Gayatri Balaji, Corporate Strategist in her day job and colony feeder at the JP Nagar & Mini Forest area and welfarist 24/7 has some very insightful, simple and people friendly tips for feeders. While feeders are a wonderful angelic community who have only now got their rights, it behoves all feeders to keep doing those wonderful things but also ensuring they know their duties and responsibilities. One nasty feeder (just like many bad residents ) can create a very tense neighbourhood situation.
(In the above picture, Gayatri is photographed with a dog rescued by her and Harini (right) now all dressed up for a fashion show at Candor High School.)
In the JP Nagar Canine Squad Whatsapp group, she shared: " as feeders we have to be responsible and ensure we keep the public peace snd abide by laws ourselves.
Some tips for feeders on this group that we’ve learned over years of feeding and caring for community dogs
1) Feed early morning or late night so as not to attract the attention of unwanted elements.
2) Same place, same time every day or alternate days or whatever be your schedule. Animals are creatures of habit so please try to stick to a schedule
3) No feeding in front of houses, buildings, schools etc. - as much as possible we feed where no one can object. Please clean up if you put food down on paper or bowls
4) Dogs must be neutered and vaccinated, via BBMP or even privately. As feeders, we must use our rapport with the the dogs to get them ABC and ARV, thereby keeping the humans and the other dogs in the area , safe. It's not good enough (or responsible) to just pet and feed them.
5) No group feeding - every dog must have its unique spot and its separate food
7) Avoid public arguments - remember that for every one of us that loves these dogs, there are thousands that hate them or are scared. If someone accosts you, please take the conversation to a quiet and private place. Remember these people can be really nasty or hurt the streetie when you are NOT around. We don't want that. Bette to use honey than vinegar ;-)
8) Always be polite to people who ask what you are doing. If they are scared of dogs or don’t like them - let them be - don’t mock them or scoff at them. They have as much right to their negative feelings as we have to our positive ones. If you are able to gently get them to see the other side, please do - mostly these “converts” start to love as passionately as they used to hate
9) Build your network , Know your friends - the people who smile when they see what you are doing or say a good word - if possible get a conversation going or even get their numbers - many such people have helped us tremendously in our doggie pursuits
10) Please take pictures of all dogs you feed and note any significant markings they have - color, size, tail, ears, paws etc.
11) We name all our dogs and find that it is easy to call them to feed by name - no loud shouting of names however.
12) Keep a medical history of all your community dogs including vaccination stats
13) Please collar if you can with reflective collars
14) Join your local canine squad, so you can share information, medical updates, news, neutering etc with community members. This can prove very useful in times of emergency, problem, lost dog etc
15) Ensure that your group has access to area influencers - corporator, police, BBMP Zonal AD, local MLA etc so that in case of any escalation, it's easier to handle."
Make your streeties welcome in their community, well fed, neutered, vaccinated and loving.
Thats all we want as feeders, isn't it?