Mumbai: SoBo bizman accuses Parel animal hospital of abducting his Labrador

A hospital committee member took away the dog because it kept barking and wailing and was not being taken care of at the businessman’s old-age home

Napean Sea Road resident Tehmtan Dumasia is doggedly chasing the release of his three-year-old Labrador. He has complained against the Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals in Parel for abduction and theft of his dog, Poison, from the old-age home he helps run in Byculla.

Tehmtan Dumasia with 3-year-old Labrador, named Poison
Tehmtan Dumasia with 3-year-old Labrador, named Poison

The businessman alleges powerful people who hold a grudge against him have done this to him. He says the officials have kept the dog at Parel animal hospital, where another dog bit him recently.

Harish Patel, a staffer points at the spot where the dog, Poison, was kept. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Harish Patel, a staffer points at the spot where the dog, Poison, was kept. Pic/Bipin Kokate

Dumasia is resident of Godrej Baug at Napean Sea Road, a businessman by profession Dumasia and his wife Shehnaz are both dog lovers. At home, they also have a seven-year-old Lab. Speaking to mid-day, Dumasia said, "I was looking to adopt a dog and was making rounds of the animal hospital in Parel. I saw a few dogs but they were not in a good condition; some were diseased. In the first week of February, I got call from Thrity Guzder, a committee member of the hospital who said that someone had left a dog tied to a tree in the hospital premises and I can take that dog with me."

He added, "Next day, I went with my wife and saw the three-year-old black Labrador. On February 11, I adopted the dog. All procedures were followed and I was given the adoption form (mid-day has a copy). We have an old age home called Dr Dossibai and Jehangir Ratanshaw Dadabhoy Charity Trust Medical Infirmary, which is in the compound of the Masina Hospital in Byculla. 12 senior citizens currently reside at the place."

Kept in old age home
"I kept the dog at this old-age home and named him Poison. We kept him because the senior citizens would like him; they could play with him and feel secure. Initially, for a few days, Poison kept barking all day long, but after three days, he got comfortable. He was always an aggressive dog, so he barked a lot at people."

Coincidentally, Guzder is a resident of the Parsi colony located next to Masina. One day, Guzder called Dumasia and said that Poison has been barking all night and is being ill-treated. Dumasia said, "I asked her how can she say that the dog is ill-treated just by hearing him bark? She said she has been connected with animals for several years and knows them well. I explained to her that he is new and in the night he barks and is aggressive."

He added, "Once I was in Ahmedabad for a function and she told me I cannot leave the dog like this and go out. I explained to her that there is an entire staff looking after the dog." On April 3, Guzder visited the old age home and later, called Dumasia.

He said, "She told me that the dog has been tied up, which is not allowed. She also said that the water bowl is very small and needs to be larger. I said I would change it soon. She later said she would take the dog away from me. I said that cannot be done and it is my dog now. There has to be a proper documentation or something against me. She said she would do it and hung up."

On April 7, some people came to inspect the dog and saw how it is kept. They told Dumasia he is in kept properly, in a good condition. However, on April 11, five men came and took him away. Harish Patel, a staffer at the old age home said, "I told them they cannot just take away the dog. They said that they have full power."

'Committee's decision'
Poison was taken to the animal hospital in Parel. Dumasia said, "I went to the Byculla police station straightaway and gave a written complaint. I even wrote to the commissioner but no action has been taken yet. I went to meet the committee members and all they said was that it was the committee's decision and they cannot say anything. I was not even given anything in writing."

He said, "I just want my dog back. Currently, he has been kept in a bad condition at the hospital. He was bitten by another dog." Sam Randeria, a resident of the old age home said, "He used to play a lot with me. I was very fond of him and felt secured. Now that Poison is not here, I feel very lonely."

The other side

Thrity Guzder, member of the adoption committee said, “Dumasia had kept the dog very close to the canteen. The dog was not even allowed inside the old age home and was kept tied to a very small leash and had no water to drink. I stay next to the old age home and witnessed the continuous barking and crying of the dog.  I personally visited the old age home and found the dog being ill-treated. I had warned Dumasia that I will take the dog back, but the plea fell on deaf ears. Our inspector goes on rounds to check [the condition of the animals]. We have approval from committee and it has not been done illegally.”

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