Surviving acid attack, Kashmeer and Joy find new home abroad : The Tribune India

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Cruelty On Animals

Surviving acid attack, Kashmeer and Joy find new home abroad

Surviving acid attack, Kashmeer and Joy find new home abroad

Kashmeer and (left) Joy with Rajan, their caretaker and manager of the AWCS shelter home, in Amritsar on Friday. Vishal Kumar



Tribune News Service

Neha Saini

Amritsar, June 16

Coiled up in a corner, trying to hide from sight and trembling as you take steps towards him, Kashmeer, an over two year old dog of Indian breed, has a story that would make your stomach churn. Kashmeer, a stray, is an acid attack survivor from the streets of Amritsar, a city otherwise known for its hospitality. When six months old, he was found by the volunteers of the Animal Welfare and Care Society with his legs tied and severe burn injuries as some miscreants poured acid on him. “He was so critical that at the time, we did not believe that we could save him. He has been with us for two years now. He still doesn’t let people come near him, he is scared if anyone tries to approach him,” said Rajan, his only friend at the AWCS shelter and the manager of the facility.

Rajan is the only one Kashmeer allows to feed and walk with him. Joy, another rescued stray at the Ranjit Avenue-based facility of Animal Welfare and Care Services (AWCS), was run over by a speeding car, crushing his hind legs and left to die on the streets. Kashmeer lost sight in his right eye, function of a part of his jaw and half of his face on the right side has been disfigured. Despite the long, tedious healing process, Kashmeer might just have found his happy ending. “He is going to the US next month as he has been adopted there,” shared Rajan, announcing the good news to fellow volunteers at the shelter.

Joy, whose hind leg was amputated in a life-saving surgery, too, has been adopted by a volunteer and will now be travelling to Canada.The founder of AWCS, Dr Navneet Chatrath, who is an Amritsar-born and Canada-based doctor, shared that AWCS is an animal rescue and treatment centre established in 2020 with the aim to provide timely medical aid to strays, especially victims of cruelty. She reached out to her friend and oncologist, California-based Dr Barbara Jennifer Gitlitz, who helped her in rehabilitation of Kashmeer and Joy. “Most of the strays, who come to us as victims of brutality, are not fit enough to be sent back on streets as they have grievous injuries. So, finding a safe home for them, where they will be looked after for their special needs, is our priority. After immediate medical attention, we focus on physical-mental healing and adoption of these strays,” said Dr Navneet.

The centre has 95 rescued dogs, most of them strays and a few abandoned pets and pedigreed dogs as well. They have a team of 11, including a consultant veterinary surgeon and two para vets who stabilise the injured dogs. “Many of these strays who come to us after being brutally injured, suffer from trauma, depression and have a tendency to self harm. We need to treat them with compassion and patience,” says Dr Manpreet Singh, veterinary surgeon, who operated upon Kashmeer and Joy. The facility is being run through donations but mostly supported by Dr Navneet. “We receive 70 calls daily from locals, who report stray dogs, but we have limited resources and try to work with that,” said Rajan.

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