Elderly couple runs shelter for abandoned, sick animals

Elderly couple runs shelter for abandoned, sick animals

A few years ago, Surya Singh visited a shelter, and he was deeply disturbed by the condition of the animals there. Lack of space, inadequate care, and most of all the shelter’s policy of putting down sick dogs, shook him. 

Along with his wife, Anju, he decided to start a shelter for animals. Save Animals India (SAI) was started in 2016 to provide a safe haven to abandoned, injured, sick, or disabled dogs, rabbits, cats and even cows. 

The couple cares for over 140 animals. They also feed up to 200 stray dogs in their nearby areas.

“People can be really cruel to strays, so I make it a point to go feed them once a day,” he explains. They even bury animals that have been killed in road accidents to prevent any air-borne diseases from being spread. 

The challenges are many, he says. “We started taking care of the animals from our savings.  We don’t have any employees, because people ask for a high salary and make many demands. Even after meeting them, we realised that they didn’t care for these animals like we do,” he explains. 

A few months ago, Ritu Kurtakoti, a resident of Yeshwantpur, met them during her efforts to save an abandoned puppy in her neighbourhood. “I contacted many animal shelters but no one responded. That is when I came across SAI,” says Ritu.

They sent a volunteer to pick up the puppy, but in that time she got hit by a bike and did not survive. “I was surprised by how distraught Surya was. I imagined that as someone who has worked with animals for so long, he would have been unaffected by it,” says Ritu.

Since 2016, the shelter has relocated four times, forcing the couple to spend funds on building new structures from scratch. Their current landlord has been creating problems for his family.

“He has abused and even killed animals around the shelter. I even caught him on CCTV killing puppies, so I filed a report against him. This has created more problems. We need to move before our contract ends in May,” says Surya. 

Ritu decided to help them by starting a crowdfunding page for them on Milaap to help the couple find a permanent home for themselves and their many furry friends. For more information visit www.saveanimalsindia.org