CHENNAI: These pooches may just be luckier than their two-legged owners. In a move to take action ahead of any infections borne from the monsoon floods that have enveloped Chennai, a boarding facility for dogs on the ECR organised a series of trips to Bengaluru to keep their house guests dry and well cared for.
The chauffeur-driven road trip, complete with air conditioning and eight caretakers in tow was initially intended primarily to evacuate the pooches staying at this flooded-in facility. But Shravan Krishnan, owner of Hotel for Dogs on ECR, says, “When we put up word about our road trip recently on social media, we got calls from several pet owners who had never heard of us before. They wanted to get their dogs on board for the ride.”
In order to steer clear of any chance of infection, Shravan tells us his ‘hotel’ organised two cars and one tempo traveller to drive the dogs to a more dry destination on Sarjapur Road in Bengaluru on Wednesday last. “Most dogs are under stress when they travel, so having caretakers travel with them always helps,” he says. “For those that are known to have travel sickness, there was an option for some vet-approved travel sickness medication to be administered before the journey,” he adds.
With 30 dogs taken a week prior, another 15 hit the road last week. And an additional trip for the next batch of pooches will be planned if the weather calls for it. “The idea is to keep the dogs safe and dry for at least a week before the rains stop and we make a return trip,” says Shravan.
The calls have come in from areas across the city — ranging up a low-lying Tambaram to more uptown areas like T Nagar and Nungambakkam. The main reason pet owners are willing to spend the extra buck is because of their homes being flooded-in. However, a caretaker at the facility adds, “A more routine problem faced by any pet owner in rainy weather is that they cannot walk their dogs.” And that means that pee and poop find their way into the house, attracting flies and mosquitoes that are common in this season, giving off a stench and a general all round lack of hygiene.
Talking about the risks of infection that is widespread during the monsoon, veterinarian R Siva says, “When it rains, the chance for bacterial and viral infections in dogs shoots up. There is a higher likelihood of this happening when they are exposed to rainwater mixed with sewage.”