Animal charm

A Pune-based human nutrition graduate and her team of 22 run a rescue and rehabilitation facility for animals in need.

Published: 19th August 2017 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th August 2017 05:59 PM   |  A+A-

Neha Panchamiya (third from right) with her team | Anirudha Karmarkar

Neha Panchamiya was just 23 when she returned from the UK with a Master’s in Human Nutrition, and announced that she wanted to take up the cause of injured and sick street animals. This was a shocker for her parents. “My mother’s side of the family even advised me to work for the human race,” says Neha. But this didn’t deter her and she, along with her business partner Tanya Kane, set up the ResQ Charitable Trust in 2007, an organisation that works for the rehabilitation of animals in need. “At that time, most animal shelters in Pune had their hands full. Instead of pointing fingers, we decided to do something,” says Pune-based Neha.

Ten years later, Neha,  founder-president of ResQ, says baby steps helped make ResQ a fully operational caring facility. “ResQ and pet service company PAWSH were founded together. We thought we’d use the Robin Hood syndrome, using the profits from PAWSH to further the cause of ResQ, but we had never anticipated that it would outdo PAWSH,” says the mother of a six-year-old boy.
Today ResQ, which has 22 members with five forming part of the core team, performs 500 rescues a month and has 173 animals in its home. “It’s great to have passion towards animals, but that passion has to be tempered with practicality. We don’t hoard animals. ResQ is a hospital, and a half-way home for them. We understand our limitations and don’t compromise on medical care. If we can take care of 500, we will do 500 and not 501,” says the 33-year-old.

Anyone can log into their website to register a case or report an animal in need. “We used to get 100 calls a day before this system was put into place,” says Neha. “If the person reporting the case doesn’t have the time to come and check on the injured animal, he can track the status on the website.”
Schoolchildren and veterinary students visit the home. Animals here are also set up for adoption.
ResQ has to depend on CSR funding and the largesse of individuals to keep it going. Social media helps raise funds too. She believes animals are way down on the people’s priority list. “People need to understand that animals cannot go anywhere and your streets would be a lot safer if the 10 dogs roaming in it were healthy and vaccinated,” she says.


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