“I will save them till my last breath," a confident Padmavathy said.

Elderly couple mortgage their house to protect Chennais stray animals you can help them
news Friday, April 29, 2016 - 19:18

For nearly 20 years now, C Padmavathy (70) and her husband Narasimmamoorthy (80) have been providing protection and care to sick and injured stray animals in Chennai.

"In 1998, when we came to Santhoshapuram after my husband’s retirement, we witnessed the brutal killings of homeless stray dogs by Chennai’s corporation. They were being electrocuted or were being beaten to death because the residents didn’t want to deal with their increasing population. As both of us always had strong compassion towards animals, and had been working for them in some way or the other for about 20 years, we decided to set up a trust to start helping them," Padmavathy said.

The retired couple went on to establish the Animal Welfare and Protection Trust (AWPT), a registered trust, in the city.  

AWPT runs a hospital with the help of three doctors who are passionate about the animals and treat the sick or injured animals and perform animal birth control surgeries to ensure their health and safety. They also rescue abandoned puppies, kittens, injured dogs and make sure that they are taken good care of. At present, they have 85 dogs, 42 puppies, 11 new born kittens and 35 adult cats.

Narrating one of their rescue missions, AWPT on its website writes, “Blossom, a two-month old pup was brought to us by a 13-year-old school student who found him on road. Blossom’s paw was completely smashed and it was only his will power and the prayer of the student who brought him that made him walk again. It took almost two months for us to cure Blossom completely and he is now in the safe hands of the one who gave him a new life by bringing to us!” says their website while narrating one of their rescue stories.

However, with rising costs, the couple has had to mortgage and have now started an online campaign on Milaap to raise funds to continue their work.

While the initiative received a lot of appreciation from across India, the enthusiasm from the public seems to be have dulled over time. Due to the construction of a highway and its widening, the initial shelter had to be closed down and currently all small animals live at the couple’s home while the others are being sheltered at one of the doctors’ house.

“Initially, the government of India also used to help us with donations under the Animal Welfare Board, but this stopped in 2007,” asserts Padmavathy. She also stated that it stopped abruptly and even after repeated efforts to talk to the officials, they were never given any explanation.

She also mentioned that the initiative was started with their own money in the beginning and it was only later that they started receiving donations sand funds. “Including the mortgage loan, we now have over 25 lakhs as debt,” she said.

They have started the online petition seeking donations for running the shelter. At the time of writing, AWPT has managed to collect over Rs 79,000 with 7 days remaining for the closure of the petition.

Though facing a financial crisis, AWPT does not want to invite private investors. “Private industries always see everything as a business. I don’t want my family (the animals) to be their victims,” Padmavathy stated.

Her spirit however is unwavering. “I will save them till my last breath. No one should be motherless. The almighty God will show us some way to get through this, even if the online petition fails,” a confident Padmavathy said.

Those wanting to contribute to AWPT can visit https://milaap.org/campaigns/awptrust


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