This is a very common question on our social media, and many people ask us why we release animals back onto the street after treatment, isn't that cruel ?
As a person originally from the UK, nothing prepared me for the streets of Kolkata, and the enormaous size of the street animal population in the City. As an animal lover from the West, I struggled to comprehend how animals in India were perceived by some as bad people in a previous life, and should be harmed or killed. It was only in 2001 that a law was introduced in India that made the killing of street dogs illegal.
The Indian street dog, also known as the Pariah (which means outcast and is a horrible name) has been on the streets in Kolkata for thousands of years, and in India there are around 30 million street dogs, with tens of thousands in the city of Kolkata.
A common misconception is that animals on the street have a miserable life and must be saved, this is false. Attitudes of locals are changing and animal advocates are growing, and even veganism is on the rise. Many animals have a very happy existence on the streets, only suffering if they fall ill, have an accident, or worse become victim to human abuse.
Imagine if you fell ill, and were picked up from your house or community, but once recovered you were transferred to another area or house. This would be stressful and wrong, the same applies to animals. Its important that once an animal is treated, they are returned to their community to continue their lives. In the majority of cases, local communities care for the street animals, however they do not have the skills or experience to help the animal in matters of centenary care - Thats where Animal People Alliance come in.
There are cases where an animal will not survive if we return them to the streets, and in those cases we look for a more permanent shelter solution or work with locals to find a forever home. Meantime we focus on educating schools and communities on animal care, and how animals and people can have the perfect alliance.