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Chennai’s ROA Shelter serves as a dwelling for abandoned senior animals

Started by animal rescuer Dinesh Baba, the 30,000 square feet facility has 35 kennels

July 14, 2022 12:03 pm | Updated 12:03 pm IST

Babe, the rescued pig

Babe, the rescued pig | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Sultan, a seven-year-old rottweiler is dejected. He was abandoned by his owners and left tied to a pillar in Ashok Nagar. That is when Dinesh Baba, an animal rescuer, found him and sheltered him at his hospital, Cloud 9. Like Sultan, he noticed a number of senior dogs being abandoned over the years. This made him start a facility to home these animals. After eight months of fundraising, the ROA Shelter is finally ready in Koovathur. It has 35 pets living there, including Sultan and Babe, a chubby five-year-old pig. “We rescued Babe during Cyclone Vardah. Her mother and siblings were dead,” says Dinesh.

Each kennel has an indoor and outdoor area

Each kennel has an indoor and outdoor area | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The 30,000 square feet property has 35 kennels, each measuring around 10 feet. Every kennel has an indoor and outdoor facility. There are German Shepherd dogs, Labradors, Pomeranians, indies... some of them are disabled. “Old animals need space. We also have space for physiotherapy and for them to play and walk. There are six staff members to take care of them,” he adds. Every dog has its own diet based on their age and health condition, including supplements. “If a dog has renal failure, we cannot add protein to their meal,” says Dinesh. All the meals are cooked fresh. The menu includes rice, dal, pumpkin, chicken and eggs. They are given two meals a day, while some dogs require three meals a day.

Dinesh reckons that old animals often get neglected because of health issues, treatment expenses, lack of transportation facilities, and sometimes because of housing rules and regulations.

“It is cruel to leave them. It stresses them out,” he says. These emotions manifest in forms of aggression, anxiety, timidity, and depression. It takes a lot of time and effort to bring them out of this. For example, Dinesh had to work with Sultan for 10 months to make him feel better. “He used to sit inside the kennel, in the dark and not come out,” Dinesh says, adding that he had to sit next to him, talk to him, offer him treats and slowly help him out.

He reiterates that people should not abandon pets. Shelters may seem like prisons for them. “Try getting help from adoption groups and finding homes. Animals need homes, not shelters.” 

For details, call: 9841588852

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