Freedom for Heera
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(The homeless horse of Dibrugarh)
Heera has an owner and yet he is homeless!
A lone horse battling the harsh weather, rain and scorching heat alike, striding through the dangerous Dibrugarh (Assam) traffic is a common sight most people in Dibrugarh have witnessed. The graceful animal rummaging through the dirty dustbins for food is a sight that will break your heart. The pitiable condition of the animal has outraged many onlookers. And with request pouring in from many quarters, we, the Animal Welfare People (AWP) have decided to take some action.
Few days back, lack of food and care took a toll on Heera's health and he collapsed on the roadside. He was extremely dehydrated, malnourished and weak. We provided him with food and water. However, the owner was nowhere to be seen.
From the rope tied on his neck, we assumed that he had an owner and we tried by all means to locate him. With our members trying every possible way, we finally caught up with the owner—a man with meagre means, someone who can hardly provide for himself, let alone keep a horse as a pet.
The owner, it seems acquired Heera to satisfy his outrageous ego. He bought Heera some 6 months ago (we don't know for how much) and when we asked him, he said that he always wanted a horse (mujhe shaukh hai Ghora rakhne ka). But since he cannot feed him a proper meal (he feeds him biscuits at times) he lets him loose on the streets to find food for himself.
For now we've tried to get him treated and have been feeding him regularly. We also have committed to bear all the expenses of his treatment, medicines and food. But even then Heera is still exposed to the threats of lack of shelter and the traffic of busy streets. We, at AWP want to relocate him to someplace better, where all his needs can be taken care of.
But, we need the owner’s permission to rehabilitate or relocate Heera to a better situation!
We have tried to reason with the owner but in spite of his inability to look after or give proper care and shelter to Heera, he refuses to give up his custody. No amount of coaxing, pleading or reasoning could move him. And from what we have learnt, he plans to buy another Horse (a female to be precise) for ₹5000 in the coming months.
He is least bothered about the pain and suffering that Heera has to undergo each day. And now he desires to acquire another horse—a female horse? Another validation of status perhaps!
We are afraid this will be the highest form of animal abuse if he is allowed to acquire one more horse when he can't and doesn't take care of the one he already owns.
In the Chapter III of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, the laws relating to pets are mentioned.
- Any owner who fails to provide his animal with sufficient food, drink or shelter- Section 11 (h)
- Any person who, without any reasonable cause, abandons an animal in such a situation where the animal is bound to suffer pain due to starvation or thirst- Section 11 (i)
- The punishment, for any of these offences is upto ₹100, and three months imprisonment in case of repetition of the offence.
Citizens of Dibrugarh, we appeal to you to raise your voice with us.
We alone cannot pressurize the owner; we alone cannot convince the administration to action in this matter.
But with our joint efforts we can do it. Our petition is addressed to Maneka Gandhi, honourable MP and Founder of People for Animals (PFA), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and the District Administration of Dibrugarh urging them to compel the owner to give up his custody of Heera.
The petition is filed on the following grounds:
- He(the owner) is unable to provide food and shelter for Heera, which is the basic requirement for an animal to survive.
- A big animal like Heera needs a lot of space for daily exercises and recreation, which his owner has failed to provide him with.
- Heera is most of the times abandoned on the streets by his owner sometimes days on end, exposing him to all sorts of threats (with no regard to the trauma he has to endure in the busy traffic).
- Heera's owner does not take care of his medical needs, or hasn’t taken him to the vet even once in these 6 months of his ownership.
- Heera is also often found tied on a spot with no roof or shade for prolonged hours irrespective of the weather or the time of the day.
- The owner often mercilessly beats Heera in order to tame him.
All of these grounds speaks volume of the ill-treatment and abuse the owner metes out to poor Heera on a daily basis.
Please help us, help Heera.
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