Nithishwaran, from India, has rescued over 100 stray dogs with minimal resources available

"I am Nithishwaran Sukumar, born in Coimbatore, India. I always try to be empathetic towards others. This one trait has been taught to me by a stray dog.

Image: Nithishwaran Sukumar
Image: Nithishwaran Sukumar

When I was about 17 years old, a dog was run over by a car in my neighborhood and suffered gruesome injuries. I visited it in the hospital with a pack of biscuits to feed, it turned towards me and welcomed me by wagging his tail. This incident had a major impact on my life. It left me wondering that how could a dog, after experiencing excruciating pain caused by a human, still have so much love and affection to offer? It's faith in humans was intact even though his wounds were fresh. This was a learning for me, and I decided to help every animal that comes my way. To date, I have rescued over 100 stray dogs.

Once the lockdown was announced, I got several calls for the rescues. With the support of my rescue partner Vinoth, I have carried out 6 rescue operations. During the lockdown, I was rescuing one dog, when the police intervened. They questioned my intentions. After trying for some time, I managed to convince them, and they helped me with the rescue. Well, I do not have any grudge against them, they were trying to help all of us just as I try my best to help these creatures. The police officers have been working round the clock to ensure that everyone obeys the government guidelines.

Usually, post-rescue, the doctor provides me with an estimated cost for the treatment. I actively raise funds for the same. This one time I remember a dog was boarded by the hospital for an intended stay of 25 days. However, due to slow recovery, it stayed there for about 60 days. Per day cost is generally Rs. 350-400. The amount from the fundraiser covers only 20% of the expense. I try my best to cover the rest of 80% from my own earnings. These days it is even more difficult to find a foster home.

My motivation for me is my empathetic attitude towards others. After receiving such panic calls, I cannot imagine myself sitting at home and watching TV while somewhere an animal is going through so much pain. Most of the time, I do not inform my mother as well about my rescues. Although she stands by me mostly every time, as a mother she gets worried, especially since COVID-19 has hit India.

I understand the current phase has been a difficult one for us, but it is equally difficult for animals. We must act respectfully towards other human beings and animals. Try to feed them, rescue them, or help them in any way possible. I believe one thing that drives humans is HOPE. Hope for a better future, hope for a better tomorrow. Let us extend this hope towards animals. No animal deserves to lose hope and faith in humans."

You Humanity pays respect and gratitude to Nithishwaran for going above and beyond to contribute towards Humanity.

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