A Good Samaritan in Feeding & Rescuing Stray Dogs Kudla’s Rajani Shetty Feted with the ‘International Women’s Day Award’ in Delhi by the Delhi Commission for Women- undertaken by Government of India. Team Mangalorean feels proud of her achievement since we have done quite a few articles of daring rescue acts and feeding the strays
Mangaluru: She has done it in the past many times, and still continues to do it-Rescuing Dogs, Cats, Snakes, Reptiles, Birds etc.and also feeding over 900 stray dogs at night in various parts of the City. She is 42-year-old Ms Rajani Damaodar Shetty, a TRUE Animal Lover, and who finds the company of dogs much more endearing and comforting than the company of fellow human beings. Taking care of these furry friends isn’t new to her, since she has been a Good Samaritan to stray animals for over a decade. All these dogs have become her family. She takes care of the dogs’ every need. She feeds nearly 700-800 stray dogs every night between 11 pm till 2 am, and if needed, she takes care of all their medical expenditure including vaccinations and treatments. And she bears the expenses all from her own pocket.
Two years ago her daring act of rescuing a stray dog fallen into an open-well, located in the Biruver Kudla ground on 30 January 2020 made breaking news in print and electronic media, thereby receiving lots of appreciation and applause from all quarters. That story of Ms Rajani, the stray dog’s saviour, published in Mangalorean.com had reached far and wide, and received wide applause and also generous help from our readers and public towards her expenses.-Many Good Samaritans came forward to help her with money, food and other pet medicines. Also, a lot of dog lovers now visit her and offer her help. Many animal lovers appreciate Rajani’s work, where she has been single-handedly taking care of 800 plus stray dogs with all the love, dedication, and passion. Ms Rajani, is always ready to jump into action when she sees or gets a call to rescue a stray animal, day or night.
Yet another of her rescue efforts in getting a stray dog fallen into a well was on 10 April 2021, where she rescued an adopted dog fallen into a 50-ft well on Bejai road along with her husband, (Damodar) and elder daughter (Swetha) rushed to the spot in order to rescue the dog- and their efforts were successful. Not only are these two dogs being rescued, she has also rescued cats, birds, other stray animals either fallen into well or in distress. In acknowledgement of her efforts towards rescuing otherwise uncared for stray animals, the Delhi Commission for Women on Tuesday 8 March 2022 conferred the ‘International Women’s Day Award’ on 42-year-old Rajani Damodar Shetty of Mangaluru. It was a proud moment for Rajani, and Mangaluru too, with one of the coastal city’s citizens being feted on the national stage.
Rajani has been involved in rescuing, feeding and tending stray dogs and cats. One of her claims to fame is her success in rescuing dogs and cats that have fallen into wells, in addition to which she has been feeding more than 600 stray animals over the past few years. An elated Rajani, who was given Rs 50,000 in reward, expressed her gratitude to the Delhi Commission for Women for the display of support for her cause. Speaking to Team Mangalorean Rajani said, “The commission also paid for my flight and my accommodation. This is my first visit to Delhi, and I am living in luxury. I feel proud to be recognised from Karnataka. I am grateful to my family and supporters. There is no substitute for hard work, and it always pays.”
Rajani said that she needed up to 28kg of rice, boiled and mixed with chicken waste, to feed 600 dogs on a daily basis. “Of the 800 dogs that I fed earlier, 150 died of distemper recently,” she said. Among those who have been assisting Rajani in her mission include Mangaluru City South MLA Vedvyas Kamath, Deepa of Fieldstar Hypermarket, Arjun Bhandarkar of Life Charitable Trust and Uday Poojary of Biruver Kudla. “My dream is to build a veterinary hospital that will offer round-the-clock service,” Rajani said.
Among those that Rajani has inspired is her own daughter, Rithika Shetty, who made headlines in February, when she rescued a cat that had fallen into a well. Rithika is very proud of her mother, whom she cited as having been the force that impelled her to rescue the cat. Yes, during the time when many animal cruelty cases are being reported, this woman stands out as a stark contrast. Despite the lack of support, Ms Rajani, with her own money, spends on these canines, for their food, medicines and care. She is alone in her battle to rescue these dogs, who are otherwise ignored and left to fend for themselves. She does not have many helping hands in her endeavour; her neighbours constantly harass her because of this initiative and the only other people who help her out in her efforts, is her beloved Husband, and her three children- and well-wishers.
Ms Rajuani Shetty and her family members
Even in spite of neighbours harassing and confronting her for what she is doing, Ms Rajani says she will never stop her love and care for the stray animals no matter even if her neighbours assault her (which has happened quite a few times, she says), and if she sees suffering stray dogs which may need special care, she says that she won’t mind treating yet more dogs with as much love, she has given to her present over a dozen canines. Taking care of pets at home, and around 500 plus canines at night on the City streets is quite remarkable and commendable.
When asked how she feels about taking care of stray dogs, “Just like us, human beings, these animals also have lives and they also need to live like we do. When they need someone to love and pet them, we should help out. I feel happy when I save animals, including snakes and other reptiles who are on the verge of dying, that I gave them a new lease of life. Till I am alive, nothing will happen to these stray ones, and I won’t let” she said with the proud air of a matriarch. Ms Rajani has also pledged her organs to save other human lives, after her death-and her children are also planning to follow their “Organ Donor” mother’s footsteps.
If anyone of our readers would like to help financially or with pet products, or even want her to rescue animals/reptiles/birds etc can contact Ms Rajani Damodar Shetty at 8904563332, 8904563331 or visit her house located in “Doddahithlu”, Ballalbagh, Mangaluru.
ALSO READ RELATED ARTICLES: