By Dr. Kuhu Roy
The dog with the most lasting impression on my life was, Marley Mom.
It was in 2006, the 29th of December, I was out to celebrate my best friend’s birthday. It is then that I spotted a malnourished lactating dog with a big growth in her neck. Her striking feature was the tilt of the head. For the same reason she got named Marley Mom. It was from that day that our journey began together. She had three pups of which just one survived, Rapunzel.
The once malnourished dog started to gain confidence with being fed stomach full once a day and soon she and her daughter became friendly enough to be taken for spaying. Post spaying, the mother and daughter got a new lease of life, they started living for themselves and seeing zero population growth, the people around also accepted them.
It was in the March of 2015 that Marley Mom developed hematoma of the ear and other than surgery, no other option was left. So, we sent her to Vadodara SPCA (VSPCA). According to the vets and staff, the surgery went well. However, what came to our notice in this period was the scores of dogs that were lying unattended, howling in pain, crying for help in their shelter, as was also cited by the concerned animal lovers who used to visit their shelter. I remember my mother pulling out atleast three dogs from their shelter who were ready to die, so that she could get them treated privately. Fortunately they all pulled through. That perturbed their vets, Dr. Neha Gupta, in particular, and perhaps that is what claimed Marley Mom’s life.
On the 24th of March, 2015, she was rescued out of Vadodara SPCA. She had big gaping wounds in her arms full of maggots and her lungs had water. I wonder the atrocities she must have been subjected to at their hands and what were the butcher vets doing, I do not know ! She died later during the day. It is self explanatory who the culprits were. Despite police complaint, no action was taken.
Marley Mom’s wounds and injuries were a reflection of lot many things; the treatment that the dogs who came to Vadodara SPCA were meted out with, the indifference of the trustees towards the heinous malpractices at their shelter and vets who were no less than butchers doing more harm than good.
I wish my mother had not sent Marley Mom to VSPCA, I wish I had not spotted those three dogs about to die, I wish my mother had not pulled them out to save them, I wish we had not told the staff and the vets to be a little kind to animals, perhaps Marley Mom would have lived.
On her eighth death anniversary today, I just want to reassure her that her daughter, Rapunzel lived a grand life at home with us.
For the scores of Marley Moms that die inside the four walls of their kill shelter, they have blood of too many on their hands which cannot be let go off so easily. Justice was denied but they cannot escape their karmas.