The story of an unusual human being Rakesh Shukla, who has adopted 735 dogs
The story of an unusual human being Rakesh Shukla, who has adopted 735 dogs | Credit: DC Website

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The story of an unusual human being Rakesh Shukla, who has adopted 735 dogs

Mar 13, 2018

A farmhouse located in the vicinity of the capital city of Karnataka spread across three and a half acre houses 735 abandoned dogs for whom no one cares. That is, apart from a single soul, a god sent Samaritan, a software engineer from Bangalore who has adopted all of them. Mr Rakesh Shukla, affectionately known as "Dog Father", braces many odds to keep his passion alive.

Your hovering eyes see only dogs in this unusual place for humans but for the dogs, this is their only shelter where they are well fed and well kept. The sight of Rakesh Shukla fills their heart with joy as they rush towards him to get affectionately patted and lofted around. The variety is widespread, mostly abandoned dogs, without any owners. Stray dogs of varied kinds, sick, old, haggard, three-legged, Golden Retrievers, Beagles, Dachshunds, Saint Bernards, Great Danes, pugs, Rottweilers, and hundreds of mongrels who have nowhere to go, find an abode here.

Rakesh Shukla is a software engineer by profession, who partnered with his wife to open a company TWB in Bangalore after having lived in Delhi and the U.S. The first dog he adopted was a Golden Retriever named Kavya and that very moment he decided that his purpose of life was to nurture and be caretaker for the dogs. Lucky and Bella were the next to join the bandwagon followed by many more, put up in his converted office space. Soon, due to the growing numbers and space crunch, in 2012 he bought land in Doddballapur town and set it up to take care of ailing, abandoned and old canine species. The huge space ensures they are well nestled within the fenced barricade.

There is a team of people on the mission to take good care of the dogs at this rehabilitating and trauma centre. There are 10 people employed to cook and feed the dogs including veterinary assistants. The food daily includes 200kg of chicken and 200kg of rice. Medicines and healthcare needs are provided. The cost of running the centre is up to INR 50,000 rupees and Rakesh provides 93% of the funds.

Rakesh has been applauded by many for his humanitarian deeds. But at times he has run into trouble with animal activists demanding entry to the farm or civilians complaining about the cacophony of barks and unrest caused by dogs. There have also been demands to close the farm. But Rakesh has conceded to none and resolved to continue his mission and never give up. He founded Voice of Stray Dogs (VoSD) and created a website, ably supplied with informational resources to fight unjust laws of culling or ill-treating strays. VoSD is foolproof with features including GPS trackers, four ambulances and software that uphold health and food records.

This is a story of an unsung hero who would continue his altruistic efforts for the sake of these innocent creatures and save as many of them as possible.