Stray dogs have finally found a voice in a "papa" who is going the extra mile to rescue, rehabilitate, litigate and make this world a better place for man's best friend.
Since he first rescued a dog named Lucky from the streets three years ago, Rakesh Shukla - who runs The Voice of Stray Dogs (VoSD) in Bangalore - has saved close to 200 canines, including dozens of trauma cases.
"When I first started rescuing dogs they stayed in my office. Now, there are five dogs at my home, 10 at my office, including four that live in my office room and use my sofas for a bed, and 125 more that live in my home outside Bangalore," Shukla said.
He built a new structure on the outskirts of Bangalore to home the ever-increasing number of dogs.
Describing the new home, he said it comprised "a few acres of land, completely designed bottoms up for dogs, double fencing, 10 enclosures with double gates and each enclosure with its own water pond, a 1/4 acre artificially created lake for them to swim".
"In that place, people are optional!" said Shukla, who also runs the VoSD helpline to help pick up stray and sick dogs.
VoSD has a trauma centre too that has between 20 and 30 dogs at any time.
"We use monitored helplines, GPS tracking. All services are provided free, including X-rays, MRIs, eco-advanced surgery for cancers and heart surgery," he said.
Since the opening of the VoSD rescue lines on October 15 last year, people have sought help for 850 stray dogs and 600 have been picked up and treated.
Shukla describes VoSD as one of the largest legal and information repositories for issues related to dogs in India.
"Because of the principle involved, VoSD does not, and will not take any aid from any government or another agency," he said.