Blue Cross at Velacheri gets new geriatric ward

Chennai: The Blue Cross of India campus at Velacheri is filled with the barks, meows and chirps of animals and birds. And it is a pleasant surprise to see the inmates warm up to visitors. Cats, dogs and even cows walk past rubbing their bodies against you. A baby monkey tugs at your leg. Dogs want some petting. It’s as if they are asking you not to leave. Sadly, as opposed to this fun environment, the stories you hear about them are heart-wrenching.

This vast campus is home to donkeys, pigs, monkeys, horses, cows, birds (some are recovering from’maanja thread injuries’). Some of the cows are recuperating from Rumenotomy surgery after having ingested plastics.

A geriatric ward for senior dogs, built at a cost of Rs 10 lakh sponsored by the Chennai Willingdon Charitable Foundation, was recently inaugurated by Dr Tusan Park, a physician and animal lover from Vellore.

Speaking to News Today, general manager-administration, S Vinod Kumaar says, “We set up this place because we couldn’t leave old and permanently sick abandoned dogs on the streets. Instead of a kennel, they are kept in an open space. The ward has separate enclosures for visually challenged dogs, two rooms for doctors and an observation room.”

The geriatric ward has been designed keeping in mind the comfort of dogs. It even includes a side pavement. The dogs in the new ward will receive regular check-ups by the veterinarian.

Dr Mani who was on duty here says, “They can’t survive outside; some of these dogs are blind, some have wounds and infections. We treat them just like babies here.”

“As many as twenty-five of them are fully blind and have been kept in safe enclosure. Per month, it costs Rs 1,200 for the upkeep of each of these dogs,” he adds.

The neighbouring section has a number of pedigree dogs – pet animals abandoned on the streets. “We even have some of them left at our gates, while the others are rescued from the streets in dire conditions. They are used to staying in houses with air-conditioned rooms and find it as a shock to suddenly survive on the streets like this. Even dogs go through depression,” informs Vinod.

Speaking about what the public can do to save abandoned dogs, Vinod says,”If anyone finds an injured animal, they should call and informus in advance. Delay may make it even worse, and recovery will be long and painful for the animals.” Blue Cross runs solely on donations.

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Naomi N