KARACHI: Organisations working for the welfare of animals have been around for nearly a decade but are still fighting to be taken seriously by the authorities.
The Pakistan Animal Welfare Society (Paws) started working for rights and welfare of animals back in 2004. The organisation has been active for more than 10 years without a proper office or paid staff members. It is funded primarily by donations made by animal lovers across the country.
“Our biggest problem is that many people think that we are doing this because we have nothing else to do”, said Paws co-founder Mahera Omar, while talking to The Express Tribune. “It’s high time that people in Pakistan take the issue of animal welfare seriously.”
Since the people in the city lack awareness, it is hard for us to set up offices for animal welfare organisations, said Kiran, a volunteer at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “Our society does not take the issue of animal rights seriously,” she complained. She also requested that the people give space to animals in their homes as the animals are living creatures too.
“Helping animals and catering to their health is like taking care of humanity,” said Dr Shernawaz, an official at Brooke Hospital for Animals and the owner of the centre for horses and donkeys. “Donkeys and horses are such animals that also help humans.”
The Sindh government and the city administration should start a campaign to raise awareness about animal welfare among the masses, suggested Omar.
The issue of animal rights is worst in Karachi as compared to other cities, she claimed. “Animal inspectors are currently working in Lahore so why can’t there be some in Karachi?”
“There is no veterinary lab in a big city like Karachi,” said Omar. The Richmond Crawford Government Veterinary Hospital is the only government hospital that caters to treatment of animals, she claimed.
The government must strive to establish more hospitals for animal care, she said. “At least the city administration should set up animal hospitals in all the districts of the metropolis,” she demanded. Most of the private pet clinics are situated either in Defence or Gulshan, she said.
Another problem that needs to be discussed is of stray animals, said Omar. There should be mobile clinics and ambulances for the injured stray animals, she added.
Omar termed the problem of stray pets as the one that needs to he discussed the most. She suggested that there must be mobile clinics and ambulances for the injured stray animals, as the already injured pet is taken to the animal clinics in a rickshaw.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2015.