CHENNAI: Cracki was a stray puppy who frequented a gym in Thiruvanmiyur. With her zest for life and ever-wagging tail, she was affectionately so named because she was such a ‘hyper crack.’ So when she was paralysed after a hit-and-run, everyone from regular gym members to well-meaning security guards opened their wallets to help.
Then came the shocker. The very first MRI scan alone ran up a bill of `15,000. And Anuradha Chawla, an animal lover who works out at this gym and was co-ordinating the funding quickly realised one thing. They were going to have to expand their donor pool, and fast.
“I did the first thing I could think of,” she recalls. “I put up a post on Facebook.” It turns out, Cracki isn’t the only dog who lives to see a brighter day thanks to well-meaning strangers. Forums like The Pound Chennai Animal Welfare Trust on social media are finding an increasing demand for ‘crowd funded’ canine surgeries, showing a rise in this trend.
“I’d say there’s especially been a surge of donors coming forward for surgeries that involve animals in the last year,” says Beena Mathanmohan, an activist who works with multiple NGOs.
From basic sterilisation procedures to complex orthopaedic surgeries, Chennai’s homeless mongrels and pets seem to have found support from as far as Kolkata and the US. “Someone from the US actually brought a wheelchair for Cracki on a flight to India,” recalls a well-wisher who helped out at the time.
By the way, if you’re wondering what the total damage was on this dog’s recuperation — it came to a whopping `60,000. All paid for by people she’s never met. “Even though this happened over six months ago, I still get messages asking how Cracki is doing,” smiles Anuradha, who eventually grew so fond of thisc canine that she adopted her.
The irony, she reveals, is that while all donors love animals, a large section of them are not pet owners. “Some of them tell me this is their way of loving a dog, because for whatever reason they just can’t have one.”
How to Verify Your Funds are Going to a Doggie in Distress
- Request snapshots of bills from the medical procedures
- If you’re in the same city, pay a visit to the furry patient you are helping rehabilitate
- Frequent posts on the dog’s progress are often posted online to show transparency and keep multiple donors updated at the same time