Zabi Khan, an animal activist from the city, is taking his love for animals to the next level. After starting two animal shelters, which rescue and adopt abused cats and dogs, the 20-year-old engineering student is now on a mission to start an animal sanctuary in Hyderabad that will help bigger animals like cows, donkeys, horses, goats etc. What’s more, he’s crowdfunding for the same.
Zabi has been working with and for animals since the age of 13, and started an animal shelter, A Place To Bark, when he was merely 16!
“Animal rights are taken for granted in a country like India, but the pain and suffering an animal goes through is no less than what a human does, and this led to the formation of A Place To Bark. I have been running two shelters in Hyderabad for abandoned and abused dogs/cats. I was also successful in convincing my college to construct an animal shelter inside the campus and turn it into an animal-friendly educational institute,” explains Zabi.
He adds, “My second shelter is a permanent home for over 45 desi old dogs who have no place to call home. We are able to deal with a good number of cases every day, but we do get rescue calls for bigger animals like injured donkeys, cows, buffaloes, goats, horses, birds and pigs etc. It is with a heavy heart every single time that we have to say no as we don’t have a place to shelter them. Sadly, Hyderabad has no animal sanctuary and I want to start one.”
Well, Zabi’s dream is about to come true. “A kind soul has donated 12 acres of land in Hyderabad (near Shamshabad) for the sanctuary although building one takes a lot of money and resources,” says Zabi about his future plans.
Elaborating about the facilities that this sanctuary would have, Zabi says, “We are going to register a foundation named Animal Rights Foundation and build individual shelters on this land. All the injured/abandoned animals will be nurtured, treated and cared for. The sanctuary will also act as an educational institute where school and college students can come over the weekend to get educated on animal rights. It will act as an adoption center as well. We will also shortly come up with an animal ambulance. There are plans to have a clinic inside the sanctuary, and a beautiful pool/play area for all these animals.”
However, building the sanctuary with all the shelters and other facilities would take at least `15 lakh, informs Zabi. “I am currently running a crowdfunding campaign and the response has been amazing. Thanks to all the kind-hearted people who donated, in 10 days, we were able to raise over Rs 4,85,000 (as of Wednesday, he has raised Rs 5,30,249). We still have a long way to go though,” he says, adding, “Once we raise the required amount, we will start the work as soon as possible and hopefully, within 2 months, Hyderabad’s first animal sanctuary will be all ready to save lives.”