Chennai: Dogs are often attributed as man’s best friend. If we treat them with warmth and kindness, their loyalty and devotion to us know no bounds. Yet most of us fail to treat dogs or any other animals the way they deserve to be. We are glued to our phones and are least bothered about their welfare.
But INCARE (Indian Center for Animal Rights and Education), an organisation started by a group of corporates, has been a front-runner for animal welfare in the city for the past five years.
Started in 2013 by Muralidharan Sivalingam, a resident of Kotturpuram, the INCARE team has an animal shelter at Manapakkam where it takes care of nearly 25 dogs, treating the sick and injured stray animals and giving them the right treatment.
Muralidharan explains how they treat stray dogs which they encounter on streets. “We make sure that they are medicated first and are vaccinated because these animals have a high chance of bringing infections to other animals,’ he says and adds, ‘The shelters are neatly maintained and cleaned everyday. They are always hygienic. Many who come here appreciate the cleanliness we maintain.”
Muralidharan says running the shelter every month costs close to Rs one lakh and funding has been difficult for the past few months. Yet it hasn’t stopped the corporates to pursue their love for their paw-buddies.
“Most times, we shell out our own money to cover medical expenses for the animal treatment,’ says Muralidhran. ‘Sometimes we get lucky when well-wishers offer us donations.”
Volunteers also help them in every possible way. “Some come to bathe the dogs or clean their kennels at the shelter,” says Muralidharan.
He and his team also educate butchers at slaughter houses across the city. “We have seen people making animals starve before they are send off to be slaughtered,’ says Murali. ‘It is important that they are not starved or ill treated as they deserve a dignified death.”
To keep the shelter home up and running, the INCARE team is also planning to get into commercial activities like pet grooming.
Murali then shares his take on how one can start to fight for animal welfare. “You don’t have to start big if you wish to get into animal welfare. You can do it by just starting to take care of the animals that are in your streets.”
The team can be reached through its facebook page @INCARE2013.