Help Kolkata give its strays a life of dignity

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Story

Hi Everyone!
I am Disha, I have 18 stray dogs living with me at the moment.

They were all abandoned or hurt badly, either as puppies, or as fully grown or old dogs. At the moment I am supporting all their expenses from my own earnings and small donations from friends, family and concerned individuals. But it is becoming increasingly difficult as I have also been asked to evict the premises that I rent, and have been attacked several times, and had my possessions thrown out and damaged in the past year. I am struggling to make ends meet and I am concerned for the safety of our odd family.

I need to make provisions for the future, and I need funds urgently to make sure that my strays can be fed, vaccinated and cared for like they deserve to be. I am in the process of forming an NGO, but I need at least three years before it becomes eligible for loans or grants from anywhere. And I urge you to help me provide my strays with a place where they will be treated as family–with love, respect and care, and have a life of dignity.

I also plant to start training the young ones (with the help of a professional trainer) so that they can become companion and guide dogs for the blind, the deaf and the differently abled.

It takes approximately Rs. 1500/- a month to look after a dog or a cat in our city:
  • So I need a minimum of Rs.1500 x 18 = Rs. 27,000.
  • And to see us through three years we will need Rs. 27, 000 x 36 = Rs. 9,72,000/-

I want to try and do everything that I possible can, with your help and support, to ensure that our family continues to survive without worrying about our future, and to that end I plan to start four self-sustaining ventures, which can be accommodated on a small shared plot of land in Kolkata. I have drawn up plans for an animal shelter for abandoned or hurt dogs, cats & other domestic animals (only a slightly more ambitious version of what I already have), along with a pet crèche or pet-sitter (so I can provide a paid pet kennel for owners), a language school (where I can use my skills and experience of the last 19 years independently, and have classes in small batches for children & grown ups) and a roadside café (which will help add to our income and hopefully also interest its customers into adopting or supporting our abandoned animals). 

I have allotted 5 lacs for each of these projects as an initial capital, and I think if I can maintain a working capital of the same amount for one year, we could be self-sufficient.

This is how our projected expenses stand at the moment:
Rs.   9,72,000/- for 3 year expenditure
Rs. 50,00000/- for acquiring land, and construction
Rs. 40,00000/- as Initial and Working Capital for four ventures
So, Rs. 1 crore, if I round it up.

This is our goal. Please make suggestions if you can, to help us build a home. And please read our story about how it all started, if you want to get to know us.

Bhuto and Chhotu, my first two puppies

It all started when I found a little puppy, who I later named Bhuto, on a Sunday afternoon–19th November, 2011– in my neighbour’s compound, where he had taken shelter and was terrified and howling pitifully.

I lived with my parents at that time and they didn't want a pet at home, so I decided to find a place of my own. I was 31, recently separated, and trying to get back on my feet. I moved into a PG accommodation close by, that way, I thought, I could stay close to my family and have a dog for a companion in my new life. I began work again as a tutor, I teach English and foreign languages (French and German) to children.

The second one, a brave little female called Chhotu, arrived when the cook at my PG asked me to take a look at a small pup with a broken leg, that she had seen on the pavement.So I took her to the vet who had treated Bhuto, and had her leg bandaged. The vet asked me to keep her with me till her leg healed and make sure that she, or any other dog, did not tear off her bandage. And so she stayed.

Puchku the third, and Chhotu gives birth

Puchku and her brother were being sheltered, fed and looked after by the cook's young son, much to his mother's despair. However, Puchku’s brother died quite early, Puchku herself was run over by a car one day, and I could no longer stay uninvolved. I took her to the vet, and soon she too, like Chhotu, was part of my growing family. At this point the dogs stayed out on the street for the most part, and only came in to eat, but still my housemates at the PG objected and I had to leave. No one was prepared to rent rooms to a single woman, with an obscure job, and her four dogs, and finally we were housed temporarily by a friend of mine who had a vacant ancestral house in north Kolkata. 

