Dogs can survive a maximum of three days without water, and not more than five days without food. In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, the streets of Chennai have been devoid of human movement, leaving the strays to fend for themselves.
But the city isn't devoid of its samaritans, who continue to volunteer to supply food and water to its street dogs.
There are around 1,85,000 stray dogs in Chennai, and around 3,000 registered pets.
Our Friends, The Police, Care For Man's Best Friend
While the city's police force enforced the lockdown, they aren't unaware of the hunger of stray dogs. On numerous occasions, members of Chennai City Police have been seen feeding stray dogs, and giving them water. In the absence of rain, this is vital to their survival.
Almost every area in the city has seen its fair share of samaritans, who brave the virus to feed the strays. While some travel across the town to various locations each day to feed strays, others take care of strays in their locality.
The Blue Cross of India
Based in Velachery in Chennai, Blue Cross of India currently feeds over 1000 stray animals across town including dogs, cats and cows. Over 200 kgs of rice, 20-30kgs of dal, processed soya and ghee are being used each day to prepare the feed.
The organisation depends on donations, and is run by volunteers who scout multiple locations in search of strays in need.
One of the major issues that volunteers and samaritans across the city face, is that of dumping, which continues even during lockdown. Dumping, is basically abandoning of pets - typically young ones - in bags or crates.
Like with other cities, there are two sides to Chennai as well. One abandons, while the other nurtures. Which side are you on?
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