It Is A Woofderful Life
When Ratan Tata became chairman of Tata Sons in 1991, he regularised his tenants, furnishing amenities that were the equal of anything available to employees of the Homo sapiens persuasion.
“They had a vet on call, a budget for their upkeep and regular medical checkups, and were habituated to sleeping on mats,” a staffer said.
In 2017, this privileged class of eight canines was briefly discomfited when the building was renovated, but the luxury has returned, with plush new facilities, including toys, mattresses, and “lots of hiding places,” says a delighted Abodh Aras of Welfare of Stray Dogs.
How Gujarat’s Panchot Village Helps the Stray Dogs?
For one thing, the landlords are dogs of the four-legged variety. Farmers in Gujarat’s Panchot village started the tradition roughly 80 years ago by donating some hard-to-maintain land to a village trust. The trust annually auctions off the right to till each piece of land for a year, and all income from this is in the name of the village’s 70-odd stray dogs.
The villagers go to great lengths to feed the dogs—in 2015, the trust constructed a special building where food is prepared for them, and volunteers distribute the food daily. Recently, the construction of the Mehsana bypass made land prices shoot up—so the dogs ‘own’ about Rs 83 crore worth of land.