An outpatient ward was inaugurated on Saturday at Blue Cross of India's Velachery shelter that houses close to 1,500 destitute animals that have been rescued and are being rehabilitated.

Two new rescue ambulances -one donated by Brigitte Bardot in France and the other by Rukmini Devi Arundale Trust and Animal Welfare Board of India –were also flagged off by Ram Shahaney, Chairman of Ashok Leyland. The cost of these ambulances was also partly borne by Ashok Leyland.

Blue Cross chairman Chinni Krishna said that the existing fleet of nine ambulances operate over a 2,500 sq.km area covering Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts. “It is unfair to expect a voluntary organisation to take such a burden. The additional ambulances, specifically modified to cater to our needs, will help a great deal.” He added that evolving an efficient garbage disposal mechanism and a well-designed Animal Birth Control programme are the means through which the street dog problem can be solved. “The Corporation started killing dogs in 1860. Apart from not being humane, it will never offer a lasting solution.”

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