Animal adoptions in Mumbai show three-fold rise in last three years

Nov 30, 2017, 19:12 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty

In the last three years alone, animal adoption figures have risen nearly three times. Ageing or ailing animals are taken to the veterinary hospital after their owners abandon them

Mumbai can be a ruthless city, particularly so to its animal residents. Take for example the stray dog that was beaten mercilessly by the railway police after it entered the ladies compartment on a local train on Tuesday. But for every such story of cruelty, there are also heart-warming stories of Mumbaikars opening their hearts and homes to these furry friends in need.

Dog in local trainRailway cops thrashed a dog during his five-hour journey in the ladies coach on a Virar-Churchgate train

Data from the Bai Sakerbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital in Parel shows, in fact, that every year, more and more citizens choose to rescue ailing or abandoned animals. In the last three years alone, animal adoption figures have risen nearly three times (see box). Ageing or ailing animals are taken to the veterinary hospital after their owners abandon them. Many a time, the owners take their pets to the hospital for treatment and then never take them back.

Thanks to growing awareness, however, many citizens now turn up to adopt these animals. While dogs are the favourite choice among adopters, many also choose to take home cats and cows.

Dr JC Khanna, in-charge at the veterinary hospital, said, "When an animal is abandoned here, we try to care for them, but the creatures become very sad when they realise their owners have left them. Many of them refuse to eat." He added, "Once these abandoned animals get a new home with love and care, they grow healthier. They become happy and jolly, and their life span increases."

According to animal activists, the city still has a long way to go. mid-day has reported several instances in the past where residential societies have poisoned and dumped strays, and even harassed animal lovers who feed them. Tuesday's incident, when the stray dog was thrashed by railway police, is yet another example of this cruelty.

Dog in local train

Nirali Koradia, an activist with People for Animals, said, "How can the police beat up a dog for getting inside a coach? The dog wasn't even aggressive." Animal activist Omkar Rane rescued the injured dog from the train. "Presently, I have kept the dog at a foster house, but I need to track down where it really belongs," he said.

It seems an impossible task to find out where the dog came from, as the canine went on a five-hour journey on the train between Virar and Churchgate and back. Another option is to put the dog up for adoption. Rane is now reaching out to people to give the pooch a new home and life.

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