Lockdown: 'For us, they are like our babies'

Coronavirus Lockdown: 'For us, they are like our babies'

A group of dog lovers have been feeding hungry stray dogs during lockdown.

The impact of lockdown has not been limited to humans alone. In fact, stray dogs, with empty streets and rumbling bellies have been severely affected too. But on a positive note, some animal lovers have refused to shunt their canine friends amid lockdown restrictions. 

A group of IBM employees including Geeta Philip, Modestine J Desouza, Anushree Dubey and Priyanka Kalra had been feeding stray dogs even before the lockdown, particularly at Embassy GolfLinks (EGL) Tech Park in Bengaluru, where their office is located. 

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The team is now going out of their way to feed the stray dogs, for whom the lockdown has come like a bolt from the blue. 

Modestine, who is in her fifties, and has been dedicatedly feeding dogs for over three years, says the dogs even recognise her honks. She feeds 25 to 28 dogs every day. After the lockdown was enforced, she has been feeding dogs at OMBR layout, where she stays, and Old Madras Road.

Priyanka Kalra from the team takes care of the dogs at the EGL campus, and also feeds dogs in her neighbourhood. 

“I share a unique bond with indie dogs. I go around on my two-wheeler carrying chicken and rice, and feed any stray dog I come across,” Modestine says.

“Since I know the cops in my area, it hasn't been a problem so far. However, to convince my family that I’ll be fine has been a major issue. My only son who lives in the Netherlands is very concerned, as me and my husband are by ourselves. I tell my family not to worry. I just feed the dogs and come back home,” she adds.

The group also manages the dogs’ veterinary care in case they fall sick.

Anushree Dubey from the team says, stocking up on dog food is still a challenge as there is the shortage of meat right now. “Modestine procures dry food bags, but we don't know for how long it will last. We hope to procure more food soon.”

“At every checkpoint we find police. For them, it’s not a priority, but for us, they are like our babies,” says Priyanka, who has stocked up some 40 kg of dry food.

“Not just dogs, crows too are hungry. When I went to feed the dogs one time, quite a few crows flew down and ate the dog food, as they have no food either,” says Priyanka.

“With the lockdown restrictions in place, the least one can do is leave some bread or chapatis, and a bowl of water outside the house,” she says.