How I started PAWS!
(The Plant and Animal Welfare Society)
By Nilesh Bhanage, (written at the age of 22, now 27)
When I was 18 years old and flying a kite on my terrace,
I found a completely blind pigeon with crows attacking
him. I immediately 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 medicine.
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 stray 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 work!
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 cost.
Then the SPCA of Ahmednagar gave us a special gift--a
van! We modified it and started the Animal Ambulance
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 existence very soon. Please pray to God