Giving animals with disabilities a second chance - My Take by Dr Aditi Badam
My mother is an animal lover and I guess I got my love for animals from her. As a student, every summer I would volunteer at the Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Shelter in Delhi and I got firsthand experience of some of the problems and shortcomings that are present in such facilities that exist for animals.
After marriage, I moved to Ghaziabad where I was working as a physiotherapist, helping people with disabilities and other limb-related problems.
While driving around, I would often rescue injured dogs on the road and leave them at the nearest shelter. But when I would call the next day, I would hear that the dog had died. This really bothered so I started keeping them at my home.
Soon I had 10-12 animals in my house which became difficult to manage so I bought some land where I could keep them. This is how POSH Foundation was born.
I used my training and experience as a physiotherapist to help animals with disabilities. One of the first animals I healed was a dog that I found in a gutter that was howling in pain. I took her to a veterinarian who said she had broken her spine and should be put to sleep.
This was unacceptable to me. Would we say that for a human being? I took her home, used my experience with hydrotherapy, passive therapies, and sling walking. Within six months, she was running about.
I have studied the anatomy of birds and animals in detail to better understand how I can help them effectively. At some point, I quit my job as a physiotherapist to devote all my time to the shelter. We have helped treat paralyzed dogs, birds and even turtles with limb injuries. I get a lot of support from people, not just in Delhi-NCR but also Gujarat and even outside India. A lot of people support me with expensive bandages and even carts through eBay and Amazon. The veterinarians in the area now offer medicines free to us and carry out surgeries at minimal cost.
Once the animals are 100% fine, we make sure there are people to feed them and send them back to where they came from. Some get adopted. Animals that are blind or have motor neuron diseases stay at the shelter.
My message is everyone deserves a second chance, be it human or animal. The least one could do when one sees an injured animal, is to find out the number and address of the nearest animal shelter and make sure it gets help.
About the Writer
Dr Aditi Badam is the founder of POSH Foundation, a Delhi-based NGO that is actively involved in the care and rehabilitation of animals with disabilities. If you would like to donate or volunteer, you can WhatsApp at 9953440509.
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