Animal rescuer Dinesh Baba extends care to abandoned animals in Chennai

| Video Credit: R. Ravindran

Updated - August 09, 2023 03:15 pm IST

Published - August 06, 2023 10:14 pm IST

At the serene and calm ROA Shelter tucked away in a corner of Koovathur, every animal has a unique story. “Animals don’t belong in shelters. But when they do end up here, it’s all about giving them as much love, care and attention as possible,” says Dinesh Baba.

A year ago, he threw open the doors of ROA Shelter, envisioning it as a space for abandoned ageing animals. “I was previously running a rehabilitation centre for animals in the city, and came across several instances of dogs being abandoned by their owners in their old age. I was keen to set up a space like this, where these animals can be cared for, rehabilitated, and even be put up for adoption, depending on their health and temperament,” he said.

Dinesh Baba at his Roa Shelter for animals at Koovathur.

Dinesh Baba at his Roa Shelter for animals at Koovathur. | Photo Credit: R. Ravindran

Mr. Dinesh says that he was always brought up to be compassionate and kind towards animals from a young age. “One of my first rescues was in 2011, when a truck with rescued cattle was stranded. I was soon attending to rescue calls in the city, and have over the years led several rescues of animals from wells since I can rappel with ease,” he explains.

The shelter today houses over 50 dogs, many of which are ageing or disabled, cats, and even two pigs. “Babe, who was rescued during the Vardah cyclone, has even accompanied me when I went to give a talk on animal welfare and awareness at a college in the city,” Mr. Dinesh says, pointing to a large, gentle pig in an enclosure at the shelter.

People can also adopt animals from the shelter virtually and sponsor them. As Mr. Dinesh walks around the shelter, he points out how each dog there gets its own enclosure — separate kennels with adequate space for them to move about. “This indoor and outdoor set-up is an important part of this shelter. We have made sure not to group all the dogs together, since we need to take into consideration their behaviour as well as food habits,” he explains.


Having seen a space for ageing animals come to fruition, Mr. Dinesh hopes to build an ABC facility for sterilisation as well as vaccination of animals in rural areas.

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