When Goa's monsoon arrives, restaurants close, tourists depart and, without them, dogs and cats go hungry for 5 months. Help feed them.
About the project
I'm Irish and this is my second monsoon in Agonda, South Goa.
Between May and October the monsoon is here in Goa, and with it comes lots of rain. Most of the restaurants close and the tourists go home. These are the very restaurants and tourists that lots of homeless and ownerless dogs and cats depend on for food for seven months of the year (November to April). For the other five months, the rainy season, these animals grow thin and hungry. Even though it is still quite warm here, around 25 degrees, if the animals get wet, they can also get cold, particularly if they are hungry.
With the help of some sponsors (from UK and Belgium) who have been sending me money I have been buying dog food to feed certain dogs here - notably Lilly, Charlie Brownie, Debbie, Tommy and Fat Slag (I send shop receipts for the dog food to all the sponsors). My first arrangement like this began in the 2014 monsoon, for all the above dogs, except Lilly who has been a new addition this year (and now also lives at our house).
I have also been sent enough money for 15kg of dog food for Barbie and Sindy, but that food will run out soon and their American sponsor also has to raise money to export a "problem" dog from India to Israel where he will have a proper home, so I am trying to source other funds to continue feeding them.
On my way to feed the various dogs and cats that I do, I pass lots of other skinny, hungry dogs and cats. Some have even started following me about, hoping that I spill a few dog or cat biscuits or have caved in and bought a tub for them too. Notably, Bendy Dog, who was born with crooked legs, and hobbles about - a big fella, but bony now, one month into monsoon. He sits drooling beside me when I feed Davey Cat and Phillip Cat at the north end of the beach.
And then there's Tipu Dog, a homeless German Shepherd at the south-end of the beach, who has no nose (he lost it in a fight with a leopard or dog or cow) and now breathes through his mouth. He's also big and full of life and energy, but also starving hungry when I meet him.
There are others. Bisto Boris and his brother Curly, two young black and white dogs, will follow me all the way home in the hope of a handful of dog biscuits or a packet of Tiger cookies. Various cats and kittens gather meowing hopefully at my feet with the dogs when I'm feeding Davey and Philip Cats. I can't financially afford to feed them all, and neither can the sponsors who already help. However, if people send a little money, I will buy food and bring it to the animals and at least we can help alleviate a little hunger.
FEATURING THE ANIMALS YOU KNOW
If you know a particular dog or cat in Agonda from your travels here, and can support this fundraiser, send me a photo of the dog or cat and tell me where they hang out, I will do my best to include them on my feeding walks, and if possible to get a photo to post here for you.
All accounts and dog and cat food receipts will be posted here.
I can't offer "rewards" for donations, as such, but you can read updates about the animals at my Facebook page linked below. I'll also post photos. If you come to Goa you can meet the animals :)
I'll write more about this project here very soon, but for the moment I just want to get it started.
THE £1200 TARGET
The £1200 target is based on about 120,000 Indian Rupees (INR). The actual amount of INR raised will depend on the exchange rates when I transfer the funds into INR (which will be reported here).
That's 10 dogs, at 0.5kg of Pedigree dry food each a day which means I will go through up to 5kg dog food a day.*
Each 15kg sack of dog food will then last 3 days.
July, August, September, October totals approx 120 days.
That means I need to buy 40x 15kg sacks of dog food at 2200 Indian Rupees each = 88,000 INR.
Then there's the cats....
I'm estimating I'll go through 500g of Whiskas dry food a day (feeding 4 to 5 cats, not always the same cats).*
Over 120 days, that's 60kg, or 9x 7kg bags at 1510 INR each = 13,000 INR.
*Note: The smaller dogs won't eat so much, and I may not feed 10 dogs every day, in which case the food will simply last longer, and I'll keep feeding into November. I expect to have 6 regular dogs: Barbie, Sindy, Boris, Curly, Bendy and Tipu. 5 dogs are already covered by separate individual sponsorships (Charlie Brownie, Debbie, Tommy, Fat Slag and Lilly). Barbie and Sindy are covered by an individual sponsorship until the end of June.
Then there's the rickshaws...
I'll deliver the food up and down the beach to the animals on foot.
But to buy the food I will have to use rickshaws as Chaudi/Canacona, the nearest town, is 10km away and the sacks will be too heavy to transport by bus.
Rickshaws cost 400 INR return.
If I hire a rickshaw about 18 times over the 4 months to stock up, that will be 18 x 400 = 7200 INR.
Total so far: 108,200 INR
The remaining 12,000 INR (approx £120) is a 10% contingency to cover:
- fluctuations in the £ST to INR exchange rates,
- changes in dog/cat food prices,
- any bank/PayPal charges
- some ongoing feeding in November until the tourist season and restaurant businesses pick up.
- possible Plozin worming tablets for the regular dogs and cats (on the basis that it will make their food go further) at 35 INR per 10kg of dog/cat!
- ... But in the end it will all be used up for animal feeding purposes and accounted for here.
WHAT YOUR MONEY BUYS (APPROXIMATELY)
Let's assume £1 = 100 INR which is a pretty good exchange rate (it usually hovers between 90 - 100 INR per £).
2800 INR / £28 = 20kg Pedigree Adult Dog Food (not always available in this size)
2200 INR / £22 = 15kg Pedigree Adult Dog Food
1530 INR / £15 = 10kg Pedigree Adult Dog Food
1510 INR / £15 = 7kg Whiskas Adult Cat Food
THE BIGGER PICTURE
I'm not proposing that this is a solution to any of the broader animal woes here in Agonda, Goa. Yes, the dogs and cats need to be neutered, innoculated, wormed and treated for various illnesses and so on and so on. Yes, the feral dog and cat population ultimately needs to be reduced if they are all to stay happy and healthy and stress-free.
But I'm not dealing with those bigger issues here. All I'm trying to achieve is to alleviate a little animal hunger.
Having said that, if a particular animal I mention in ongoing posts takes your fancy and you'd like to do more for that animal in terms of sponsoring their worming, innoculations, spaying/neutering and so on, I'll send you the local prices and do my best to arrange for it to take place (time permitting, I have to do my day job in addition to taking several hours each day to feed the animals...) and we can arrange transfer of the sponsorship money and veterinary receipt separately.
So, for the moment, all I'm saying is that I'm willing to put the time in, and if you're willing to put some money in, then maybe we can together make monsoon a little more comfortable and less hungry for a few animals.
You can read lots more about the animals on my Facebook writer's page here: http://www.facebook.com/JRHughesWriter
I'd very much appreciate any 'Shares' of this fundraising page, and any 'Likes' and 'Shares' of my Facebook page.
Wishing you health, wealth and happiness,
Charlie Brownie, one of the first sponsored dogs.
Barbie (the golden dog) and Sindy (also known as Mama Mia and Poopie) having a snack.
Lilly (sponsored from Belgium) and Solar Kitten (sponsored from UK) meet on the porch!
Fat Slag, Debbie, Tommy and Charlie (otherwise known as Charlie and his Angels), the fattest dogs on Agonda Beach thanks to their sponsors in the UK.
Philip Cat, Mummy Cat and Davey Kitten and their first encounter with Whiskas Cat Food.
Example of receipt for dog food. So far we've always bought from this shop.
Some stocks of dog food arrive...