Puppy Love! Daring Animal Lover Ms Rajani Shetty Rescues a Stray Dog Fallen into a City Well
Mangaluru: Here is a heart-touching story of a woman named Ms Rajani Damaodar Shetty, aged 40, 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 150-160 stray dogs every night between 12 midnight 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. And her recent daring act of rescuing a stray dog fallen into a open-well, located in the Biruver Kudla ground on Thursday, 30 January 2020 has made breaking news in print and electronic media, thereby receiving lots of appreciations and applauds from all quarters.
The story of Ms Rajani, the stray dogs saviour, has now reached far and wide. After Yours Truly of Team Mangalorean found her dog rescue news and video on social media, I decided to visit her house this morning (31 January 2020) located in Ballabagh, Mangaluru. More than the Shetty family members welcoming me, I was welcomed by 12 dogs ( 11 Female, 1 Male), 15 Cats, 1 fat Hen, Two Eagles, and a bunch of fishes ( starring at me from the aquarium)- and all of them happy to see me. Some dogs came running out from the bedroom, some from living room, some from kitchen, some from underneath the bed etc. And all these furry and non-furry animals also share the two-bedroom tiled roof house along with home people- just like a “Joint Family?”. And the funny part was that all the dogs were sniffing and jumping on me, due to the smell of my clothing, since I too have four dogs at home. No doubt, they say that Dogs are Man’s Best Friend!
After a local Namma TV channel carried a exclusive documentary on her recently , many Good Samaritans have come forward to help her with money, food and other pet medicines. Also a lot of dog lovers now visit her and offer her help. One donor from Mumbai Tej Shetty made Rajani a contribution of 200 kg Rice, few boxes of Pedigree dog food, and large quantity of pet medicines. Many animal lovers appreciate Rajani’s work, where she has been single-handedly taking care of so many dogs with all the love, dedication, and passion. Many are so moved by her entire persona that they come forward to help her out. While many of the animal activists belonging to various organizations many a times hesitate or are reluctant to quickly attend a suffering stray animal, citing reasons and excuses, but Ms Rajani, is always ready to jump into action when she sees or gets a call to rescue a stray animal, day or night.
And here is the recent example of her rescue efforts in getting out a stray dog fallen into a well. Narrating the story to Team Mangalorean, Ms Rajani Shetty said, “On Thursday, 30th January 2020, around 2 pm I received a phone call from Ms Suchitha, a active member of Biruver Kudla stating that a stray dog has fallen into the well located in the Biruver Kudla ground. Wasting no time I quickly rushed to the spot, since it was not far from my house. Even though I have rescued many stray animals in various situations, but this was the FIRST time that I had to get into a 30 ft deep well, and get that dog out. Taking a bold and risky step, without giving any other thought, I using a rope tied across my waist was lowered into the well by few members of Biruver Kudla”.
“Reaching down, I noticed that the dog has been desperately trying to get out of the well, where it had dug the side of the well wall. Seeing me the sacred dog tried to move away from me, but after few minutes it came back towards me, and I quickly put the rope around its waist, and asked the volunteers on top to lift it up as quickly as possible, which they did- and the dog was released then. The whole rescue operation took about 10-15 minutes. Thus was the happy ending for this stray dog, which did get a second new life. I feel proud that I saved yet another stray dog in a different situation, unlike my past rescue operations” added Ms Rajani.
Yes, during 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 harasses 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.
Her husband, Damodar Shetty is a taxi driver, while she is a homemaker at the moment, but occasionally she nurses new born babies and their mothers, when she gets called. Ms Rajani has three children- elder daughter Swetha pursuing her M BA at SDM College, Mangaluru, and a distinction holder, is aspiring for a good paying job; her another daughter, Rithika is in degree class at SDM College, and is quite active in co-curricular activities; and her son, Pratheek, is in 8th Standard. In fact, apart from her college and school going children, most people are dismissive of what she is doing. Ms Rajani doesn’t care what people or neighbours say, she keeps her love and care for stray dogs going, while she has full support from her husband and kids.
Every day, she cooks around 8-9 kg rice in a big aluminum vessel, mixed with chicken waste ( chicken waste donated by two chicken stalls at Urwa and Mannagudda), and every night along with her husband on scooter goes around Mannagudda, Urwa and surrounding vicinity and feeds around 150-160 stray dogs every night, and all expenses borne by her. All these dogs who are dear to her, know the time and her arrival at night- and they all come running towards her, wagging their tails.
Ms Rajani’s home comprises of happy family members, including her “Pet Children”. Her canine charges are fat, well-fed, and happy. Most of them nap on her personal bed, and others, who are a bit sick and the mischievous—are made to sit apart. Even though there are occasional territorial spats between the dogs, they show no sign of leaving her side. Cats and dogs get along very good, not forgetting to mention the lone fat-chicken named “Gulabi” also getting well the furry ones- and she always has the privilege to lay her eggs on Ms Rajani’s bed.
Even in spite of neighbours harassing and confronting her for what she is doing, but 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 12 canines. She even takes care of two eagles which were injured when they came into contact with live electric wires, and now they are in a large cage, since they are unable to fly anymore. Ms Rajani taking care of 12 canines at her home, and around 160 canines at night on the City streets is quite remarkable and commendable.
When asked how she feels 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 so save other human lives, after her death-and her children are also planning to follow their “Organ Donor” mother’s footsteps. Her daughter Swetha says that she feels proud what her mother does for stray animals, and someday she too may be like her Mother- a Good Saviour to these neglected animals.
Spending almost an hour amidst Ms Rajani’s family of human beings and Animals, it was indeed a time well spent, getting all the respect from Ms Rajani, her husband and her children, and also the love from the 12 canines, 15 cats, one chicken, 2 eagles etc- I will surely cherish this moment being a animal lover, Myself!
If anyone of our readers would like to help financially or with pet products, can contact Ms Rajani Damodar Shetty at 8904563332, 8904563331 or visit her house located in “Doddahithlu”, Ballalbagh, Mangaluru.