CHENNAI: With time and space fast running out for rescued animals post the floods, many city residents have adopted over 80 puppies in a single week.
Housed temporarily at Sankara Hall in Alwarpet until recently, the initiative was facilitated by a group called ‘Chennai Animal Rescue’. The effort which facilitated animal rescues via helpline attracted over 100 volunteers from as far as Mumbai and Singapore.
To spread the word on the pups and kittens up for adoption, the members relied heavily on social media and even managed to grab the attention of dog lover-actor Trisha who tweeted about the goodwill effort to reach fans. “We still can’t wrap our heads around how quickly these adoptions have come together,” says Vijay Venkataramanan, a film editor based in Mumbai, who manned their animal helpline. “We have only three pups left to find a home for.” “To have found new owners for 80-plus animals in a week is really something,” adds his wife Madhumitha, who flew to Chennai to manage operations.
Playing the ‘middle man’ between animal welfare groups that were carrying out rescues, like Blue Cross and People for Cattle of India – this group filtered rescue efforts by cutting through the chaos. It included everything from frantic calls from pet owners who were not allowed to take their dogs along on rescue boats to neighbours reporting abandoned pets.
And in order to handle close to 100 fur babies that came in post rescue, Madhumitha says, “We rostered volunteers around the clock. Many animals were between one and three months old. They had to be fed every three hours. And a few of us had to always spend the night to make sure they were okay.”
Despite digestive issues and skin problems that some of the animals were suffering from, Madhumitha relates that the goodwill from existing pet owners and new ones has been astounding. “One particularly heartwarming story was when we found a dog called Oreo covered from head to toe in sewage and kerosene,” she recalls. Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. And Oreo has now fully recovered, with a new home and more baths than she’d care for! To adopt, call 9833071857.