The Voice of Stray Dogs or VOSD was established in Sept 2010 in response to a specific case of an alleged killing of a child in Bangalore by ‘stray’ dogs. The then government and bureaucracy were quick to point that it is indeed stray dogs that have killed, dragged and then devoured a 5yr old son of a migrant labour. However, Rakesh Shukla made an independent investigation which included meticulously creating a GPS map of the location, interviewing the parents, cops and actually obtaining the only pictures and autopsy report of the case and sharing it with two US-based experts on dog bites. The investigation’s conclusion was unanimous – the killing was not because of the Indian street dogs. This whitepaper can be read here.
Rakesh took this finding to all the leading newspapers and nobody showed interest in it even though they continued to report about the ‘menace of stray dogs’. The more specialised social and website pages either had very limited reach or dealt only in pet-related information. Overnight a domain called The Voice of Stray Dogs was registered, a website created and this report was published. VOSD continued as a website investigating dog-related issues and conducting and publishing scores of investigations till Sept 2012 when Rakesh found a paralysed St Bernard that he called Cookie and that the leading NGOs were going to put down without trying to help and so did the private clinics.
Over the next few months under Rakesh’s supervision with the help of the largest vet hospitals in Bangalore Cookie started walking but unexpectedly died later. It was at this point that VOSD was registered as a 12A / 80G trust in Bangalore and VOSD decided to rescue dogs.
Over 10yrs VOSD has grown into the world’s largest no-kill sanctuary & hospital and a unique social enterprise that provides some of India’s best-loved products and services to dog owners – with all the profits going back to the VOSD Sanctuary & Hospital which has the City of Dogs – a purpose-built space for over 1400 rescued dogs.
- On an average, each day a dog comes to live its life in the City of Dogs. Dogs are brought by flight, road and train from over 30 cities each year.
- VOSD is the home in India of dogs with no hope. Dogs that are blinded with acid, run over and paralysed, sexually assaulted, slashed with knives, tied to train tracks – from across India find refuge in the City of Dogs.
- At VOSD no dogs are ever euthanized because of lack of space, money or resources. EVER. EACH dog has the best, most sophisticated, most expensive, medical care in India.
- VOSD has rescued over 10,000 dogs and given over 300,000 state-of-the-art free treatments. Hundreds of treatments are delivered every day making VOSD one of India’s largest, if not the largest professional caregiver to dogs.
- Not just rescued dogs, VOSD is also the home of retired service dogs of the Karnataka Police, Reserve Police, Railway Police, Kerala Police and army dogs and horses.
10yrs of building a unique level of Care
VOSD believes not only in housing our dogs in the most comfortable manner but looking after them the same way that they would be in a real home. That level of individual love and attention for each and every dog comes from a team of 30 residents that live 24×7 with our dogs and these teams are:
- Caregivers – these are highly motivated individuals which have made taking care of dogs their life’s aim. This includes a telecommunications engineer, a special needs kids’ teacher, a journalist and a hotelier. These individuals have given up their corporate career to live with the dogs. It is they who socialise with the dogs , understand each dog’s unique personality and need and cater to it. This is a job function unique to VOSD.
- Vets & Para vets – who are the first line of defence in care of emergencies and responsible for all daily treatments under the guidance of Bangalore’s best vets. Once a dog is reported by the caregivers as requiring attention it is immediate taken to the Hospital a blood test is run and the dog referred to a vet who makes a prognosis and the treatment begins. All VOSD dogs undergo preventive blood test 2-4 times a year depending on their age.
- Caretakers – the team that cleans and feeds the dogs and have worked with VOSD dogs an average of 5+ yrs.
- Helpers, Cleaners, Drivers & Maintenance staff etc., that keep the City of Dogs running.
10 yrs in the making of the ‘City of Dogs’: The world’s largest no-kill Sanctuary & Hospital
Over 10 yrs hundreds of dogs have come to live even as we have continued to build the City of Dogs. In the City of Dogs, no dog is ever kept chained and no dog deserving to come in is ever refused. Today the City of Dogs is in its final shape and is:
- 60,000+ square feet of constructed area over of the more than 3.5 acres
- 170+ high-quality enclosures for up to 1400 dogs to live here
- 600+ shade and fruit trees make it a visual paradise.
- 10,000+ square feet hospital with 3 inspection bays, 1 surgery & 15 recovery kennels
- Hospice for old dogs
- 100% human-grade food for dogs with supplements for all dogs
- 1 water jet powered hydrotherapy pool
- 1 agility park for dogs
- 11 fully furnished residences for ladies & gentlemen vets/ caregivers/ interns. Each comes with a microwave, refrigerator and washing machine with rooms that have wardrobes, study tables etc and bathrooms with hot and cold water.
- The entire City of Dogs has a secure/ walled perimeter lined with Constantine wire barriers.
- Our rainwater harvesting tanks hold 1.5 million litres of water that secures us 6 months of water supply in case our groundwater runs out.
- We have our own 30KVA transformer, with street lights for the city of dogs backed up by a 7.5KVA UPS which is backed up by a 7.5KVA diesel generator.
10yrs of leading with Innovation
- VOSD released the world’s first mobile app for a stray dog rescue in 2012 that allowed any Bangalore citizen to report a dog with it’s GPS coordinates and pictures,
- A fleet of 10 GPS enables ambulances backed up by a team of 30 rescuers would rescue the dogs within the 1900sq km of greater Bangalore area within 2 hrs of the call being logged
- VOSD created the world’s first custom CRM for rescue and treatments in 2012 that tracks dogs, vehicles and personnel through all stages from pickup – admittance – diagnostics – individual treatment – discharge/release. The custom CRM also cross-referenced and tagged GPS(location), time and individual procedure data to create detailed reports. It also provided near real-time update to the dogs’ reporter via App, SMS & email.
- VOSD made India’s 1st blood bank for rescued/ stray & pet dogs in 2010
- VOSD released the world’s first remote medicine service for dogs – in 2017. Pet owners and rescuers can connect with the unified VOSD helpdesk which allows users to share x-rays, blood tests and photographs and existing prescriptions and receive high quality and precise secondary diagnosis & prognosis
- VOSD made India’s first Hospice for old dogs – available for any referred old street dog – in 2014
10yrs of helping other NGOs
- VOSD distributed over 15 computers to various NGOs across India in 2013 to allow them to have better digital access.
- Maruthi shelter, Bangalore needed a kitchen which VOSD donated to them in 2013
- 2 ambulances donated to Bangalore NGOs in 2014
- St Bernando’s shelter in Gurugram needed kitchen and buildings that were donated to them in 2015
- Over 500 dogs from shelters across India that could not be housed or rehomed have been brought into VOSD that has included
- ARK – Thiruvanthapuram (all shelter animals)
- ARF – Bangalore (all shelter animals)
- Amees Angel – Bangalore (all shelter animals)
- Tails ‘N Trees – Pune (Rescued dog surrender)
- Karma Foundation – Pune (Rescued dog surrender), and many others.
- VOSD Grants program for small NGOs / individuals with no outreach has committed total funds of ₹ 21,40,000 during the Corona virus lockdown.
At VOSD, we look forward to a future where all stray and abandoned pet dogs who cannot survive on the streets and have no hope of finding a home, will find a loving home at the VOSD Sanctuary and Hospital or will be taken care for life by VOSD teams in other cities across India like VOSD Pune .