AT THE Parel veterinary hospital,two brothers a clerk and an ambulance driver from Kharda village in Satara have now started their parallel animal ambulance service for pets in and outside the city as well as state.
We bought our first van in 2009 after taxis and private vehicles refused to transport a dog in desperate need to the hospital. We knew the dog well as he was part of the hospitals adoption scheme. In the end,the poor fellow died, said Anil Pachpute (39).
Along with his elder brother Pandurang Pachpute (40),a driver at the hospital,and younger sibling Sunil,who works in a private firm at Fort,Anil started the Trimurti Pet Ambulance Service.
We wanted a name that represented the three of us. After much thought,we felt Trimurti was the best option. It also has a holy connection, said Anil.
The ambulance is available round-the-clock every day. We work in shifts to make this happen. Since my brother is a driver,it depends on whether he has a morning or evening shift with the hospitals own ambulance. Sunil takes charge for a few hours after 7 pm when he is out of office. I take the shift after 3 pm,which is when I finish my work at the hospital. We have also employed another driver as standby, Anil added.
Dr J C Khanna,dean of the veterinary hospital,said the help was welcome. We treat more than 500 animals,besides housing 100 to 150 abandoned pets,every day. Sometimes,our ambulances may not be available for pickup; at such times,it is helpful, he said.
Working here,we have seen how overloaded the hospital is and pets from Mumbai and Navi Mumbai come here for treatment. We felt our services will help them in providing good care, Pandurang said.
The ambulance gets at least three to four calls daily for picking up stray animals. We either take these to nearby hospitals or bring them here. Private doctors and NGOs working with animals call us up. Others,like the Welfare of Stray Dogs,call for help if they are overworked. For stray animals,we dont ask for money,people pay us as much as they can, said Anil,adding that the ambulances pick animals from Navi Mumbai and give transport services to as far as Jaipur and Goa after treatment.
Trimurti has three vehicles in service one in Sion,outside Anils house,and two others at Parel hospital. In 2010,because of high demand,we bought an AC ambulance van. Some pets are used to a certain temperature in the house. In case of accidents,the heat can make it worse for them. Weve had many such cases when picking up pets from high-profile actors homes, the clerk said.
He recounted that when the brothers first came to Mumbai in the 1990s,for them,such attachment to animals was unimaginable.
After Pandurang got a job as a driver here and I got a job as a ward boy,the proximity to animals softened us. Now,both have two cats in our houses and two dogs and a pet cow at our farm in the village. Our families are animal lovers,too. The children want to come with us for pickups on their holidays, said Anil.