Mongrels and strays bring happiness to homes in India
Injured on the railway track, Sara's leg showed 8 inches of blackened bone.
Vivienne Choudhary had not seen "such a horrible injury" before, and to make matters worse, all 3 of Sara's young were weak and in bad shape.
If not for In Defense of Animals India (IDA), Sara may still be roaming the streets and none of her pups would have survived.
Today, Sara may have lost a leg but is more agile than her other 4-legged friends. And even though only one of her pups survived, he's grown into a handsome pooch who loves his mother.
Established in 1996, this non-profit organisation helps more than 1,000 animals every month in a country rampant with animal abuse. The lack of effective laws makes animals, especially stray dogs, easy targets for cruelty.
Vendant Jewani, a volunteer at IDA, felt a strong urge to help the dogs in light of the increased cruelty cases. "People hit the dogs for no rhyme or reason," he adds.
International studies show that ill-treatment of animals is closely associated with domestic abuse and violent crimes. So, it's no surprise that organisations like IDA take mistreatment of animals very seriously. Their work includes not just the rescue and rehabilitation of abused domestic animals, but also wildlife.
And it also continues to educate the public through campaigns in surrounding towns and awareness talks in schools.
The work can be physically and mentally hard, but never thankless.
"I can't tell you how satisfying it is," says Vivienne, who also happens to be the President of IDA.
Perhaps the most satisfying part is seeing rescued dogs find a loving home. Adopters are not charged any adoption fee but do have to compensate their new pet every day - with lots of love and affection!
As adoption is not for everyone, there are various other ways to support IDA's work, like volunteering at the shelter, contributing professional skills during campaigns and in various other areas.
For those keen to help but unable to give time, they can choose to sponsor the pooches and felines instead. In addition, they receive regular updates of their sponsored pet and are welcome to visit them at the shelter.
And of course, you'd indirectly be helping them get more Sara's (and pups) off harsh streets.