Horse with hacked leg reaches home

The horse found in Kakdwip on Monday with one of its leg hacked has reached a hospital and home.

The seven-year-old brown horse with a white patch running down the middle of his face has got a temporary prosthetic leg and a name, Hira, at Chhaya in Sonarpur.

The horse has been named Hira to go with Moti, the wounded horse found on the Maidan on Holi and recovering at Chhaya, Sharda Radhakrishnan, who runs the hospital, said.

“Moti stretched his neck to welcome the new horse when he saw him first time on Wednesday… and Hira, too, reciprocated,” she said. “The two are getting along very well. So, we have kept them together under the same shed.”

Metro has been reporting the plight of both horses and about the people who have come forward to help.

Hira got proper medical treatment for the first time on Wednesday since he was found on the road near Baladevpur, some 3km from Kakdwip town, on Monday.

The prosthetic leg he got at Chhay belonged to a mare called Muskan who is now dead.

The stump of Hira’s front left leg is swollen, indicating infection, according to vets at Chhaya.

His appetite is good, Radhakrishnan said. He had watermelons, water mixed with jaggery and rice bran on Thursday. So, he wasn’t given any saline drip, she said.

“he has been given strong antibiotics to reduce the infection. We will later take measurements and get a customised prosthetic leg for him.”

Hira was brought to the hospital in a Tata Ace by volunteers of two groups – For the Animals and United for Voiceless. The vehicle was provide by another NGO, Dhyan Foundation.

When he arrived, Hira kept stumbling. “The horse was finding it difficult to stand on three legs and the stump kept hitting the ground… so, we gave him the prosthetic leg. We have put in plenty of cushions to ensure he is comfortable.” Radhakrishnan said.

The prosthetic leg belonged to Muskan who used to draw a carriage in Maidan area. Her owner had brought her to Chhaya with the left hind leg almost severed. He never came back, Radhakrishnan said.

The leg had to be amputated and an NGO, Mahavir Seva Sadan, had provided Muskan with a prosthetic leg.

The authorities at Chhaya plan to approach the same Ngo for a prosthetic leg for Hira.

“Muskan was a spirited horse. She used to run around the hospital premises with the prosthetic leg. We hope Hira, too, will do so soon,” Radhakrishnan said.


Moti shares home with 500 dogs

Moti the injured pony rescued from the Maidan on Holi, is recovering in the company of around 500 dogs at the Sonarpur hospital he was taken to.

The eight-year-old pony, who used to give revellers a ride on his back in front of Victoria Memorial till his owner abandoned him two months ago, is getting better, doctors at the hospital, named Chhaya, said on Friday.

The horse was abandoned after he developed an infection in the back following an injury. Pony-owners in the Maidan area blame the injury on inept handling of the saddle by Moti’s owner.

“Maggots had grown in the injury because of the infection. The horse is responding to treatment. He is gaining in strength and not falling down like before,” said an official at Chhaya, co-founded by Sharda Radhakrishnan, a former teacher at Ashok Hall, and Vishakha Doshi, who lives in London.

Indra Bhattacharjee, a resident of Kasba, had spotted the horse lying on the Maidan on Holi while he was riding past on his two-wheeler. He stopped his motorcycle, clicked some pictures of the pony and posted them on Facebook.

The post registered multiple shares and resulted in a flurry of activity by NGOs and concerned individuals, leading to the horse being shifted to the Sonarpur hospital.

During a visit to Chhaya on Monday, metro found Moti in his temporary stable that had a bed of straw and ample supply of grains. The wing where the stable is located is home to around 500 dogs and is away from the cowshed where five horses and a foal have been put up.

In Moti’s direct line of sight is an enclosure housing two Neapolitan mastiffs, a French mastiff and a mongrel.

One of the Neapolitan mastiffs, named Zico in the hospital, had been left tied to a lamp post in Kolaghat, East Midnapore, in 2015. He was brought to Chhaya after residents of the area failed to locate the owner.

The abandoned dogs who have found refuge at Chhaya are of breeds such as Rottweiler, alsation, great dane, bull mastiff, spitz, golden retriever and Labrador.

Munna, a Labrador, was found abandoned at Dhakuria station with maggots in both eyes eight years ago. He recovered fully at Chhaya and was in prime of health till he developed a kidney problem recently.

There are separate enclosures for dogs that are accident victims, puppies and those that are terminally ill.

Also, there are 66 kennels housing four-five dogs each. These dogs are taken to Chhaya for sterilisation and are returned to their respective paras after four-five days.

“We sterilise 120 dogs from different parts of Calcutta every month. Over 7,000 dogs have been sterilised in the two operating tables at our facility since 2010,” said Radhakrishnan.

There is a big cage only for kites that get injured on kite lines, especially those laced with the Chinese manja. “Even after they are released, many birds come for food,” Radhakrishnan said.

What are her plans for Moti? “After he fully recovers we will shift him to the cowshed, which is home to five horses and 15-odd cows and bulls,” Radhakrishnan said. “If his owner doesn’t stake a claim, he will stay with us.”

Radhakrishnan runs the hospital with 26 workers recruited from local villages. There are four drivers for two pick-up and delivery vehicles. The outpatient wing functions twice a week, while doctors are on call on the rest of the days.

Chhaya, spread over a little more than two acres, is facing a cash crunch. “We run on voluntary donations. The cost of running the organisation has gone up from Rs 30,000 a month to Rs 6.5 lakh a month. We are forced to restrict our operations because of a funds crunch,” said Radhakrishnan.



Recently, Chhaya has been receiving calls and request for help from people who are non-cooperative and do not understand the scope of work that we provide.

We are thankful to all those hundreds of dog lovers who call Chhaya, coordinate with us & get the injured dogs picked up. Many of them also become our volunteers & take care of dogs on our request, till the time we are able to send our vehicle.
But there are those people who spot an injured dog & expect us to send the vehicle immediately. Unfortunately we are not able to offer emergency pick ups. If we request them to feed the dogs painkiller tablets, they are too busy. They tell us ‘you are a NGO so you have to listen to us’. Some say ‘you are getting crores, where do you spend it’?
We request all to cooperate with us. Dog care should be our primary objective. We don’t get Government support. Chhaya is run only on voluntary donations. Thank you…