Saviour of Strays
Welfare of stray animals is her passion. Plight of animals melts her heart. Many join her to rescue strays and care for them
Covid lockdown has taken away the livelihoods of many people and caused misery all around. Silently suffering under its onslaught are stray animals which were left without any food in absence of human activity outdoors. Stray dogs were not getting leftovers. Moved by their plight, a city-based NGO Agarwal Animal Rescue Center has taken an initiative to feed these strays.
Shruti Agarwal, founder of Agarwal Animal Rescue Center, Attapur, says, " I have been rescuing abandoned animals for the past nine years in Hyderabad. At the time of lockdown, the issues which we came across are many people started abandoning dogs, as they left for their villages due to covid. The other reason is stray were hungry, as restaurants and hotels were closed; there was no garbage generated for the stray to have, as everybody was locked inside, and also meat shops were closed, so no food was available for stray dogs. As for the people who suffered during covid were helped by the government and also many an NGO was helping them, but for the stray dogs they were no one to help. So, our NGO has taken up the initiative to feed the stray dogs, covering the areas of Mehdipatnam to Shamshabad."
Daily around 300 dogs were fed and the drive is continuing still post-lockdown. About 6 volunteers are helping the NGO in this cause. They distribute the work among themselves daily. One cooks food for the animals. "For this service, we have internally raised funds to buy food for animals that includes rice bags, biscuits and also many animal lovers helped us. We spent around Rs 3000 to 4000 daily. Apart from this during the lockdown, we rescued around 250 stray dogs which were abandoned by their owners and were roaming hungry in the streets. We brought them to the NGO," she informed.
The NGO has so far rescued and rehabilitated over 500 animals. The major part of the NGO is utilised to save old dogs who get abandoned as owners don't want to keep them. They also help owners who want to surrender their dogs due to unavoidable circumstances. A few years ago, sterilising strays began. Also, there are 15 goats, 6 cats, 7 ducks in their care.