Mumbai’s biggest animal hospital, the Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, is reeling under financial strain. Over four years, the BSPCA has piled up due bills of over Rs 14 lakh, as many visitors who bring their pets for treatment don’t pay the entire bill, the staff claims. The BSPCA is a charitable organisation working since 1874 in Parel. The animal hospital on the campus treats pets on a daily basis, besides animals rescued from the city’s streets. According to official figures, its outstanding bills are Rs 14,75,250, between January 2013 to December 2016.
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“Each year the loss keeps mounting. We have no means to raise revenues and match up the increasing costs of treatments. It seems to have become a practice among Mumbaikars to bring their pets for treatment and take them away without paying the entire bill,” said said Lt. Col (Dr) J C Khanna, BSPCA Secretary.
The BSPCA officials fear that if this continues, it could impact the working of the hospital.
One way of earning is through fines paid by animal cruelty offenders. Between 2011 and 2016, the Society registered over 20,000 cases of animal cruelty at various police stations. The organisation over the past six years has collected nearly Rs 30 lakh in fines. “In some cases, the offender is asked to pay Rs 500, but that is the maximum. The amount is still too little to have any impact,” Khanna said.