How I started PAWS!
(The Plant and Animal Welfare Society)
By Nilesh Bhanage, (written at the age of 22, now 25)
When I was 18 years old and flying a kite on my terrace,
I found a completely blind pigeon with crows attacking
him. I immediatley shooed the crows and took the pigeon
to my flat (apartment). My younger brother gave him water,
and he drank it very quickly.
At that time I knew that there was a veterinarian, but
I didn't know how to get him to treat the pigeon. Then
my cousin told me to go see this one girl who treats animals.
She immediately took the pigeon and treated him with homeopathic
In her house I found parrots, dogs, a guinea pig, and
a tortoise. When I asked her about the animals, she said
that she was a government Animal Welfare Officer, and
all these animals/birds were starys or rescued from sellers
and under rehabilitation. She was also a member of a nature
club, and it was through this club that she did the rescue
That was the day in my life when my thinking about animals
changed. She taught me that animals and birds cannot speak
for themselves, and we only have to feel their pain. She
told me that if you learn to treat animals or free a bird
from a cage, you will be blessed by God, and you can see
the happy faces of those honest animals. Then I started
feeding dogs and started training under her to treat wounded
dogs and cats. I decided to start PAWS.
It has taken two years to learn how to treat animals,
then where to admit cattle, and where all the hospitals
and shelters are located. But I contacted other volunteers
and got PAWS registered. Meanwhile, I became an honorary
Animal Welfare Officer with the Animal Welfare Board of
the government of India.
After registration of PAWS, I built a small pigeon shelter
(because the pigeon I first took in had died). Then our
veterinarian, Dr. Hukkeri, who had started treating our
animals free of cost and gave us space in his bunglow
to use as an animal clinic, helped us to set up the clinic
and fill it with medicines. Now our members/volunteers
bring animals for treatment, and we treat them free of
Then the SPCA of Ahmednagar gave us a special gift--a
van! We modified it and started the Animal Ambulance service.
Now people recognize me and my work. By email or phone
request, people gives us donations, too, but my end aim
is to start a full-fledged animal hospital. We are searching
for land for that now, and I hope my dream will come into
existance very soon. Please pray to God for this!