There’s life in them too

There’s life in them too

have a heart ACT and its active volunteer Tauseef Ahmed in a rescue mission in Mangaluru. Photo by Govindraj Javali

This is Bheem. Illegal cattle transporters severed the forelegs of his mother Radha, so that she could not escape. But, Radha, a six-month pregnant, managed to jump off the moving vehicle to save the life of her little one, which was still in her womb. When people found Radha on the roadside in a helpless state, they alerted the Animal Care Trust (ACT) in Shaktinagar,” says Tauseef Ahmed M, narrating the heart-wrenching story of the calf and his mother.

“We rescued her and brought to the ACT shelter, where Radha gave birth to a beautiful male calf, which we named ‘Bheem’. We could not save Radha’s life, despite our constant efforts,” Tauseef continues as he cuddles Bheem, adding, “Bheem was bottle-fed by ACT volunteers. Bheem, the motherless kid, is more used to human beings now.”

Shaky, a cat, is another member of ACT shelter. Shaky’s spine was damaged after she was mauled by dogs. She could barely stand up when she was brought to the ACT shelter and was bedridden for three months. She managed to walk without help after several sessions of physiotherapy and medication.

Animal Care Trust, established in 2000, in Mangaluru, is the only trust devoted to animal rescue, treatment and care in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts. The trust owns a shelter ‘Vatsalya’, which spreads across an area of half an acre in Shaktinagar, Mangaluru wherein about 100 permanently disabled animals such as blind, amputated and terminally dogs, cats and a few birds are attended to. Abandoned and injured animals too, are provided shelter. The charitable trust is recognised by the Animal Welfare Board of India. The ACT conducts adoption and vaccination camps for animals. Injured animals and birds pets are also operated upon by an expert veterinarian at the ACT centre.

Annually around 300-350 animals and birds from various parts of the district are rescued by this centre. They include around civet cats, kites, crows, owls pigeons, pond herons, kingfishers, bulbuls and other animals. The number of rescued snakes of different varieties crosses 350 per year. The rescue calls are received from throughout the district, the trust’s founder-director Suma R Nayak says.

Veterinary surgeon and ACT trustee Dr Manohar Upadhyaya, stressing the social aspect of animal rescue, says that the society has responsibilities towards animals too. Treatment is as important as rescue work.

Animal rights activist Tauseef is associated with ACT as a rescuer for the past nine years. Whenever he receives a distress call, he rushes to the spot and brings the injured creature over to the ACT shelter for treatment. The ACT shelter is equipped with an operation theatre and has a veterinarian to treat rescued animals. 


Animal rescue was a hobby for him at a young age while he was in his native place at Kudremukh, in the Western Ghats. He would medicate injured animals and birds with home remedies as there was no proper treatment facility for animals. In one such case, he found a puppy born with a defect in its spine. Even though Tauseef’s parents were reluctant, his stubbornness prevailed and he took care of the little one. As a result of his care, the puppy recovered.

He later moved to Mangaluru for his higher studies. His hobby took a serious turn after he came in touch with Animal Care Trust (ACT) in Shaktinagar, where he underwent training. Tauseef has also authored a book titled Straying Around You, in which a stray dog narrates its story in the first person. Tauseef says animals are smarter than people think they are. He explains, how many bovines are careful about what they eat. “Many of the rescued animals are cattle, which are hit by vehicles,” he says.

He has worked with the ACT team on rescue activities during the recent Kodagu floods. It was a distressing scene to see scores of pets eagerly waiting for their owners on the doorsteps of abandoned houses, he says. The ACT team rescued around 600 animals, according to him.

Tauseef rescues at least eight to ten snakes a week.  After the rescue and treatment, the snakes are released into their natural habitat. “There are a lot of misconceptions among people about snakes,” he says. “Some people hit the snakes before the rescue team could reach the spot. Such reptiles are brought to the shelter in an almost dead condition.”

“We advise people to sterilise their pets instead of abandoning puppies or kittens in an inhumane manner. ACT has been encouraging people to adopt native breeds rather than the exotic foreign ones.”

He explains that people’s obsession for exotic breeds has actually cut short their lifespan because they are overused for breeding activities, through artificial insemination.

On one’s shoulder

“We call him a doctor. He came like a guardian angel when our 14-year-old dog became very weak,” says Irene Vaz from Kadri. ‘Doctor Tauseef’ found that the dog had a neurological issue and treated it for the next three days. “The dog is now healthy and running around in our garden without any difficulty,” says Irene.

Suma R Nayak appreciated the commitment of Tauseef as a volunteer. “He plunges headlong into rescuing helpless animals, even during late nights and bring seriously injured animals to the centre, which really do recover. This makes one realise the importance of timely rescue. In a similar case, a cat infested with maggots was rescued by him from circuit house road in Mangaluru. The experts at the ACT shelter medicated the cat. As even doctors were not optimistic, Tauseef was following up the case. The cat recovered and was later adopted by a girl in Manipal,” she says.

To know more details about the trust, visit