Members of the Humane Club at Menlo-Atherton High School welcomed PAHS education volunteer Ridhima Khurana to their weekly meeting on Thursday, May 25. Ridhima had founded a dog rescue NGO (nongovernmental organization, similar to a nonprofit) in India several years before she came to live in the Bay Area this past January, and she continues to run the rescue long distance.
Ridhima’s concern for the fate of stray and abandoned street dogs in her home city of Delhi prompted her to take action to help these dogs. Contacting likeminded people, she began by feeding homeless dogs and taking them to veterinary clinics for treatment. She applied for a grant that originally funded her NGO and procured space to house unwanted dogs, feed and care for them, and give them the chance to be adopted. Over the years she has saved the lives of hundreds of dogs, and a few of these have found their way to Australia, Canada, and the States. Her organization, Adopt a Dog, is still very active and is now partnering with Red Paws Rescue, also in Delhi, to save and rehabilitate street dogs.
Ridhima enhanced her discussion with online photographs that included “before and after” shots and as personal stories about the dogs she has helped and references to the Facebook pages for the organizations she described. Students attending her session became aware of the biases against street dogs, the reasons/excuses people give for abandoning purchased breed dogs, and the difficulties in addressing instances of animal cruelty in India.
Ridhima has also shared her experiences with the Animal Welfare Club at St. Francis High School in Mountain View and with other PAHS educational volunteers. Her insights and her passion for the welfare of all animals—and dogs in particular—are welcome and valuable additions to our education program.