(*Rescued dogs chilling at the Centre. Pic from ARK’s Flickr photostream)
I’ve had an update from Debbie, who prompted an earlier post regarding animal cruelty in the Indian state of Kerala, and the work of ARK (Animal Rescue Kerala) and its founder Avis Lyons in trying to prevent it. She went on a working/volunteer holiday to Kerala and has sent on an account of it all…
“Dog walking was one of the volunteers duties along with de-ticking, playing and fussing the dogs, bathing them if there is enough water and going along with Avis to any dog rescuing.
Giving leaflets out on the beach is another important job that needs doing as it makes other tourists aware of what the centre is about and where it is – you would be surprised how many people come up to the centre to see what its about. It also brings donations in as well, which Avis desperately needs. The running of the centre depends on donations – Avis isn’t allowed what they call foreign contributions so she can’t get any sort of sponsorship or donations from foreign companies.
Avis and her daughter Odette do an amazing job – Odette lives in France and is involved with the political side of things and believe me there are a lot. To cut it short the Trivandrum corporation have killed thousands of dogs in just that area and are still carrying that out. They pick them up off the streets and either strangle them or inject them.
I did see some awful sights in my short time there – but there were happy times as well. Volunteering was an amazing experience – it took me out of my comfort zone and into the unknown and I thoroughly felt good about it. I also met great people in the month I was there.
One day an orphanage came to visit ARK – the purpose of the visit is to educate the Indian kids to be kind to animals and to make them aware of the sterilisation programme that ARK are carrying out.
At ARK there are 3 staff that carry out cleaning duties, feeding, dog catching and dog walking when they have time and a nurse that assists the vet; therefore volunteers are very important.
The beach dogs nowadays have a good life – there’s not a lot on the beach now as the sterilisation programme is showing results, and by the way Lucy is still there. It’s the other dogs at the back of the beach that have problems. There is a lot of distemper disease which does kill a lot of them.
Parvovirus disease is also a massive killer, especially in puppies – a lot of them die at a few weeks old, and of course cruelty.
I hope that has painted a picture for you and if you return to Kerala you can find time to visit ARK and perhaps walk a few dogs – it would make your holiday.”
If you want to find out more about Animal Rescue Kerala then check out the ARK website – and please sign their petition and if you can, make a donation. Also if you’re a Facebook person, then join their Facebook page, to keep up to date with all their work.
Big thanks to Debbie for the update, and big thanks to ARK for all they do :-)
And glad to hear that Lucy – the dog we befriended on the beach at Kovalam – is still there. Very very happy to hear that.