IDA India Celebrates 25 Years in Service to Animals After Shocking Start
It wasn’t until she was in her mid-40s that Sudnya Patkar learned about what happened to the street dogs who were rounded up by municipal vans and taken to dog pounds in Mumbai, and she was even more aghast to find out they were not only killed but killed gruesomely by electric shocks. The revelation ultimately led to the creation of IDA India, which just celebrated its 25th anniversary this week.
“Despite living in a metropolitan city like Mumbai, being a graduate of the university and having worked in a corporate office, if I was not aware of their fate, it was no wonder that the citizens of Mumbai too were blissfully ignorant about the cruelty meted out to man’s best friend,” said Patkar.
She joined an organization to advocate for an end to killing street dogs, and a few years later she officially registered IDA India as a charity on January 18, 1997.
The first big challenge was to find a place to accommodate at least a few dogs for spaying and neutering, or animal birth control (ABC), which began in two small garages in Bhandrup with the help of a young girl named Gauri Keskar.
During this time, they continued to request that the Municipal Corporation give them the dog pound at Deonar so they could set up a permanent ABC and treatment center. It was finally handed over in 1999.
It was just a barren piece of land then, without a single tree, and just 10 rooms that had been used to hold dogs before they were sent to be killed. They worked on transforming it to make it comfortable for animals and officially opened it in 2000, along with commissioning their first ambulance.
Thanks to the compassion and generosity of supporters, they continued to grow and build treatment and ABC wards for dogs and cats, a special garden for blind, elderly, and injured dogs and place for puppies and kittens and added veterinary facilities, an outpatient department, office, staff room, and kitchen, where two meals a day are cooked for the animals.
Today, IDA India has a staff of more than 100 people, including four renowned veterinarians, who care for nearly 450 dogs and 150 cats at its Deonar Center, and dozens more at centers in Turbhe and Panvel — who all especially showed their dedication throughout the pandemic.
Every single month, the ABC program helps an average of 1,000 dogs and 150 cats and about 150 animals are able to receive lifesaving surgeries and post-operative care, while hundreds more receive vaccinations and are admitted or treated on the streets with the help of 12 ambulances.
We couldn’t be more proud to see what determination to help animals and spread compassion has accomplished so far at IDA India, and hope more hearts and minds are changed about our relationship with them. You can help support this critical work by making a donation.