Despite the second national lockdown, the many stray dogs in Thimphu are fed daily. Thinley Norbu, a tour operator and the founder of Zeus for Strays and Homeless Dog Food said that before they could feed around 300 stray dogs but now due to the lockdown they can feed around 220 strays.
“We have adopted 150 strays and we have to walk a 400-meter distance from IT park to where these dogs are and we are allowed to move within this area. We also have other members near the Olakha workshop who are allowed to go till livestock office at Semtokha. We are not allowed to use our cars since we do not have the permit so we have to take the food and walk around and feed the dogs,” he said.
Earlier the group used to go till Changjiji to feed the strays but due to lockdown they are not allowed to move there.
He said that due to the lockdown dog food and certain eatables are not available since the shops are not open and three dogs died due to the lockdown as the group couldn’t reach there to feed them.
“This was some of the challenges we faced. And also we are not able to provide treatment since the veterinary hospitals are closed, other than that we are providing a proper diet,” he said.
Zeus focuses on a nutritious diet and also provides medication to the stray dogs. They have rescued puppies and are also facilitating adoption of puppies.
He said, “I have a dog named Zeus and around March he was sick and I took him to the veterinary, and while returning we saw lots of dog facing hunger and thirst and getting sick. So as a dog lover I thought it was the right moment where we can look after them since we do not have any work, and from there we decided and formed a small team and started feeding the dogs.”
To feed strays the group uses three bags of rice and 7 kilos of Chicken every day. “We have a store room where we keep around 50 bags of rice every month so during such a situation we do not run out of foods for the strays,” he said.
During the 17th December, the group fed all the stray dogs in Thimphu dedicating it to the Wangchuck Dynasty and the group collected some contribution. Currently they are using this money to feed the strays.
The group rescued five dogs in the current lockdown and have taken them to the Jangsa clinic for treatment. “We receive calls where the injured dogs are spotted and though we do not have the movement permit we request the officials and they understand and allow us to go to the clinic,” he said.
He added, “The COVID-19 crisis has also affected animals, but they cannot voice their plight. These dogs used to survive on the leftover food from the canteens and hotels. Now, there is no such facility, resulting in their starvation. Stray dogs belong to no one, but also to everyone. We cannot ignore their sufferings and so I would request all the people to feed the strays in their localities and mitigate their hunger during this lockdown.”
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