June 16, 2006
Help in Suffering
"I pray...that inside each person the mother will wake so that no animal feels like an orphan and the world will be filled by love and care." Bhavna Jain, former animal care manager, Help in Suffering - Jaipur, India
From elephants, camels and horses to dogs, cats and birds, Help in Suffering (HIS) has seen it all. Based in Jaipur, India, some 162 miles south of New Delhi, the animal care center runs programs to aid all species in the state of Rajasthan.
In 2001, Humane Society International began a close relationship with the center by contributing to its highly successful Animal Birth Control, or ABC, program, which it has run since 1994.
The goals of the ABC program are to curb the population of stray and feral animals through sterilization and to lower the number of rabies cases. Vaccinations against rabies are given to the animals at the time of sterilization, lowering the chance of transmission of the fatal disease to humans.
Rabies was an especially significant issue in Jaipur through the 1990s. Since 1994, more than 50,000 dogs have been sterilized and treated through the ABC program, and HIS works with the local municipality to train staff to implement the program. They also help train veterinarians, managers and hire staff of other municipalities from around India so they may undertake ABC programs in their areas in a professional manner. As a result of this intensive initiative, human rabies cases in the program area declined to zero in 2003, and the dog population dropped by 28 percent. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognized the program as a way to control the spread of rabies.
In addition to training, Humane Society International sponsors a project that undertakes investigations into street dog behavior and the effectiveness of ABC programs so as to advise on better control strategies and encourage government officials to adopt such programs. They have published a number of papers regarding the effectiveness of the programs as well as street dog ecology.
New techniques and the surgical skills of vets at HIS have had a profound effect on the success of the Jaipur ABC program. The center collaborates with Rajasthan University to train veterinary students in animal welfare issues.
Humane Society International has sponsored the work of British veterinarian Jack Reece, the 2007 awardee for Extraordinary Commitment and Achievement, who has overseen numerous training projects for vets all over India and provided support to the sterilization and rabies control programs.
In addition to conducting spay and neuter clinics and running a shelter, Help in Suffering works with the Brooke Hospital for Animals (BHA). Many people in India are not fully educated about the proper care of their work animals, and this program ensures community development and instructs the correct way to use harnesses and bits. BHA's approach on community development strays away from their previous line of work providing direct medical treatment for horses to instead stressing "facilitation", "participation," and "engagement." Thus, what BHA hopes to accomplish is helping their communities, which will hopefully, in turn, help their hoofed-mammal friends.
The center also runs many humane education programs for children and adults, with the belief that if one can enlighten the mind of children, both animals and humans will benefit in the long run. In addition, a treatment and education program for the more than 6,000 draught/working camels of Jaipur provides free veterinary treatment to these animals as well as education to their owners on welfare friendly husbandry practices. HIS also provide reflectors for camel carts to reduce night time road accidents.
HIS is also in charge of a treatment and education program for the city's 110 captive, working Indian elephants, funded by the Elephant Family charity in the UK. In addition to veterinary treatment and education of mahouts the program veterinary surgeon encourages changes in government policy, which will improve the welfare of the elephants. HIS' elephant veterinary surgeon recently received an award from the Vice President of India for his work improving the welfare of Jaipur's elephants.
Humane Society International congratulates Help in Suffering for its many achievements and is proud to be affiliated with this 2004 Animal Advocates awardee.