Mumbai: 8 dead pups, 3 missing, cops yet to book NGO

23 May,2024 07:55 AM IST |  Bangkok  |  Apoorva Agashe

Caregivers allege some of the Indie breed puppies handed over for rehabilitation are missing, others died

A video grab of the puppies before being handed over to the NGO Cheersfurever

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A month after receiving a complaint, the Nalasopara police are yet to register an FIR against an NGO for the mysterious disappearance of three puppies that had been handed over to them by caregivers for rehabilitation. The matter came to light on April 20, when the complainants approached the Nalasopara police to give a written complaint against Cheersfurever, an NGO, claiming they had denied giving information about the whereabouts of the Indie breed puppies.

An FIR had been registered against the NGO in 2022 for allegedly abusing animals. According to the FIR registered by the Uttan police, the NGO staff had allegedly tortured a cat.

One of the missing puppies

"In February, we had approached Cheersfurever and a deal to treat 27 puppies was made with them. We had paid Rs 1 lakh for the treatment of the puppies. Initially, they sent us videos of the pups and representatives of the NGO stated that they were undergoing treatment. However, they stopped sending us videos after some time and we got worried. They also asked for an additional payment of Rs 40,000 which we refused to pay," said Lavita Powell, honorary animal welfare representative, Animal Welfare Board of India.

"31 donors from our friend circle. This amount was paid from their personal accounts," added Lavita Powell.

According to Carol Vaz, a caregiver for the puppies, eight of the puppies died, while some of them were released by the NGO and they are yet to know the status of three puppies. "Eight of the puppies had died due to various ailments. When we had asked the NGO about what treatment they had given they just said that they had given some injections. Their responses were not satisfactory," she said.

According to Nisha Rathore, another caregiver, she had approached the NGO and checked their centres in Vasai, Nalasopara and Uttan but couldn't locate the missing puppies. "The representatives of Cheersfurever had used bad language against us and told us that the puppies are in Uttan. We went there but the caretaker said no puppies had been admitted there and hence we approached the Nalasopara police station in this matter," she said.

"We cannot register an FIR in this matter so we will approach the police prosecutor," said Senior Police Inspector Vijay Bagal of Nalasopara police. Police prosecutors are employed by the police, as counsel for the prosecution, to present cases in court.

The caregivers have demanded that an FIR be registered. "An FIR against the NGO should be registered under relevant sections of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act as well as for cheating," said Powell.

mid-day tried to connect with Cheersfurever Foundation but there was no response.

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