make every end met. 

They both spoke to Yamu Life Style on rescue workers, a second chance and the need for public support. 

Tell us about your current rescue work?

We started in 2016 it was my passion and compassion to open up a rescue service and shelter for the four-legged injured due to accidents, blind or abused. The man’s best friend and they have nowhere to go when they get old, blind and become paralyzed. We are a no-killing policy shelter and we give a second chance to every dog who comes under our care. Currently, we cater to over 300 plus rescue dogs with 80 plus special needs dogs. We have two vets working with, five staff members and an in-house vet nurse.

As a policy and principle, we don’t put any special care dog back on the road and if there is a person to look after, we will hand over dogs again, we keep a check every month. Most of the dogs or pups we rehome with our rehoming protocols if they don’t get adopted, we keep them with us till their last breath.

Every dog we rescue have to go through our vet check, blood checks and last is the vaccinations. Dogs we rescue stay in our clinic area and get all care. After the 14th day, we put them to main compounds or hand-over them to the person who looked after them. We use soft bedding, diapers, towels for our special needs dogs to prevent pressure on wounds. All disabled dogs get washed from the bottom part, dry them, do meds before their bladders are empty. 

We wash all our compounds make sure all water bowls are filled. We do morning meals for sick, dogs and puppies with vitamins, we do eggs too, we use dry food because it has all vitamins. 50 kg of red rice we cook with fish, pumpkin, dhal soya, carrots and or eggs. We do our lunch meal by 3 pm. Then cleaning and meds for the evening.

How long have you been doing it?

It’s been six years plus now.

As an individual with no proper support and bare minimum funds, how do you manage to sustain the rescue frequently? 

I have invested my money and the donations we get from the wonderful supporters. The donors have been there helping us to meet endless demands and the rising cost of products. We can’t do this work alone, and very few no killing policies exist in the nation. Rescue is helping the neediest dogs and its commitment and responsibility. We somehow beg or borrow to keep things going. Due to the pandemic situation in the nation, we are hit badly.

What do you want the public to know about rescue work?

We are a non-profitable charity and we do the work for the government because the government is not supporting the man’s best friend mission.

Due to the current situation, we are struggling a lot with feeding dry rations, an extension of the compounds for disabled and blind, clinic area, surgical items, meds for the clinic, vet bills water tank, land rent, bedding.

We do not have our land and we would be grateful if someone can donate a plot of land. We will be very grateful. We need your support desperately to keep the project going on all those souls who have no voice depend on us. We have a huge responsibility and commitment on our shoulders. Your support and continuous help only can make a difference to speechless these lives.

Contact us on 0712483342 or reach out to our facebook page or on Instagram 

Sahana Ravishankar- Individual Rescuer and Lawyer  

Tell us about your current rescue work?

My current rescue work involves weekly feeding rounds, which I started in 2018. I feed around 200 strays, rescue, re-home, sterilize, vaccinate and do emergency treatments of sick/injured dogs/cats. 

How long have you been doing it?

I can’t remember the feeding rounds and rescue work I have done, it all started with my sister and mother who used to rescue and help strays. 

I started rescuing on my own in the year 2015 when I was in my final year of my LLB.

As an individual with no proper support and bare minimum funds, how do you manage to sustain the rescue frequently? 

People don’t know the actual side to rescue work and only another fellow rescuer will truly understand what it’s like to walk in these shoes. 

Rescue work can be stressful and is far from easy especially if the rescues don’t get adopted and if you are dealing with a critical one.

What do you want the public to know about rescue work?

More than physical and monetary constraints, one can get affected mentally and emotionally in this line of work. This can take a huge toll on you and your life. You may even wish that you never walked in these shoes, especially at times when you feel helpless and when you are on your own without proper support. At the same time, it also brings you happiness which cannot be explained in words knowing that you were able to change the lives of many Cats/dogs on the streets.

The public also needs to understand that rescue work is a collective effort in one sense. You can’t burden or expect rescuers to take on all cases, especially when you can also share some of the responsibility. If people can’t help a rescuer at least don’t hinder the work they do. 

On a final note, I must thank all the wonderful people that have supported/helped me on this journey, if not for some of you I would not have been able to help & continue to help strays in need. 

Like to support, foster rescues or donate, please reach out to Sahana on 0777567122.

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