‘PAWS’ for a noble cause

The young team at PAWS definitely makes us think that the younger generation today is geared for making this world a better place for our animals! Kudos to this young and energetic PAWS team!

One of my volunteers was issued a notice by his society for keeping a pet dog at his house. PAWS came forward and with much persuasion, succeeded in making the society reconsider the decision for keeping pets. This set an example for all of us that animals do have rights to live and it touched my heart.

Inception of the noble cause…

I was doing my graduation and one day I noticed some crows attacking a pigeon. I shooed the crows away and brought the pigeon to my home and fed him. We then took him to Anamika, a member of Ahimsa (that time), who in turn took the pigeon to a vet but despite of all her efforts, the pigeon died, which made me think of the misery of stray animals, which we see, everyday on road. I decided to join her. She taught me how to rescue animals and treat them. Since there was scarcity of rescue service, we decided to start our own ambulance service for animals. That’s when PAWS was born!

The accolades…

In the first year of inception itself, PAWS received its first ambulance for animals, which was district’s first animal ambulance, donated by Anil Kataria of Ahmednagar SPCA. Since then, there is no looking back. Till today, PAWS provides help to over 1300 stray animals.

We received a ‘Non-Profit of a Month’ award from NGO’S website Karmayog for ‘Outstanding Service to the Society’ in 2005. In the same year, PAWS’s work published in ‘Limca Book of Records 2005’ as ‘India’s Youngest Animal Rehabilitation Team’. In 2007, volunteer Sonali and I were awarded the ‘Certificate of Recognition’ from PETA India.

PAWS now…

Established in January 2001, PAWS started as a charity, but is now a full-fledged animal welfare organization with three ambulances that operates within five cities of Thane district for the rescue of stray and injured animals. They also carry dogs/cats for sterilization to the nearest centers. We have total 140 volunteers’ team who help animals as well as organization in their own capacity. The core team of PAWS includes two trustees & six volunteers who help in day-to-day running of the organization. We also have one vet paid on case-to-case basis.

Today, the young PAWS team is busy organizing training programs, rescuing animals, attending vaccination drives, helping students with their environmental projects, school awareness programs, adoptions & rehoming, wildlife rescue & rehabilitation, legal issues, campaigning & promoting vegetarianism, organizing camps for cattle, stray animals and disaster management for animals.

With the help of like-minded NGOs, we are continually getting the animals sterilized and solve all major problems of volunteers who are getting threatened from society not to feed them. We also help pet owners who are not allowed to keep pets.

Achievements so far…

We did massive rescue project during the floods in Mumbai and suburbs and helped over 600 buffalos in Kalyan in 2005. In the year 2006, PAWS volunteer Prasad and I, scientifically studied the ‘Captive Elephants of Maharashtra’ and submitted the reports to CUPA–a Bangalore-based NGO which runs an elephant sanctuary. PAWS runs annual anti-rabies drives over 25 colonies a year in Thane district.

The driving force…

We see hundreds of animals suffer on streets of Thane district; we get calls for animals/birds in distress, people call us with expectation that keeps us busy, going and doing animal welfare. Our policy is never say ‘NO’ to any one. Just help out as much possible by going to the root or at least giving caller a proper guidance.

The measures needed…

The animal population in the country is high which needs to be controlled by massive sterilizations as well as there should be control on unethical pet breeders. Live and let live and go vegetarian.

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