International Animal Rescue in Goa has had phenomenal success over almost a decade and a half in the vaccination and sterilization of tens of thousands of stray dogs and cats. But even when these animals are returned to their home territories their lives and well being are still protected by the ongoing support of the charity.
Recently the rescue team was called out by a compassionate individual who had witnessed the plight of a dog in one of the nearby tourist resorts of Calangute and knew that IAR would help. The young male dog had heavy chain tightly attached to his neck and was causing him much distress and discomfort. The caller reported that he'd been seen in the locality for some time. Although he was dragging a chain leash he appeared not to have an owner. IAR attended immediately where upon the team found the poor animal in a panicked and frightened state. Such was his distress and not understanding they had come to help, after exhaustive attempts to make contact by tempting with food and coaxing kind words he still managed to avoid capture. Eventually they were forced to concede defeat for this day at least, leaving him food and hoping to return and have more success in the morning.
Apart from this predicament the dog appeared to be in good general health despite the evident friction wound caused by the chain rubbing on his neck. Possibly the chain had been attached while he continued to grow becoming ever tighter as time passed. The dog welfare team headed by Krishna Sawant who has years of experience and a natural talent for calming and rescuing strays in trouble returned to the scene the next day, but the dog was nowhere to be seen. They continued to look out for him as they patrolled the beach and resort areas as part of their daily routine, always on the look out for an animal that may need help. Then days later another report was received of a sighting close to a restaurant in Baga, just along the beach from the initial call location. Luckily this time persistent stealth, expertise and calmness paid off and the dog was safely apprehended and transported back to the rescue centre.
On arrival at Animal Tracks he was sedated and examined by duty vet Nikhil Prabhugaonkar. He already had the "V"shaped ear clip which is IAR's easily visible indicator that strays have been sterilized and vaccinated, along with a unique ear tattoo which is an individual record of identity enabling IAR to monitor an animal's previous treatment, history and location and also a means for possible lost and found animals to be reunited with their adoptive owners. The IAR system check revealed that the dog had not been officially adopted, only that he had temporarily passed through as have thousands of others. But somehow and for some reason someone had attached the heavy chain to this dog's neck and secured him possibly as a guard dog. He had been well fed and was in good condition apart from where the chain had worn away the fur and cut into the skin around his neck, causing a superficial but calloused wound that would become more painful and aggravated. We will never know what had actually happened and how he came to be running free and trailing the heavy restrictive chain, but thanks to prompt intervention this fortunate dog was freed and the wound easily and effectively treated.
Regular stray dogs that arrive and are treated at Animal Tracks have a relatively happy existence in the tourist belts of the area, many attach themselves to beach shacks and restaurants where they pick up regular food and they in return territorially protect and guard the establishment.
This particular rescue success happened just in the nick of time for this dog as without a doubt very soon after the wound would have worsened and become open to infection and flies then subsequent infestation by maggots, an associated problem especially in such a position on the body where the animal cannot reach to lick and clean themselves. And especially during the current monsoon climate any wound or infection can easily become more exacerbated, and even minor cuts and abrasions can rapidly turn potentially fatal without prompt medical treatment. But with the aid of similar reports to IAR Goa and continued public compassion, awareness and cooperation, guaranteed support is always ongoing and at hand for any animal in need of help, rescue and a little Care.