The Dog Rescuers of Kashmir

Read about the wonderful work of Kashmir Animal Welfare Foundation.

To know more about them and to witness the awesome work they do for animals, follow the link to their Facebook page and their Instagram. You can also email them at kashmiranimalwelfare@gmail.com.

Kashmir is a paradise on Earth, with valleys, beautiful meadows, picturesque mountain peaks, but conflict and violence at the heart of it all. Kashmiris have undergone a lot of struggle and pain, and are now even more unable to communicate with the rest of the world.

But just like everywhere else, Kashmir has stray dogs. They are not dissimilar to Himalayan Gaddi Kuttas, with more musculature and thicker, furrier coats than the rest of the dogs of the subcontinent. They have fuller bodies because of their high consumption of chicken, mutton, and fish. Compassionate locals feed leftovers to some strays, keeping them healthy and well-fed. However, there is still a lot of animal abuse, mishandling, and accidental deaths of dogs.

Two friends had an idea

Sanna Bandey and Asma Noor Sheikh, two animal lovers, have been rescuing animals for a while now. They felt the need to help stray dogs in Kashmir Valley every time they visited. After meeting fellow animal lover Nighat Lone, they registered Kashmiri Animal Welfare Foundation and began operations.  

Kashmir Animal Welfare Foundation (KAWF) is the only registered not-for-profit, self-funded, volunteer based organization in Kashmir valley with a mission to help and improve the lives of abused, starving, injured/ignored/abandoned strays of Kashmir Valley. From a handful of animal lovers to a volunteer base of 35 people, KAWF has come a long way in the last one year.

How Kashmir Animal Welfare Foundation works

KAWF registers 3-4 cases on a daily basis with ailments ranging from skin issues to accidental injuries to severe medical problems like meningitis. Some of the cases are treated on the spot by volunteers who are equipped with the required medical supplies and training to handle simpler issues. Others that need immediate and long-term medical attention are transported to the kennels where caretakers handle the cases on a 24/7 basis.

KAWF has been instrumental during the lock down, running feeding drives across cities and making sure animals that have lost their sources of food are fed and their survival is taken care of. It’s been difficult for volunteers to wade through curfewed areas in order to feed stray dogs, cows, horses, and birds. Others helped by managing smaller drives around their localities.

Spreading awareness and reach

This has also helped the organization spread its reach towards areas which were, otherwise, alien to animal welfare. The word, once out, has garnered special attention from media outlets who have written applauding the work that KAWF is doing.

However, the support from government and local animal welfare bodies is still negligible. Except for the allowance of usage of the SMC’s Cattle Pound, any other assistance has been a distant dream.

AWF is capable of changing the animal welfare scenario in Kashmir Valley but this isn’t possible unless they receive support and handholding from all ends. In fact, if planned properly, animal welfare projects, ABC drives, and awareness programs in the valley can be run through them as they are a diligent team of young animal lovers who go that extra mile to make an animal feel safe and secure.

For more information, general advice, and news on dogs, visit the VOSD website.