When Shirish Deol left his Shih Tzu Jetlee at a pet boarding facility in Tambaram, he was a hale and healthy dog.
“On October 6, we received information about his health from the boarding facility and came back to find his eyes hanging out their sockets. A few days later, we found a wound on his forehead, which our veterinarian said could have been caused by excessive pressure and severe trauma on the head,” he said.
Allegations of negligence
He alleged that his pet was ill-treated and claimed that the facility was negligent.
Several boarding facilities for pets have mushroomed in the city the last few years. While some of them are large, many pet lovers have also started offering to board pets at their homes.
“Dogs have come in with injuries from getting bitten by other dogs, as well as health complications due to tick-borne infections from boarding facilities. While several places put the dogs together for them to socialise, they need to be cautious and monitor them to ensure they don’t get injured,” explained R. Jayaprakash, former director of clinics, TANUVAS.
Boarding facilities and shelters should have doctors on call and waste no time in getting the animal attention, in case something happens.
According to Mr. Deol, the facility where he had left his pet did not have a proper licence or registration. “We found this only after what happened to my pet, and it is important that pet owners do a thorough check of the facilities in place, before deciding to leave their pets there,” he said.
Stressing the importance of thoroughly checking such facilities before leaving pets, N. Srikumar, senior veterinary surgeon, Star Pet Hospital, said pet owners should ensure there is adequate space, ventilation and manpower.
“The pets should be fed on time and be taken on regular walks. Only if the owners are completely convinced should they leave their pets at such a facility,” he added.
The Chennai Corporation Veterinary Department has not yet taken initiatives to regulate private pet shelters and boarding facilities.
“Regulation of private pet shelters is expected to begin shortly. This month, we have readied a proposal to regulate such shelters in the city. The proposal covers aspects such as providing adequate facilities to ensure safety of the pets,” said a Corporation official.
T.A. Adhishwar, co-founder of Hotel for Dogs, a pet boarding facility in Chennai, said such facilities should come under a uniform set of regulations and be monitored closely.
“If an accident happens, it is important to have a proper system for response in place. Boarding facilities need to have an emergency response team, and vets they can reach out to at the earliest, for medical attention,” he added.
(With inputs from Aloysius Xavier Lopez)
Article source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/in-the-absence-of-regulations-pets-at-risk-in-shelters/article29753479.ece