Published Jan 22, 2017 06:55am

A happy home for animals opens in Malir

Shazia Hasan

KARACHI: Meet Zeus, the little dog with both his hind legs paralysed due to an accident, now moving around effortlessly thanks to a dog wheelchair. There are also Ringo and Pongo, the puppies whose mother died leaving them alone and hungry on the road. And Michael Jackson, the dog with a spinal injury since birth, can do the moonwalk, hence the name.

No animal is sad, frustrated, angry or hungry at Ayesha Chundrigar Foundation Animal Rescue’s new animal shelter in Malir that held its grand opening on Saturday.

The shelter that first opened in Gulshan-i-Iqbal, moved to Safoora Goth and then to Dalmia Road from where it had to shift yet again but founder Ayesha Chundrigar says that this new spot of 2,000 square yards on farmland in Malir will be their permanent location. “There was no electricity or water connection at Safoora, which was a big problem. Then at the Dalmia Road location, we had unsupportive neighbours complaining about the animal sounds. But this place we had built from scratch for all the animals and as you can see they are all quite settled already,” she told Dawn.

The dog and puppies all wore sweaters, jackets and hoodies to keep them warm. Some ran around chasing one another and even the ones with amputated limbs and missing eyes joined in the fun. The animals were all exceptionally tame, letting the guests at the opening pat and feed them. There were donkeys and horses munching on carrots. A donkey foal not yet sure of its species nuzzled up to one of the dogs.

“Aren’t they adorable?” said Bismah Mughal, the shelter’s only volunteer in plain clothes in comparison to the regular yellow uniformed staff. “I come here straight from my university. Caring for these animals is like therapy for me. I will do anything for them, from cleaning them to cleaning their cages, etc,” she said. “I know it may sound crazy but I love animals more than my fellow humans.”

The shelter currently houses 111 dogs, over 85 cats, two horses, 14 donkeys and 16 to 17 kites, who were rescued after getting injured. “Once their injuries are healed, we set free the kites,” Ms Chundrigar said.

The shelter runs on donations. People can also sponsor the animals if they don’t want to adopt them for any reason.

Published in Dawn, January 22nd, 2017

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