The shelter home is a safe abode for stray: dogs, cats, monkeys, birds, and other animals
A six-month-old puppy, Kazu, is now living with one functioning leg. One-and-a-half months ago, one of his legs was severed by a CNG auto-rickshaw.
The accident permanently damaged the nerves of its two hind legs. However, Kazu is now much better as he received treatment and care at the right time.
Members of an organisation, called Animal Care Chattogram, rescued the puppy from the Love Lane area of the Chattogram city in a critical condition after they came to know about the incident on social media last November.
The organisation has been providing services and treatment to helpless and injured animals in the port city since 2016. They have a shelter centre named Animal Care Shelter, where Kazu is living now, at Anandabazar in Halishahar.
The shelter home is a safe abode for stray dogs, cats, monkeys, birds and other animals who have no one to take care of them, have been in an accident or have suffered from human cruelty.
At present, there are 10 more dogs, of different ages, like Kazu and one barn owl at the shelter. Some of them are missing legs, some have lost eyes and some are staying there as their owners have left them due to illness.
In a recent visit to the shelter, our correspondent saw some dogs were sleeping, some eating and some roaming around. He also saw a little dog limping with one leg and injury marks in the right eye of another. They were victims of human cruelty. However, they received much care and love after coming to the shelter home.
Two dogs rushed to Sumi Biswas, the founder of the shelter centre, as soon as she called them by their names Jumpy and Chinuk.
Sumi, a young woman, started taking care of sick stray animals on the streets in 2015. She established the organisation Animal Care Chattogram in 2016 as her work expanded. Later, 15 more young volunteers joined the organisation.
Later, she set up a shelter centre over an area of 3,000 square feet in her house in 2019. The organisation has so far served about seven hundred stray dogs, cats and other animals.
Sumi said, "Before the shelter centre was founded, we used to take the injured animals to a veterinary hospital for treatment. In many cases, deep wounds took time to heal after surgery. The sick animals required dressings, injections and food every day. It was not possible to give the animals the required care at the hospital. That is why the idea of building a shelter centre came to my mind."
She said if anyone sees an injured cat or dog, he or she informs them. The sick animal is kept in the shelter home until it recovers – after getting treatment at the veterinary hospital, she added.
The animals become so attached to the members of the organisation that even after recovery, they do not want to leave the shelter.
Since the inception of the shelter centre, more than 150 animals – mostly dogs – have received services there. Cats, barn owls and birds have also been treated there.
Sumi has loved pets since her childhood. She used to rear dogs, cats and birds in her own room. Her parents supported her. The huge space of the Animal Care Shelter was also given to her by her father.
She said, "I try to get someone who will adopt a small dog. In this case, I make sure that the animal gets a good place, where it will get proper care. In the case of grown up dogs, we leave them in some particular areas."
Dogs are vaccinated after recovery at the animal shelter centre, she added.
"The members of the organisation finance the shelter home," said Sumi.
Funds are raised via posts on the organisation's Facebook page and many people come forward to help financially, she added.
Sadman Ittehad, the shelter's head of operations, said they also run various activities outside of social media. Volunteers of this shelter organise various awareness programmes for the protection of these animals in different parts of the country.
Shahadat Hossain Shuvo, Chattogram Zoo curator and veterinarian, told The Business Standard that besides rescuing the stray animals and giving them treatment, emphasis should be put on raising public awareness to save animals from people's cruel treatment.