It's a regular day at the Park MRTS Station opposite the Chennai Central Railway Station, with trains rolling in and out. Except, its very special four-pawed volunteer, who helps keep passengers away from the danger of footboard travel, is missing. The native breed dog popularly known as Chinnaponnu of Park station, fell ill a little over a week ago and had to be taken to the hospital.
Chennai based animal rescuer Priyanka shared a post on Facebook on January 2, seeking help to take care of Chinnaponnu’s medical bills while also posting updates on her health condition. “[…]Then I requested a private vet to admit her and treat her for her illness, blood samples were taken and he started treatment for her tick fever. But still she is not active, yesterday got a call from the vet saying she may have distemper and have been kept isolated and asked me to discharge her today itself for the safety of other kids admitted there. Though the results came negative for distemper initially, symptoms were seen yesterday sic […],” she wrote on it.
When TNM reached out to Priyanka, she said that Chinnaponnu was recuperating. However, she added that she wanted to wait a little while longer before giving us further updates. “It's been over 12 days now. A lot of them have been calling and texting me asking if they can meet her. I think it is too soon. Just for the sake of her health I am not revealing the place where she is undergoing treatment right now. We hope she recovers soon enough,” she said.
Based on her latest Facebook update, the fundraising has reached its desired value. However, Priyanka insists that if someone came forward to adopt Chinnaponnu, life would be so much better for her.
“She is not a young girl and if she’s sent back to the station, she will continue to run behind trains and exert herself. She is not like the other dogs who rest mostly. I believe if some family comes forward to adopt her, her quality of life would improve for the better. She deserves it,” Priyanka says.
When Chinnaponnu gained media attention in November last year, she became a celebrity for her presence of mind, which was appreciated by both passengers and RPF officials. Chinnaponnu, who stayed around the station, would run along the trains if she saw any passenger travelling on footboard, thus endearing herself to the people.