Stray thought in­spires biz­man to set up hospi­tal for strays

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - METRO - Joanna Lobo

MUM­BAI: At Masjid Bandar, ask any­one for the new ‘kut­ta­billi’ hospi­tal and they will guide you to air-con­di­tion busi­ness pro­pri­etor Jayesh Shah’s godown. Once an of­fice ded­i­cated to sell­ing ACS, it is now an an­i­mal hospi­tal and dis­pen­sary. “We treat all an­i­mals here. But our fo­cus is on strays, es­pe­cially dogs. We want to pro­vide them a space to re­cu­per­ate,” said 50-year-old Shah, the founder.

The fa­cil­ity that pro­vides treat­ment for free was in­au­gu­rated on Jan­uary 26. It is run un­der Shah’s non-profit, HELP An­i­mals & Birds As­so­ci­a­tion. “The only con­di­tion is that who­ever brings the stray for treat­ment has to take it back once healed, be­cause we don’t have the space to keep them,” he said.

The hospi­tal houses 40 cages for birds and will soon add 24 for cats. It is equipped with an OPD sec­tion and an op­er­at­ing room. treat­ing 17 dogs and cats and one goat. The pa­tients are fed chicken and rice pre­pared at the dhabas around. Shah bears the monthly ex­penses, in­clud­ing those in­curred for avail­ing the ser­vices of three vet­eri­nar­i­ans, that goes up to Rs1.7 lakh.

Dr Prashant Mali, 27, a vet­eri­nar­ian at the hospi­tal, said, “I pre­fer work­ing here be­cause ing in a big hospi­tal. It helps me put my skills to good use.”

Shah got the idea of do­ing some­thing for stray dogs be­cause of Da­wood, a twoyear-old stray he adopted a few years back.

“A dog had given birth out­side the shop and we took care of her and her two pup­pies. We al­ways thought they would go

So, he de­cided to keep the pup­pies out­side the godown, hop­ing they would leave. One day, he re­alised one of the pup­pies went miss­ing. A guilty Shah an­nounced a re­ward of Rs3,000 to the one who found it. He got a lot of calls and that’s when he re­alised the prob­lem. “There are a lot of peo­ple tak­ing care of strays, but they don’t have the money to treat them in case of an ac­ci­dent or in­jury.”

Shah then thought of us­ing his godown to pro­vide a home for strays. He started work­ing on his plan in Au­gust 2013, us­ing in­for­ma­tion sourced from The Royal So­ci­ety for the Preven­tion of Cru­elty to An­i­mals web­site.

Shah’s hospi­tal has been func­tion­ing only by word of mouth. He gets neg­li­gi­ble funds, but is fre­quented by sev­eral pet lovers, who help fos­ter strays and put them up for adop­tion.

In fu­ture, he wants to in­tro­duce a proper ven­ti­la­tion system that pro­vides Uv-pu­ri­fied air to each cage and cre­ate

VIDYA SUBRA­MA­NIAN/HT

Busi­ness­man Jayesh Shah has con­verted his of­fice ded­i­cated to sell­ing ACS, into an an­i­mal hospi­tal and dis­pen­sary.

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