The Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals in Parel gets busier during the monsoon nights, with authorities claiming that due to low visibility and wet roads, there is a sharp rise in the number of accidents in which animals get injured.
Transportation plays a key role in bringing the injured animals to the hospital. Yogesh Shinde, a 25-year-old animal lover from Parel who has been bringing injured animals to the hospital for last seven years, alleged that drivers often flee after knocking down animals.
“During monsoon, the visibility is much lower than usual at nights. Drivers often run over these stray animals and escape. It is always the bystander who calls us. I try to visit every call in the night, but in case if I am busy, I inform other ambulance service drivers and ask them to attend to the injured animal,” said Shinde.
He added that his father has been working as a driver at the Parel veterinary hospital’s ambulance for the last 40 years, and his love for animals made him come up with an ambulance service for them.
“I have spent my childhood on the hospital premises and have been friendly with animals ever since. So I thought of doing something for them and started the ambulance service,” said Shinde.
Showing bite marks on his body, Shinde claimed that he is often attacked by injured animals. “When they are injured, they don’t let you touch them. They get aggressive, due to which I have got bite marks all over my body,” said Shinde.
Shinde said, “In most of the accident cases during night hours, we find dogs being run over by cars. In case the injured animal gets aggressive, we use a grasper which has a net and it helps us to get hold of the animal.”
According to Lt Colonel J C Khanna, superintendent at the Parel’s veterinary hospital, the hospital sees a sharp rise in road accident cases, by 35-40 per cent, during monsoons.
“Most cases come at night, and we do find animal lovers making efforts to bring injured to the hospital. But that is limited to accidents in South Mumbai. If there is an accident in suburbs, it is less likely that the injured animal will be brought here,” he said.
Apart from road accidents, animals suffering from diarrhoea due to unclean drinking water also record a spike during rainy season. The hospital staff said the maximum cases during rainy season are of stray animals infested with maggots.
“We get about 23-25 such cases in a night during monsoons as opposed to 7-8 every night the rest of the year,” he says.
As soon as a maggot case comes, Ranjan Gaikwad, a ward boy at the hospital, says a team uses hydrogen peroxide and cleans the body of the animal. Chloroform is used to kill the maggots and oral hydration is given to the animal. Most are undernourished and develop infection during rainy season.
Gaikwad has been attached with hospital since last 18 years, working mostly on night shifts from 11 pm till 7 am. He sees more cases of injured dogs than any other animals.
A ward boy in the casualty ward, Deepak Lokhande, says: “Mostly animal lovers and volunteers bring injured animals at night. Common people help during day, but not at night.”
“During monsoons, accident victims also include cows and bulls,” he adds.