Photos by Karna Bahadur Dura
Commentary by Suz Fisher, Dog International blog editor
Karna Dura, a good friend from Pokhara, Nepal, spent several weeks in December 2016 traveling to art festivals and museums in India. Karna has a Bachelor’s degree in art and is a gifted photographer. His photos capture moments of “streetie” (street dog) life in Goa from a tourist’s-eye view. In an upcoming post, a Goan dog rescuer will take us into her world and show us the rescuer’s-eye view of Goan streeties.
Each of these dog’s bodies tells the story of their lives – notched ears (indicating they have been sterilized), a body covered in flies, hunger in some cases, well-fed bodies in others, isolation and companionship, a tumor, playing in the waves of the Indian Ocean, sleeping on cool stone, the danger of road-crossing. And just being…in the moment, the way dogs just be.
Goa, India sits on the Arabian Sea. It’s a popular destination for international tourism. Many of the street dogs in tourist areas are well-fed, unlike many, many street dogs worldwide. And quite a few street dogs in Goa are also beach dogs. These dogs below however, are in Kochi – another coastal town in India.
Several of the dogs in these photos look like aboriginal Indian pariah dogs, also known as INdogs, or mixes thereof – particularly the tan ones. There is a “je ne sais quoi” inherent beauty in these indigenous dogs. I don’t know what it is. But I am captured by it.
I spent 2 weeks in Nepal in April 2016 where I saw many street dogs and unowned village dogs. There are far too few organizations working to protect them. There are far too many streeties being run down by vehicles daily. There are far too many abused and neglected by human beings. Karna’s home village is in remote region in the hills of Nepal. There, he said, the number one killer of village dogs is…leopards.
It is easy to romanticize the complete freedom that street dogs and unowned village dogs of the world experience…but at what cost?
What do you think is the best way to help street dogs? And how can people far removed from the places where street dogs live, help create a better life, a better future for them?
Notice the head scars.
Safe to drink? (I’m guessing…not so much.)
Note the leg wound.
Does this make you want to yawn?
Notched ear = sterilized.
This one is extremely fortunate to be well-fed.
Whoever notched this baby’s ear needs to calm down.
Well-fed, but that ear looks extremely mangy.
This dog is in Kochi, another Indian town on the ocean.
Note the notched right ear–another sterilized dog.
It seems impossible to get an accurate estimate on how many street dogs there are worldwide. Several websites state that the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are 200 million. The European Society of Dog and Animal Welfare (ESDAW) estimates that there are 600 million homeless cats and dogs combined worldwide (with no breakdown by species). Indian news magazine India Today claims in a 2014 article that there are 30 million street dogs in India. By all, estimates, it seems there are hundreds of millions of street dogs worldwide.
How can we help them?
Perhaps that is the wrong question. It seems an overwhelming proposition to be able to help all of them. But how can concerned people help as many streeties as possible? Where does one start? In an upcoming post, we’ll follow the journey of Maddie – a Kathmandu (Nepal) street dog who will be traveling to New York, USA, in April to meet her new adoptive parents. She was rescued by Sneha’s Care in Lalitpur, Nepal. She is one street dog, one life. And that life counts.
Please share your thoughts and ideas on how to help street dogs in the comments section below.
Latest posts by Karna Bahadur Dura (see all)
- Streeties: A Photo Essay of Street Dogs–Goa, India - March 24, 2017