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Family Refuses to Leave 27 Dogs in Kerala Floods, Deny Rescue Ops

The family has run Daya Shelter Home for Dogs for the last 20 years. When the water rose, they had to make a choice.

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In a time of calamity, when most people save themselves and salvage whatever they can in the rising floods, a family of three from Muvattupuzha in Ernakulam endured nature’s fury for five days to save their 27 dogs.

Ambli, with her husband Ramesh Pulickan and son Keshav survived the rising water of Muvattupuzha river, which flooded their backyard. The river broke its banks and rose to over 14 feet.

The family has run Daya Shelter Home for Dogs, a non-profit organisation, for the last 20 years. When the water rose, they had 27 dogs in their custody. Instead of fleeing, they immediately rushed to the roof of their home with their dogs.

Ambli said:

Last month on 16 July, water rose from the river but it fell back within a day. But this time, the water didn’t receded for over 4 nights. We managed to bring some rations to the roof, but those were quickly exhausted.

When the situation got desperate, Ramesh was forced to swim underwater into his submerged home in search of rice.

“Luckily there was rice lying near the window in a plastic bag, and I managed to bring it up to the roof,” Ramesh said.

Ambli added that the dogs usually eat thrice a day, but during the floods they were reduced to only one meal. “They were quite docile throughout the floods.”

Their son Keshav said, “All our clothes, documents everything are destroyed in the flood. The water rose above the sun-view and all across the wall there are mud stains.”

Arun, who is a volunteer at Daya Foundation, finally reached the family four days later.

We tried to call the navy to recuse them, but the family refused to leave the dogs. Fearing people may lodge a complaint, the navy refused to send a boat with relief material for the trio and dogs.
Arun, Volunteer, Daya Foundation
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‘No Way We Could Have Abandoned Our Dogs’

The dogs are our responsibility. I know many who have left their dogs to die and those who took the flood as an opportunity to dump their dogs on the streets. We have been taking care of animals for the last 20 years. There is no way we could have abandoned them.

Despite having been through the crisis, the family beams with joy, knowing they survived the worst and made it to the other side with their whole family, including the dogs, intact.

Video Editor: Vishal Kumar

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