Inspirations: Penny Shepherd

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Photo: Sivaram V

Fort Kochi, Kerala
Animal lover

Shonali Ghosal

Named after Noel Coward’s song Mad Dogs and Englishmen, the Mad Dogs Trust in Fort Kochi, Kerala, has been taking care of stray dogs in the area for the past year and a half. Penny Shepherd, along with her late husband Brian, founded the trust in 2007, when she came to India on a globetrotting trip from London with their three Dalmatians. The state of stray dogs in Kochi made Penny decide to turn this stopover into home. The trust vaccinates stray dogs against diseases like rabies by shelling out the required 550 from the fee they get for occasionally treating privately owned animals. Despite support from vets everywhere, the trust struggles for funds. “It’s very difficult to get the Indian public to donate for dogs,” says Penny. She has already taken a mortgage against her house in London and now plans to go to the UK to raise more funds. “It’s not just dogs anymore. We’ve had cats over and even treated two goats and a cow,” beams Penny. The Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme introduced by the trust aims to improve the lot of stray animals by keeping their population to manageable levels.

Penny can be contacted at +09746018456 OR +08606368431

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