Rakesh Shukla never had a dog growing up. “10 years ago I got my first dog and she’s the only Golden Retriever that is not a rescue. I had to scramble to get the house prepared. And soon I found another pup that came running to me and I brought her to my office. In a few months I got her Lucky home as well. Eventually I started bringing in dogs that I rescued from the streets to my office and soon I started working on a plan to create a place for them to stay,” says Rakesh.
Soon enough, Rakesh decided to bring any stray or abandoned dog home and has adopted an immense number of dogs. There were protests from his wife in the beginning so he made his office a home for all the pooches. As time went on and the number grew, he bought some land in Dodballapur, outside Bengaluru, where he built a farm to shelter all his dogs. He registered an NGO “Voice of Stray Dogs” (VOSD) to rescue and rehabilitate injured and abandoned dogs.
The farm space is made in a way that the dogs can run around and take a swim whenever they want. He has employed few staff members, who are trained in veterinary aid to look out for the dogs. Today he lives along with and looks after 850+ dogs who came from all across India. From food to medical attention for the sick ones, Rakesh spends almost 15 lakhs every month, out of which most of it is paid from his own pocket. Despite financial challenges, Rakesh’s resolve made him stand firm on his love for dogs and he never gave up.
Today VOSD is widely recognised as the world’s largest no-kill sanctuary for rescue for stray dogs. At present there are 800+ stray animals with us including 800 dogs, 7 horses and 10 cows in Rakesh’s privately owned farm. 100% of the animals are kept unchained and in the case of cows and horses they are free grazing.
Need for quality hospital:
Existing vet expertise is based in Bangalore and dogs have to be taken on an 150km/ 8hr round trip for all diagnosis and hospitalization. VOSD has a barebones medical facility that has 2 OPD’s, a basic surgery. This local facility was built 7 yrs ago when there were 10-20 dogs and there was no plan to expand. Now they have 850+ dogs – all with medical history. Current medical system is optimised for costs, but is (1) logistics intensive (2) creates unnecessary external dependence (3) & long wait times
The proposed VOSD Resident Hospital:
A one time investment will dramatically improve healthcare for 850+ animals, increase treatment capacity by upto 200% & reduce monthly costs by ₹ 2 lacs.
Ensuring Local Vet Presence:
● PRESENT: Dogs have to be driven 150km roundtrip for all diagnostics and medical procedures which is easily 5-6hrs of driving and 2-hrs of waiting/inspection time. This is highly stressful for dogs and there is an everyday dependence on vehicles, drivers etc.
● PROPOSED upgrade will ensure residential vet presence locally most of the week
● BENEFITS improves quality and speed of care and will reduce 8-10 trips a month which means will reduce 80-100hrs of driving time for dogs, drivers and handlers. The direct cost impact will b reduction by Rs 75,000-80,000 monthly in wages and fuel costs.
Diagnostics to be locally available:
● PRESENT: Currently even basic diagnostics such as blood samples are packed in ice packs and sent to Bangalore or the dog has to be transported. Sometimes this can cause wait times for upto a week because each trip is a 8hr trip with a single vial of blood. At at average 20-30 tests are carried out each month.
● PROPOSED: Blood-diagnostics will be local so tests can be run locally and immediately on any suspicion of symptoms. These will be shared with the vets in Bangalore and treatment started immediately.
● BENEFITS: By improving turn around by 2 days per test we gain a total of 60 days of faster prognosis, Rs 75-100,000 in diagnosis and transport costs per month
Your support will ensure that VOSD can provide the best quality care for these 850+ dogs and give them a chance to lead a happy life.