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Importance of animal welfare: An interview with Delhi-based animal activist and feeder, Ittika Duggal

Ms. Ittika Duggal, has been continuously taking care of the strays especially the dogs for the last more than seven years, through her own sources of income generation pursuits, be it freelancing or working for long hours, online, to feed these stray animals. She houses five stray dogs in her house with separate beds for each.

Q. Hi, Ittika. What was the reason that made you so passionate about the stray animals?

It all started when we brought a little puppy in our house. Initially, I was hesitant in indulging myself in having a domestic pet in the family, but gradually I started taking care of the puppy. It used to fall sick very often and we had to take care of his health and well-being. While taking care of the puppy and its response to the treatment grew my interest in my pet. The puppy became a part of our family.

But, one day, at the age of 7 years, my pet, my life, suddenly suffered multi-organ failure and had to be put down. My inspiration has been my beloved Bruno and I see him in each one of the strays.

Q. Tell us about yourself and your quest for animal welfare?

I am a Member of PFA and an area Representative of the Indian Animal Welfare Board, GoI. I also have a small NGO named, Let the Tails Wag and committed to the welfare of the strays through sterilization, vaccination, adoption, distress redressal of the animals, rehabilitation and of course feeding. My special endeavor has been during the pandemic period which could not deter me from committing to the lovely creatures.

Q. How you think the community can be involved in animal welfare?

People now are more aware to the animal rights and protection due to various sources of media. People are not shy now in lending a helping hand to the cause of the unrepresented creatures. The awareness needs to be generated by informing the people at large that a stray gets ferocious when it is not fed properly or is weak and ailing, especially the stray dogs. Now the governments are also taking birth control measures to keep a tap on the population explosion of the strays. The strays, especially the dogs, have been the oldest friend of the human beings and thus, people need to be compassionate about their needs.

Q. What hurdles you faced in your field of activity?

It has been more than seven years that I have been associated with the strays and had to face lot of resistance and opposition, while I used to feed the animals. People would often won’t let me feed them as it would cause the pack gathering at one place. During COVID19 pandemic period, the administrative machinery posed its objections despite me carrying the Curfew Pass.

But, these small storms could not affect me in my endeavor to take care of the neglected friend of the mankind since times immemorial. I shall continue to pursue my passion throughout my life.

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