Veterinary university refuses to renew NGO’s Hebbal centre lease

A month ago a dog, scaled by someone who had poured boiling water on his back, was brought to Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA) Animal Shelter located on the premises of the Karnataka Veterinary Animal and Fisheries Sciences University, Hebbal, where it was rehabilitated in a month.

The shelter, an abode for victims of accidents, abuse and abandonment, may have to close permanently as its lease, which expired in February this year, was not renewed and the trustees received a memo to move out of the university campus.

‘It’s convenient’

According to CUPA trustee Sudha Narayanan, the Hebbal centre used to nurse close to 1,000 animals every month. Some 36 permanent residents have been relocated to its large animal centre in Kengeri. Ms. Narayanan said, “We want our centre to remain in Hebbal as it is in the heart of the city and we can help thousands of animals get medical aid.”

Apart from the non-renewal of lease, the Kengeri centre is built for large animals and may not be suitable for small animals as there are no enclosed spaces.

Labour unrest

To compound CUPA’s woes, there is labour unrest. While the trustees attribute it to salary revision demands, the staff say they have been laid off already.

Suparna Ganguli, honorary president and CUPA co-founder, termed the staff demand as “unreasonable” as it is beyond the means of the organisation.

However, Maranna H., who has put in eight years, said CUPA asked the staff to stop coming from October 31 as their lease was not renewed. “From several days we had been protesting for better employment benefits. But right now, we just want them to take us back.”

Board decision

C. Renuka Prasad, Vice-Chancellor of Karnataka Veterinary Animal and Fisheries Sciences University, told The Hindu: “Our board has not agreed to renew their lease and we had informed them several weeks ago. It is their administrative problem. We will however bring this issue in the next board meeting but chances of renewal are bleak as we require the space for university activities.”