MADURAI: Finding a space to establish a shelter for animals in distress is the most worrying factor for the young volunteers of the city who are shouldering the responsibility of rescuing, treating and rehabilitating the injured and abandoned animals. “Since we could not get a rented space to house rescued animals in the city we are trying to buy a one-acre plot on the outskirts of Madurai to establish a shelter,” said Prabhakaran Nagarajan, from Friends of Animals Madurai.
The volunteers are fostering the rescued animals in their houses and space is not sufficient due to the increasing number of calls we get regarding animals in distress. “When the animal is aged and would not be adopted we take care of them till they breathe their last. So we are running short of space. We want to establish a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital in the shelter,” he said and lamented that landowners are hesitant to sell the land for this noble cause.
Objections raised by owners are that the animals will disturb the locality by making noise day and night. They will spread the infection to other pets and humans, attract other animals. “A couple of landowners are demanding more money after asking land for the purpose. We are hopeful of getting a suitable piece of land,” he added. P R Vishwanath of Urvanam, who is also looking for a permanent place for a shelter, said that they faced similar issues before establishing the temporary shelter at Mullai Nagar in Thanakkankulam. K Venkatesh Kannan of Thirunagar who works in the Gulf volunteered to give his land free of rent for a period of two years. “Neighbours strongly objected to it when we started work in February 2018,” he said.
The neighbors have developed compassion toward the animals. Murali is among the neighbors who provide food to the sick animals if the volunteers are held-up and are unable to reach in time.