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  who's who >> Fiza Shah


NGO requires funds for animal hospital

Samosa has lost one leg, one eye and has undergone several operations for his cancer. Yet he is the most cheerful inmate of In Defence of Animals (IDA) in Deonar and is their lucky mascot.

This stray dog, which was rescued from Versova, has been here for two years now. Now he is completely cured of his cancer, says Fiza Shah, vice-president.

The IDA, which began as an animal birth control centre now also treats stray dogs and cats for other ailments and performs surgeries free of cost.

But they need facilities for the various facilities they provide. IDA has an operation theater, a cat ward, kennels where dogs are kept after operation and kennels for dogs, which are too old to look after themselves.

An isolation ward for dogs with rabies or distemper is under construction. IDA also has two ambulances that is used to bring stray dogs to the shelter, two resident veterinary doctors and two surgeons who come in three days a week for performing the surgeries.

All this requires money, which is not easy to come by, says Shah. IDA also performs sterilisation for pets, but they ‘expect some money’ in return, says Shah.

She says, “Our average monthly expenses are around Rs 1.3 lakh, which includes food for the animals, medicines, salary of the doctors, ward boys and ambulance drivers. We did get some good donors who helped build the kennels. Some donors give us small amounts, but they do so on a continuous basis, so it helps. Sometimes, when people call us about stray dogs, they also give money for the surgeries. Each surgery costs anything between Rs 500-550. But we need more funds to provide better facilities for the animals.”

After sterilisation or any other surgery, the animal is kept in the shelter for at least 10-15 days or till they are completely cured. In monsoon, they are kept for a longer time as they may get infected again if they are let out before the wounds heal.

The dogs are always sent back to the same place from where they were picked up, as dogs are territorial animals. IDA receives about 10-15 telephone calls about stray and injured animals daily.

Shah says, “We also give lectures in schools and colleges and also work with organisations like Rotary, about the issue of stray dogs.”
KR Shriram and his wife Usha, residents of Sabari Angan building, near Chembur post office recently donated money for the renovation of the operation theatre.

Shriram says, “We came here to get our pet dog sterilised. But when we saw the condition here, we decided to do something. The first thought that came to my mind was if I can help to curb the population of stray dogs, I am in a way protecting my daughter, who is at risk when she goes out to play.”

Shah says, “We must realise that by taking care of the stray dogs, we are taking care of human lives as well. People may feel that such causes do not need money, but they are as important as taking care of people.”

Call 25566795

About the IDA

• Sudnya Patkar, who is the secretary, founded IDA and Goodicia Vaidya is the president

• The non-governmental organisation was one of the NGO’S, which fought for the court order banning killing of stray dogs.

• They conducted the sterilisation camps at Mahalaxmi racecourse but in 2000 they shifted base to Deonar, where the animal shelter and hospital have been built