Image: Northeast Now

Post the COVID-19 lockdowns the migrants might not have had it as good as the stray dogs of eastern Assam Jorhat, thanks to Puhor, an organization of dog lovers.

From early in the morning, this group of dog lovers silently goes about the business of feeding the stray dogs in and around Jorhat town.

“Puhor is an organization of 100 odd people. We take up different localities to feed the strays, at times cooking the food, and at other times making do with dog biscuits, most of the food being carried in bags or buckets to the sites,” said Amrita Kashyap, a member of Puhor and a psychologist at Jorhat Medical College and Hospital.

Kashyap, who carries the food in plastic bags and goes by her scooty, further said though all the members did not go around feeding  the more than 150 strays, they contributed in cash or kind.

Another member of Puhor, Sumita Acharjee, a scientist at the Biotechnology department of Assam Agricultural University said when they had begun feeding the dogs they had initially faced hostility.

“People were of the opinion that the money should have been spent on the poor instead of dogs. Moreover, they did not like us feeding them just anywhere so they were fed mostly near dustbins,” she said.

Kashyap said that the cooking was done together in different places and then collected and given to the strays all over the town and outskirts.

Kashyap said Puhor, Voice for the Voiceless, was formed on January 3 early this year.

“At first it started with a couple of girls and boys and later on many like minded people joined to make it a successful one. Our aims were basically based on the welfare of the street dogs,” she said.

Kashyap said when Puhor was formed the aim was to feed them every alternate day so that they wouldn’t starve to death, but now they are fed almost daily as there is very little waste from kitchens of restaurant, hotels and even households.

The other aims included vaccination of as many street dogs as was possible.

“Our first mega vaccination camp was conducted on March 1 last, where we vaccinated more than 150 dogs,” she said.

Puhor also made sure that the street dogs got proper care and treatment whenever needed also got the local puppies adopted in a healthy home.

“Apart from this we tend to rescue dogs whenever needed, but unfortunately we don’t have a permanent and proper shelter house to keep them,” she further said.

Puhor is led by veterinarian Dr Apurba Buragohain as president, Binod Hazarika, secretary, Fayeja Ahmed, treasurer and Rahul Surajit Handique as assistant secretary.

Smita Bhattacharyya

Smita Bhattacharyya is Northeast Now Correspondent in Jorhat. She can be reached at: triptyaddy@gmail.com