Animal care Chennai

Feeding stray dogs in Besant Nagar

Janani Krishnamurthy and Rakesh Rajendran feeding stray dogs in Besant Nagar. Photos: special arrangement

Janani Krishnamurthy and Rakesh Rajendran feeding stray dogs in Besant Nagar. Photos: special arrangement  

Every day, from 9.30 p.m. to 10.30 p.m, Janani Krishnamurthy walks to the Elliots Beach in Besant Nagar and lets out a whistle. As if on cue, a pack of stray dogs run to her wagging their tails, some fawn on her, and some snuggle up to her. Since the early days of the COVID-19 lockdown, Janani has been feeding around eight packs of dogs, nearly 50 stray dogs, along the beach. Of these, she is familiar with 17 since 2015.

“I chose the night-time to feed these canines, because another group is taking care of them in the morning. At times, I feed these strays during the day too. These dogs would have developed a taste for spicy food because all these years they were feeding on the leftovers of restaurants. So I make milk rice and try to add some curry powder to make the food tasty,” says Janani, a landscape architect by profession and an animal welfare activist.

She has also named all the 50 dogs.

“I have named one dog ‘Drama King’ because he is so finicky. Another one always wants to be closer to me and doesn’t allow others, so I call him Nandi. Two others are called Grandpa and Grandma because they are the senior-most. Another dog has lost vision in one eye and hence I call her Kanmani. There is a bulky one and I call him Gunda. The dogs also respond to their names,” says Janani.

She is also tending to a dog that she has named Brinda.

“Brinda littered five puppies a week ago. She can be found near 27th Cross Street. Besides, as per a veterinary doctor’s advice, I give a wash to Gunda because he has got skin problems,” says Brinda.

She also found a foster home for a blind puppy which was found abandoned on the beach.

“A veterinary doctor in Puducherry has adopted her. A merchant, who runs a convenience store, has a travel pass. He helped in handing over the puppy to the doctor,” she says.

She is accompanied by her neighbor Rakesh Rajendran, a lecturer at Anna University. They have fitted the stray dogs with reflective collars to save them from accidents.

Rakesh explains, “Due to the lockdown, traffic on the road is restricted. Therefore, these stray dogs now lie in the middle of the road. If any vehicle takes the road during night, the driver can easily miss them. Hence, we have tied them reflective collars.”

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Printable version | Jul 6, 2020 10:18:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/feeding-stray-dogs-in-besant-nagar/article31959893.ece

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