City Pulse

This Whitefield resident feeds 120 dogs daily

April 29, 2016 By Team ICMYC
  • Software Engineer Bismi Anil

  • Every evening Bismi and her husband travel 12 kms to feed 120 dogs.

Every morning six kilos of chicken and mutton, along with 15 kilograms of rice is cooked in Software Engineer Bismi Anil’s house. This feast is not for her two-legged acquaintances but for her four-legged furry friends. Bismi and her husband Anil Prasad have, for the last four years, fed more than 120 stray dogs in Whitefield.  The intent behind their actions is simple; convert stray dogs into community dogs, and impress upon citizens the need to adopt a more humane approach to dealing with stray mongrels.  
The beginning:
“We used to have a Labrador with very fussy eating habits. He would end up wasting a lot of food. One day, I noticed a sickly puppy near my house. I ended up giving her the food my Labrador wasted,” says Bismi. The duo soon started noticing similar unwell dogs in their locality and started feeding them as well. 
Soon, Bismi’s Labrador developed skin rashes, and in spite of doing ample research, the couple couldn’t figure out the cause of the rash. Their search for a cure led them to online dog lovers’ forums such as Bombat Dawgz and Cupa Facebook pages. “We didn’t really chance upon a solution, but through our interaction with other dog lovers, we figured out that there were many stray dogs out there who go hungry on a daily basis. We were terribly moved and decided to feed as many dogs as possible,” says the Whitefield resident. 
That was four years ago. Till date, the couple has fed more than 120 dogs, and shows no signs of slowing down. “These dogs need to be fed, and also sterilized, that is the only way to bring down the population of strays. Culling is not a solution,” she points out. 
“Initially on my way to my office, near Whitefield Police Station, I would take a route that cuts through a village. There were many dogs there, but they were very scared of humans,” she says. The dogs looked hungry and unwell, and so Bismi started feeding them as well. However, the villagers didn’t take to her feeding the dogs, lightly. “They berated me and said that the dogs were unruly and harmful. But when I fed the dogs and petted them, they seemed calm. I told the villagers to treat them kindly and soon enough the villagers bonded with the dogs. For a safe living environment, it is important for people to bond with strays instead of fearing them,” points out Bismi.   
Dog feeder by the night: 
However, feeding the dogs in the mornings became a challenge for Bismi. “Instead of taking just 15 minutes to reach the office, I started taking 45 minutes.  Moreover, most of the conflict between humans and dogs occur when the latter is eating. The dogs don’t know when their next meal is coming and tend to be very protective of their food. To avoid this conflict we started feeding the dogs at night when there are fewer people on the roads,” says the 40-year-old.
Bismi and her husband load up the food in their car and leave around midnight to feed the dogs. In the next three hours, they travel 10 to 12 kilometers in Whitefield to feed almost 120 dogs.  
“We get back home around 4 am. Then again at six thirty we get up to cook for the dogs,” she adds.  
Bismi was also awarded the Annual CJ Memorial Community Guardian Award that recognizes the heroes in Animal Welfare and Rescue every year with a plaque and cash award. The award was initiated by Priya Chetty-Rajagopal, Business Consultant and avowed animal lover, in memory of her dog.  
The duo wants to eradicate the concept of stray dogs. “We want to encourage every neighbourhood to adopt the dogs in their area. The residents should feed the dogs, sterilize them, and take care of them. This will ensure that we have no more strays, just happy and healthy community dogs,” says the Changemaker.