Finding a home

Sometime in 1996,when Nisha Sharma lived in Shillong,she saw an eight-month-old unwell dog being ill treated by his owner.

Written by Shreya Sareen | Published:January 30, 2011 1:37 am

Abandoned,sick and injured dogs find a place at this Dwarka shelter

Sometime in 1996,when Nisha Sharma lived in Shillong,she saw an eight-month-old unwell dog being ill treated by his owner. “Instead of taking good care of the dog,the owner started giving him insufficient food. I was very shocked,I decided to adopt this dog and nurse him till his last breath,” she says.

The dog survived for another eight years and Sharma made up her mind to do something for a cause that was close to her heart—providing shelter to abandoned,sick and injured dogs. So,when she came to Delhi in 2003,she started taking care of abandoned dogs and even volunteered with a few animal welfare organisations.

Then in 2005,she set up Chaitanya Animal Paradise,a shelter for dogs at Dwarka. “At the moment,I have 29 dogs here,but when I started out,I had about 46 dogs. Some of them,unfortunately couldn’t survive the cold months of November and December and some of them were taken up for adoption,” says the 34-year-old. She also has five dogs at her house in Najafgarh.

“I keep the dogs who need special care at home with me. For example,I have a dog,who is very sick and I need to give him food after every two hours. So,I can monitor him well at home and can also look after him at night,in case he needs something,” she says.

Apart from one caretaker who works with her,Sharma does most of the stuff — feeding the dogs,taking them for vaccinations,giving them a bath — all on her own. Sharma has also tied up with a few organisations that provide animal ambulances,so that when people send her distress calls,she can get in touch with the ambulance that rushes to the spot. She also persuades people to adopt stray dogs — through word of mouth,or through her website. “In a month,on an average,3-4 dogs from my shelter get adopted,which is pretty good,” she says.

Though she encourages people to adopt dogs from her shelter,Sharma tries her best to ensure the dogs are in good hands. “I even go and see how the people who have adopted them treat them.”

Though Animal Paradise has been around for five years,it’s still short of funds. Sharma’s engineer husband Jainendra Kumar lends some financial support and occasionally neighbours contribute some money and food but that’s not enough. “I have started working as a relationship executive in a medical company in West Delhi to generate funds,” says Sharma.

“I have seen very hard times but that will not stop me from moving ahead. I want to have a bigger place in the future because the number of dogs are increasing. Hopefully,it should happen soon,” she says.

Chaitanya Animal Paradise can be reached at 9999710209

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