Pet Stops: Mumbai Animal Shelters And Adoption Centres To Know
The city is often cruel to its four-legged residents. Stray dogs are treated badly; pedigree breeds are abandoned by their owners when they’re unable to care for them; horses suffer at the hands of Victoria owners. At the same time, there are a bunch of organisations working for the welfare of mistreated animals. If you’re thinking of getting a pet, then consider adopting a dog or cat from one of these groups.
Cat Café Studio
The founders of film production house Zcyphher Studios, sisters Mriidu and Charu Khosla and Jason Moss, opened Cat Cafe Studio inside their office in 2015. The three of them had been rescuing cats from the streets, nurturing them back to good health and finding them homes since 2010.
Adopting a cat from their studio involves a fairly comprehensive process. The aim is to filter out applicants who do not understand the long-term commitment involved in adopting an animal and could therefore end up ill-treating or abandoning the cat. It begins with an adoption manual that the applicant is asked to study and then return. A few interviews ascertain whether they have actually studied the manual. Each of the cats is given with medical records and its adopter is assisted in finding the right vet.
After a cat moves into its new home, the folks from Cat Café Studio conduct house checks during which they examine the pet’s behaviour, the quality of its food as well as the overall cleanliness of the place. The ‘cafe’ in the shelter’s name suggests that people are encouraged to visit and spend time with the cats regardless of whether they’re prospective adopters.
Cat Cafe Studio, Bungalow No.68, First Floor, Aram Nagar Part 1, Harminder Singh Road, Versova, Andheri (West). Tel: 91670 12606. Open daily, from 11.30am to 9.30pm. Get directions here. Visit the Cat Cafe Studio Facebook page.
Plant and Animals Welfare Society
Nilesh Bhanage, who previously worked with British charity Worldwide Veterinary Service, started the Plant and Animals Welfare Society or PAWS in 2001. The office of the NGO (which is distinct from PAWS Mumbai) is located in Dombivali and its shelter in Murbad in Thane.
PAWS runs a rescue centre and hospital for dogs and cats and facilitates adoptions. They reach out to prospective adopters via ads on mediums such as WhatsApp and OLX. After they receive a call from a potential adoptee, the process is pretty standard. They conduct a phone interview with the prospective pet owner and survey their home.
Each new pet comes with an adoption ‘starter kit’ that contains two bowls, shampoo, soap, pet food and a scratch pad. You’re also given the animal’s medical certifications by PAWS, which helps you find a vet and trainer. Surprise house checks are done to keep tabs. Visitors, even those with no intention to keep pets, are welcome to play with and feed the animals at the PAWS shelter in Murbad.
PAWS, A18, Savitri Sadan, Dr. Mukharji Road, near Nehru Ground, Dombivali. Tel: 98201 61114. Open Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 7pm; Sunday, closed. Visit PAWSAsia.org.
The Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
This Parel-based charitable organisation, founded in the late 1800s by Dinshaw Manokjee Petit, houses animals such as dogs, cats, horses, cattle and birds. It has a force of one field officer and 14 inspectors who are in charge of prevention of animal abuse. People often alert them when they see animals being mistreated. The BSPCA also runs the Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital that treats over 500 different animals every day.
Their adoption process is similar to those of other animal welfare organisations. Those who wish to adopt a pet are interviewed over the phone and encouraged to spend time with the animal they’re considering taking home. Approved adopters are provided with vet certificates by the BSPCA, which ensures the animal is free of disease. Officers from the organisation perform surprise house visits to check that the pet is in good hands. You can also sponsor the food and stay of the abandoned animals that are kept in their Maintenance of Ownerless Animals Section, which is open to visitors.
The Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Dr. S. S. Rao Road, opposite M. D College, Parel. Tel: 022 2413 7518. Open 24 hours. Get directions here. Visit BombaySPCA.org.
World For All
World For All, which rescues and sterilises street dogs and cats, was started in Andheri East in 2010 by animal lover Taronish Bulsara. Their adoption process begins with a phone interview. A detailed face-to-face interview and house survey follows before the animal is handed over to its new owner along with vet certificates. Like similar organisations, World For All conducts regular house checks.
It also organises for foster homes or temporary accommodation for the animals if the need arises, working primarily with Probably Paradise, a shelter in Karjat that houses dogs, cats, horses and cattle that are injured. Through World For All’s ‘co-exist’ programme, which it runs at schools across Mumbai, students learn the right ways to behave and interact with animals.
World For All, 28, Dhanlaxmi, PMGC Colony, opposite PMC Bank, Mahakali Caves Road, Andheri (East). Tel: 98200 01506. Visit WorldForAll.co.
Youth Organisation in Defence of Animals
Animal lovers Pooja Sakpal, Meenal Rajda, Priya Akarsh Hebbar, Akarsh Hebbar and Abhishek Soparkar banded together to found the Youth Organisation in Defence of Animals or YODA, in 2010. Their Mahim shelter mainly houses rescued dogs, cats and rabbits. Birds and horses are kept in foster homes that have the facilities to keep such animals.
After a pet has been adopted, following the mandatory phone interview and house check, YODA carries out fortnightly visits to the animal’s new home, until it has settled in. If they find that an animal is being ill treated, they try to take it back. Those who are not entirely certain about their ability to manage a pet can take the animal home and keep it for 15 to 20 days as part of their ‘fostering process’. If things work out, you can go ahead and adopt it. If not, the animal returns to the centre where you can visit it.
YODA, 3 Swami Vivekanand Road, Mahim Koliwada, Mahim (West). Tel: 97735 55543. Open daily, from 10am and 5pm. Get directions here. Visit YODA’s Facebook page.
Look out for part two of our guide to the city’s animal welfare organisations.