Failure Turns Into Success
For more than two weeks Jo and John Hicks had been trying to catch a dog with a terrible maggot wound in Mapusa. Endless hours and many early mornings and late nights had been spent trying to find the dog and numerous attempts had also been made by our ambulance drivers to locate and catch it.
On Wednesday the 12th January John and a volunteer Drew almost caught it late at night but the dog was so wary that it turned and ran at the last minute. John was so horrified at the state of the poor creature that he arranged a large operation for the following night consisting of volunteers, ambulance drivers, kennel staff, veterinary nurses and Nikhil one of our vets.
After about an hours of searching Krishna, our Kennel Manager, found the dog and everyone converged on the location to try to ensure it could not escape. However, being as the dog was scared and very nervous, as well as being in unimaginable pain, it was still a case of hide and seek as the dog ran from place to place trying to get away. Being as it was at night tracking the dog was very difficult and on a number of occasions we thought it had evaded us. Finally the dog took refuge under a parked vehicle and Nikhil under took a very difficult shot with the dart gun and thankfully the dart with the tranquilizer in struck home perfectly.
As soon as the dog was hit with the dart it took off and a protracted chase took place through the busy roads of Mapusa. This was a very nerve racking period as it can take up to 20 minutes for the dog to collapse and it was vital that we kept in contact with it. After 15 minutes the drugs started to take effect and the dog became unsteady on its feet but was still avoiding capture. Finally it took off into Mapusa market where Krishna made a brilliant catch with the dog catcher, which is basically a loop on a pole. Nikhil was quickly on the scene and in no more than a couple of minutes the poor creature was put out of its misery.
With so many disturbances a large crowd had gathered to see what was going on. After the dog had been put to sleep many people in the crowd came forward and patted members of the team on their backs and some even clapped. It is rewarding to know that local people now appreciate the work we are doing and hopefully think more about the animals they have contact with. However the greatest reward is knowing that dog is no longer suffering and that we saved it probably from another two weeks or more of unimaginable pain.