This was also when I discovered that Chhotu was pregnant, and soon I was blessed with three pups–Une and Deux, two boys and Trois, a girl. I was overwhelmed and ecstatic. A very affectionate Golden Retriever named Toffee, who was originally owned by the PG owners, had also come away with me, since his humans had lost interest in him, and had left him with the cook.

New neighbourhood and violence

I found a place on rent owned by a military man, who seemed agreeable at first with the idea of a tenant with eight dogs (Bhuto, Chhotu, Toffee, Puchku, Une, Deux, Trois and another adult female dog, Buri, whose front legs were broken). But soon my landlord and neighbours started to turn on me, they could not reconcile with the idea that a single woman could be happy living with eight dogs, feeding them, sheltering them, and spending all her earnings on their welfare.

They started complaining first about me and then about my dogs.
They were determined to drive us out. They attacked me with bamboo sticks. I filed a police complaint. I endured their animosity for another six months when one day the locals, led by my house owner, broke in, threw away all my things – books, clothes, my laptop and other electronic devices, furniture, kitchen utensils – everything. For a second time I lodged an FIR against my house owner and a neighbour who I knew was the instigator. They told my mother they’d kill me if I didn’t leave the house.

We spoke to the media, the police, and other people who have faced similar difficulties with neighbours over feeding and sheltering strays.  At the moment – procedures are pending in court and my house owner at least does not come to threaten me openly every other day. I am still paying my rent and other bills.

But all these incidents have left me shaken up. Are we safe here? Are they going to hurt me, or my dogs, if I don’t move away?

Still our family keeps growing

Toffee died last October, but against all odds, we’ve now got new members to our family. Besides Bhuto, Chhotu, Puchku, Une, Deux, Trois and Buri, we’ve got Coco and Cola–two male strays rescued with life-threatening maggot-infested wounds, as well as Joey –an abandoned and traumatized female Spitz, and Geri Gooblie–a male stray, who I brought in temporarily to treat his mange and malnourishment, but ended up keeping because he is one of the sweetest dogs I have ever met. There is also, Disco–a distemper survivor, Buro– a street dog rescued, sterilized and put in my care by a kind hearted soul, and three puppies, Tutu, Tommy, Bhodai- who were taken away from their mother and paid to be disposed of by a neighbour, but were thankfully rescued by a friend and put in my care & Rambo & Phuljhuri, a pup & a granny, kept with me temporarily.

This is how our story has been so far. Hope you’ll decide to be with us & make things a lot better than they are at the moment.

Thanks & Regards,
Disha
News Report 'Why dogs, mayhem at teacher's residence'
News Report 'Why dogs, mayhem at teacher's residence'
Settle down please!
Settle down please!
My Babies
My Babies
Coco Baba
Coco Baba
Deux Ma
Deux Ma
Alpona di with the kids
Alpona di with the kids
News Report 'Teacher assaulted'
News Report 'Teacher assaulted'
News Report 'Teacher attacked violently at her own residence'
News Report 'Teacher attacked violently at her own residence'
Puchku Ma
Puchku Ma
Buri Ma
Buri Ma
Une & I
Une & I
Early morning
Early morning
Coco- Cola with Puchku Ma
Coco- Cola with Puchku Ma
News Report 'Why so many dogs?'
News Report 'Why so many dogs?'
Une & I
Une & I
Bhuto & I
Bhuto & I
Bhuto aka Explorer
Bhuto aka Explorer

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Rs.3,935
raised of Rs.10,000,000 goal

6 Supporters

164 Days to go

Payment options: Online, cheque pickups

Beneficiary: Bidisha Gupta info_outline

Supporters (6)

A
Anonymous donated Rs.100
DB
Damayanti donated $15

Love & hugs

PB
Preetha donated Rs.500
A
Anonymous donated $10
A
Anonymous donated Rs.1,500
SK
Soumyadeep donated Rs.200

I salute you for your amazing work. Keep on spreading love in a strife-torn world. May you be successful in your ventures.