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Four stray dogs die daily at this filthy BMC-approved sterilisation centre in Mumbai, report reveals

Mumbai city news: A report revealed unsanitary conditions and medical negligence at the Universal Animal Welfare Society in Malwani

mumbai Updated: Jun 03, 2017 10:23 IST
Sadaguru Pandit
Sadaguru Pandit
Hindustan Times
mumbai city news,mumbai strays,sterilisation centre in mumbai
Dogs crammed in cages at the centre.(HT)

An investigation has revealed that four to five strays die every day at a sterilisation centre in Malad. What’s worse is that the centre is approved by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

A report, prepared by an independent consultant intensivist, revealed unsanitary conditions and medical negligence at the Universal Animal Welfare Society in Malwani. The report has recommended the immediate shut down of the centre saying that it ‘defeats the very purpose of animal welfare.’

‘Shocked by the prevailing conditions,’ reads the report prepared by Dr Nandini Kulkarni who visited the centre with Prashant Nimbalkar of Bombay Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA) on May 12. She was approached by Dr Sangeeta Hasnale, AMC, P’ North ward, to investigate conditions at the centre.

“When inquired, we came to know that four to five corpses of strays were carried out of the centre every day. Looking at the condition of the cages, the poor infrastructure, lack of sanitary measures or medical care and gross medical negligence, we can imagine why the dogs are dying,” Dr Kulkarni told HT.

When asked about the reasons behind so many deaths at a centre that carries out over 500 surgical procedures every month since December 2016, Dr Kulkarni blamed unhygienic conditions and medical negligence. “There is no drainage, nor do the rooms have any ventilation. Operations are carried out on a table adjacent to a toilet, which is a breeding ground for germs,” said Dr Kulkarni. She added that Dr Hanuman Shelke, who runs the centre with his wife Swati, violates the safety norms by entering the operation theatre in shoes. The Shelkes were not available for a comment despite several attempts to reach them.

The centre has 126 cages, each occupied by more than two dogs. About 16 puppies are crammed in four cages. The report mentions that cages are piled on one another, and no segregation is done on the basis of sex of the strays.

“Strays fight for food and their stitches open up. If not properly stitched up again, the dogs might die of infection,” said Dr Kulkarni. The infection, she observed, results in a pale appearance and fever in many dogs.

“A dog was operated on 24 hours before we visited, had scrotal hematoma (post-vasectomy complication in which blood pools inside the scrotum) and respiratory distress (breathing difficulty). He was treated only after we persisted,” she added.

Even the food given to the dogs is allegedly of sub-standard quality. “I tasted it personally. It was lumpy, half cooked rice. There was no chicken,” said Dr Kulkarni. Even the 15 dog catchers employed from Beed district were found to be ill-trained and were wearing BMC Dog Catcher t-shirts, which meant misrepresentation.

Deepak Fatangade, senior police inspector of Malvani police station, said that they could not do a thing about the complaints since it’s a BMC recognised centre. “The centre is funded by the BMC and we can’t take direct action. Its only BMC that can take action,” said Fatangde.

When asked about possible actions, Dr Hasnale said she had forwarded the report to higher officials. “I cant take action against the NGO but since it falls under the ambit of animal welfare board and cattle department of BMC, I have forwarded the complaint to them. We are expecting action soon,” Dr Hasnale said.

First Published: Jun 03, 2017 10:20 IST