Dr. Navneet Kaur Chatrath
Founder – AWCS Animal Welfare Care Society
If you want a pet, please adopt an indian dog or get a dog from a shelter. They are the best breed of dogs and forever greatful to you. I have two indian dogs that I have adopted from the streets of India and they live with me in Canada now.
Our readers would like to know about your academic journey. Why you chose to be a medical doctor? What is your specialization in the medical field?
I always wanted to become a doctor. I was always in awe of the white coat and the power it has to take away pain and miseries away from the people and bring back happiness and joy in their lives. For this, since tender years of learning, I strived to stay in the top 3 list of the students all through my school years. By the time, I was in grade 10, I already knew that science will be my subject of choice. After burning mid night lamp for 3 continuous years, missing out on most birthdays and marriages of cousins and friends, I got into Dental sciences in Punjab and in the medical college in Mangalore, Karnataka. After my MBBS from KMC Manglore, I went onto do my post graduation in Ear,Nose and throat. Following this I worked as ENT resident in Batra hospital, New Delhi and also in Jaipur golden hospital, Rohini, New Delhi.
You are the founder of animal welfare and care society AWCS. What were the reasons you started this society?
I have always been an empath. I guess I was born like that with an urge in me to help, a human or an animal alike. Since my childhood, I would put food and water for the animals outside my house. My parents have been non-meat eaters and I have grown up watching them show empathy and kindness towards fellow earthlings.
My first dog was a rescued dog named snowy, whom I had adopted from a lady who was not able to take care of her. I was a teenager then!As I grew older, I realised there are many like snowy and snoopy who need to be rescued from hopeless situations and there was more to this, than just cuddling and feeding the dogs.
I felt pained to see the conditions of stray dogs on the streets of India, but I could not do much then, due to time and money constraints.Also due to a very demanding field of Medicine, I was hardly getting time to do any thing else. But after completing my post-graduation in ENT from India, getting married, and now finally settling down, I am able to realise my dream with the help of my husband who fully supports me in this cause.
AWCS has emerged as one of the best Animal rescue & Treatment Shelters (NGO) in Amritsar, where our team of experts and volunteers are working tirelessly to rescue injured indie dogs. We, at shelter provide free treatment to injured stray dogs and house about 65 + pooches till they get fully recoverd.We started in 2020,and In the last two years we have almost successfully treated and released over 1500 injured and sick dogs, gotten over 200 operated for tumors,amputations, vaginal prolapse, hernias, paralysis, abcess, ascites etc. and gotten adopted 200 plus dogs ( indies and abandoned both).
Awcs has recovered doggos from hopeless situations but as they say, resilient people are tethered to hope. The abused, the neglected, the batterd, the very sick., we try to save them all until their last breath.At times we receive dogs, we think, will not pull through the Night. But we have seen miracles happening every day and the dogs tetherd to life just by a tiny thread have bounced back miraculously at our center, transforming into beautiful babies.
You are settled in Canada. Your society is working in Amritsar for injured and homeless animals.
How do you remotely manage your work?
We have a very dedicated team of trustees and directors in Amritsar who devote their unconditional love and time for this noble cause.They are the ones who make sure of smooth day to day functioning and are the first point of contact for all distress calls. I am so proud of them that they make sure no needy pooch gets left behind !
The feeders who feed in different areas in amritsar are our main assets. They call our help line numbers on seeing any injured or sick dog, needing help.Our team is then dispatched and depending upon the severity and nature of the injury or sickness, the dog is treated on the spot or admitted in the center for further management.
Any dog that needs surgical intervention such as tumor resection, amputation, prolapse repair etc is sent to only the best private surgeon in Amritsar. Post op care is then done at the center under the observation of our in house vet and around the clock paravets. We have 15 staff that includes a vet, a surgeon on call, manager, paravets, catchers, cook and cleaners. Being a doctor myself I like to run this center as a proper hospital.
Everyone is assigned a job duty. Proper log books are maintained, X -rays and blood investigations are done as and when needed, doctors orders are followed,pre op and post op management is upto the mark. I would definitely like to add here that many shelters have visiting hours and restricted access to outsiders. I never wanted that. I think of this as my temple and so like in a temple, any one can visit the center any time, day or night.
This also keeps the staff alert to keep the premises clean and tidy all the time.Also due to this, many visitors have now become our dedicated volunteers !
What is the vision and mission of ACWS?
My mission is to save as many dogs as possible, my dream is that one day I won’t have to! We try every now and then to spread awareness about animal welfare and rights among people, educate the children about compassion towards all living beings and motivate people especially in India to adopt our own Indian dogs.
I envision a world that is kind to humans and animals alike. .A world where we can learn to coexist. Where future generations get to see real tigers and lions in the wilderness and not in the story books. That will be very sad!
The second quote I just love is by,An Australian philanthropist, Philip wollen:
“ I discovered when we suffer, we suffer as equals. And in their capacity to suffer, a dog is a pig, is a bear…is a boy.”
What this means is that, the root cause of evil in the world is speciesm. Its sad to see how instead of being their saviour, We look at other species as our slaves. There is fear in the eyes of a horse being whipped to run faster in a race and so is in the eyes of a dog kept in a cage all her life to forcefully produce pure bred puppies.There Is immense sadness in the eyes of an animal caged in a zoo and so is in the eyes of a little boy who is scared of getting beaten by his master . .this is all slavery!
As long as we shall kill animals, we shall kill fellow humans too. And It scares me to think
how we have normalized this slavery in the form of rapes, murder and torture of animals and humans alike. Our eyes are so used to seeing cruelty that we barely notice it. But I see it. .And I also know there are so many more of us than we know; kind and understanding humans, who can not only see the cruelty, but also feel the need to stop it, especially the children.
You are a crown winner in the field of fashion and lifestyle. What is your message to upcoming beauty talents to achieve their dreams?
Yes, I was crowned runner up for “Mrs Asia south Asia Canada” in July 2018 July, in Toronto and also was the winner for “Ms.Common wealth International”. I would like to tell every girl to please concentrate on your education most importantly and pursue modeling and pageants as a side passion. Education is the single most important weapon to take on the world and get that confidence.
In fact I was asked a Question on the platform of Mrs South Asia Canada, “ what do u think is more important…Beauty or brains?” And this was my winning answer!…..
“Most of the good in the world was done by a beautiful mind and not by just a beautiful face.
Mother Teresa, Einstein,Madame Curie were all average looking people who made indispensable contributions and the world is forever grateful to them. If you have a beautiful face you can enjoy while it lasts. But remember, a pretty face will age and fade but an impact of a beautiful mind will last forever!”
You are always fit and energetic. What is the secret behind your fitness?
Firstly I eat healthy. My diet mostly consists of home made food comprising mostly of vegetables, lentils and beans. I eat my fruits daily, don’t eat meat at all and keep my self away from junk food. This automatically cuts down on my fat consumption. Going on a run every morning with my dogs burns my calories too!! I would like to tell your readers that red meat is really bad for your health and can cause cancers and heart problems.
The only time I let go of my dietary restrictions is on weekends or on a vacation when I like to eat gulab jamuns and ice creams and ofcourse when I visit home in.