Lifesavers for Dogs and People

Post by

Jaigar O'Neill

November 12th 2020

Lifeguards on the beaches of India not only help protect people but all life on the beach, including the dogs.

The beaches in Goa are home to many stray dogs, making the patrolled beaches, with the lifeguards, beach-goers and dogs, a busy place to be. It also creates some unique occupational hazards for those life-savers on patrol. For example, sometimes when lifeguards run across the beach to perform a rescue or go on patrol, they can accidentally startle the beach dogs and get chased.

ABOVE PHOTO: Beach dogs at Candolim beach, Goa, resting in the shade of the jet ski.

This is why our Education Officers are working with local lifeguards to provide them with knowledge on dog behaviour and rabies prevention, and build their understanding of how people and dogs can coexist.

ABOVE PHOTO: A Q&A session at Candolim beach, Goa.

Through a series of Q&A sessions, the lifeguards are learning Mission Rabies' life-saving lessons on how to avoid dog bites and what to do in the event of one. This knowledge will not only help protect themselves from injury and deadly diseases like rabies, but also help support beach-goers, and even protect the dogs themselves from mistreatment.

ABOVE PHOTO: The life-saving team at Candolim beach, Goa.

Here are some key points they've learned from Mission Rabies.

How to avoid being bitten

  • Do not disturb a dog when it is eating, sleeping, or feeding its puppies
  • Do not tease, hurt or hit a dog, or startle it. Dogs can be very sensitive to seeing sticks as they have associations of pain with them (perhaps carry biscuits, instead of sticks)

What to do to if bitten

  • Immediately wash the wound with any type of soap and running water for 15 minutes. This helps to remove most of the virus particles.
  • Apply an antiseptic like Dettol and keep the wound uncovered.
  • Go to the hospital and request post-exposure treatment.

What to do if you see a rabid dog

If you suspect a rabid dog, do not approach it. Call the Mission Rabies Goa's 24-hour hotline on 7744029586.

To learn more about our life-saving work and how you can be part of making this The Final Rabies Generation, please click here.