Unregistered pet shelter at Oragadam shut down due to poor, unhygienic conditions

Representational image of a puppy at an animal shelter

The Tamil Nadu Animal Welfare Board (TNAWB) has shut down an unregistered pet shelter at Oragadam, Kancheepuram for keeping over 100 animals in poor and unhygienic conditions.

As many as 124 animals, comprising 115 dogs and 9 cats, including purebred dogs, were rescued during this operation and shifted to various recognised shelters for necessary rehabilitation and care.

“Despite receiving a legal notice outlining recommendations for improvement and subsequent rejoinder notices, the shelter has failed to take any meaningful steps to address the dire situation faced by the animals. After careful consideration and numerous attempts to rectify the situation through legal channels, the Board has made the necessary decision to shut down the shelter, effective Wednesday, February 20, 2024,” the TNAWB said in a release, adding that the conditions in which dogs and cats were kept at ‘Guardian for Animals Shelter’ were in clear violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

Upon receiving five complaints, the Board in October 2023 inspected the centre and found faeces in urinals, unclean food bowls and cages, and low food stock. Many of the dogs had seemed undernourished. Over the next few months, the Board sent around 800 kilograms of dry food for the animals and asked the shelter to improve its facilities.

According to Shruti Vinod Raj, honorary member of TNAWB, the shelter’s condition continued to be pathetic and unsafe for the animals, most of which on February 21, 2024 were found to be unhealthy and in need of medical interventions. “They [the shelter] did not have proper cold storage, there were worms in the cooking vessel. They did not maintain mortality records or breeding records. No information on where dogs were sent for adoption,” Ms. Raj said. She added that animal rescuers and pet owners must be careful in choosing a recognised shelter.

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