Rakesh Shukla, founder of a software company in India, spends 3-4 days a week in a farm, where he handles 735 dogs
Most dogs are wandering dogs, others were abandoned by their owners.
“I’m the last stop for these dogs”, said Shukla to the BBC. “They are no longer considered cute and sweet. Most of them are sick and not wanted anymore”.
“I worked in New Delhi, United States and then I founded the company in Bangalore”, he said. “My life revolved around buying big cars, fancy watches and glamorous life. I’ve traveled and seen the world many times, but I was not happy”.
Then Kavya entered into his life, a beautiful 45-days old Golden Retriever dog that he fell completely in love with.
“When we got home, she hid in the corner. I bent down to her level on the floor and called her to come. She looked at me, she was scared, but I saw that she wanted to trust me”, he said.
“Then it just happened – this was a physical feeling, my hair got chills, I felt a warm afterglow. And I needed to ask myself the question – ‘Why am I here’, after that”.
In the following months, whenever he encountered a stray dog or an abandoned dog, he brought it to his home.
In 2012, when the band has grown and grown, Shukla bought land and built a farm in it – a shelter for elderly, sick or simply unwanted dogs.
In the farm he employs 10 people, including veterinarians, who take care for and feed the dogs.
The daily cost of operating the farm is between 45,000 to 50,000 rupees (660$-770$), according to Shukla, who funds 93% of the operation of the place.
In the past year, he encountered many complaints of people who claimed that he is a public nuisance in that he holds so many dogs in his place. There were also demands to close the farm.
But Shukla refuses to give up.
“I’ve made a pact with my dogs,” he said. “We will part only when one of us kicks the bucket.”
“I made a bond with my dogs”, he said. “We will separate only when one of us dies”.