CHENNAI: When Priya Varshini met dog-loving Rama Priya, her daughter and their 10-year-old Indian dog, Akash, who became her tenants three months ago, she thought she had found comrades who shared a common passion for animals. Little did she realise that a few weeks later, she would be feeding Akash through a window when the owners had gone for an extended vacation chaining the dog near the window, with no fresh food and water.
“They went on vacation and said would return in two days. It was just like any other time,” said Priya as she shook her head sadly. But two days turned to four, and four to a week, with no word from Rama Priya, nor was she answering calls on her phone.
Meanwhile the house reeked of urine and insects had begun swarming around the food remnants on the dog bowl. Other tenants started to complain about the stench and the animal’s frequent cries. “People would keep shutting the window which was his only source of ventilation,” recalls Priya. Not to mention that this pet strongly conditioned against pooping indoors, was finding it increasingly painful to restrain himself.
After putting up a post on Facebook, tagging numerous animal activists, Priya was contacted by the People For Cattle of India (PFCI), who said they would come on Friday (making the suffering dog’s wait for release a total of 10 days). “Once we took the matter to the Tiruvottriyur police station and filed a case, it took about three hours to get permission to break the lock on door,” says G Arun Prasanna of PFCI.
Akash is now safe and well, and though the owners have returned and taken him back for the moment, Arun said they would not be permitted to keep the dog without making a few changes. “Once a case has been filed, it is up to the court to decide on custody,” he said. “If this family wants to keep their pet after this kind of negligence, the least they will have to do is to commit to better treatment of the animal in writing, if not more.”
Incidentally, Akash is one of the furry survivors of the tsunami. Here’s hoping his luck changes for the better, now that he’s got a friend watching over him, on the other side of the window.