We’ve seen 2 parts of the coverage of the ARF shelter at Kengeri (1) the findings of The Voice of Stray Dogs (VoSD) on location at ARF Kengeri in Jan 2013, and (2) the experience of the people going to shelter in the months preceding Jan 2013.
In this article we see the sweeping changes ARF makes at the shelter to ‘clean up the act’ in preparation of the impending AWBI visit. Visitors allege that ARF is literally cleaning up the place: of the filth and of the dogs by dumping dogs to reduce the number of dogs and creating/ fabricating records to satisfy AWBI. [When will this ‘imminent’ visit from AWBI happen is anybody’s guess. If AWBI were a partnership and not with constitutional validity, the ‘A’ would be considered a ‘sleeping partner’].
In Jan 2013 ARF’s then onsite managers had quoted that there were 60-90 dogs but by any reckoning there were approximately 60 dogs. Each shot of the enclosure was full of dogs. Now – there are none! These photographs taken on 19th February 2013 and 22nd February 2013 show clearly this dramatic decrease in the number of dogs. ARF volunteers and visitors and indeed all previous reports suggest their non-existent/ abysmal record in finding homes for dogs. Indeed those organizations operating in Bangalore know very well the difficulty in finding healthy abandoned dogs homes – lot alone injured sheltered dogs. Consider these facts:
- Dogs at ARF in Jan 2013: In Jan 2013 there were about 60 dogs at ARF
- Dogs adopted from ARF: We’ve learnt of approximately 15 dogs being ‘adopted’ from the ARF shelter – but at least an equal number coming to the ARF shelter in the last 1.5 months. That should still put the number of dogs in ARF at 60.
- Dogs moved to Krupa: 10 dogs have been reportedly moved to Krupa – a shelter close by – and closely allied to ARF with the same management (at least informally as has been repeatedly reiterated by Mr Dilip Bafna ARF’s Managing Trustee – that all matters are handled by Ms Poornima Desai – a Trustee of Krupa). That means there should be 50 dogs at ARF as of today.
- On 22 Feb visitor/photographer ‘A’ pegged the number of dogs at ARF as 25 adult dogs and 5 pups. On 22 Feb 2013 (same day) a visitor/photographer ‘B’ pegged the number of dogs at ARF as 15 adult dogs and 3 pups. One could take maybe 25 dogs on at ARF as on 22 Jan 2013.
- That means there are about 25 dogs that should be in ARF – not there!
This is what the individual reports, sent to AWBI by ARFs volunteers over the last few days, say is happening at ARF post the VoSDs article coming out:
Number of dogs is dramatically reducing:
- ARF has simply disposed off about 35 – 40 dogs in one week [Volunteer 1]
- Some dogs which were not in record went on missing without any clue [Volunteer 4]
- No one knows where he and his staff are releasing these dogs because no proper records were ever maintained. Only after AWBI served him a notice has he has started to clean up his act. But doing it as an eye wash. [Volunteer 1, the volunteer refers to Mr Bafna in addressing him as ‘he’]
- Some dogs have been in that shelter for over 2 years now. Where will they go? There were no records maintained for any dogs all these years. When I went there last I noticed that they had taken photos and made files for all the remaining dogs. [Volunteer 1]
- ARF has started releasing animals randomly in different areas after 3-4 yrs stay at the shelter. No of dogs at the shelter post the AWBI notice has reduced to only about 10 or 15 diseased dogs [Volunteer 3]
- A few dogs have been adopted [Volunteer 4]
Staff Mobilization & Infrastructure
- From shelter activities to ABC Program. We got to know after interacting with staffs individually [Volunteer 4]
- Out of two Vets, one has left [Volunteer 4]
- New files and nets and cleaned up the place for AWBI’s inspection. [Volunteer 1]
- ARF/ Mr. Bafna has got the ABC contract again from BBMP and is keen on shutting the shelter by letting the dogs go as ABC is now happening on site [Volunteer 3]
Documentation and records:
- Where records were non-existent before they are being created at remarkable speed. These include:
- Disease cases of existing & released dogs [Volunteer 4]
- Registry/ record maintenance [Volunteer 4]
- All treatment outside ARF has been stopped [Volunteer 4]
- A pony on ARF premises was stolen [Volunteer 4]
ARF has kept dogs for years in some cases – the few that could survive the abject conditions – so how is that they now know which location were these dogs were from and where are they going? Who let these dogs out? And that has become of them of ARF’s dogs?