The Delhi government, which has 70 veterinary centres, is planning to convert a number of them into modern pet care centres. According to officials, so far these centres have been used for mainly treating cattle or livestock.
Officials said there has been a growing demand for pet care centres which can offer affordable health care facilities for pet animals. The development commissioner, Dharam Pal has asked the director of animal husbandry unit to prepare an approach paper on it.
Of the 70 centres, a pilot project will be started at Civil Lines veterinary centre. “A veterinarian is available at the Civil Lines centre and we will provide modern facilities and equipment,” added Dharam Pal.
He also said that the department will launch a helpline and give it proper publicity so that people are able to make use of the facility. Depending on the success of the model, it will be replicated in other centres.
“Through our animal husbandry unit we been using the veterinary centres for providing health care facility to stray cattle, but there has been a gradual dip in the number of cases as in the urban areas people are no longer allowed to keep cows and buffaloes,” said a senior official.
According to senior Delhi government officials, services at the centres will be provided at a nominal rate. Currently, pet owners end up paying anything between Rs. 10000 to Rs. 15,000 on a single procedure.
“Earlier keeping a pet was generally restricted to the affluent section of society. But things have changed dramatically and most households have pets today. However, spending so much on their health is not an easy task and government run veterinary hospitals are far and few,” said a senior Delhi government official.