[Monday Motivation] This engineering student is rehabilitating and rehoming animals since the age of 13

Engineering student Zabi Khan has been fighting for animal rights since he was 13. He runs A Place to Bark Society, a non-profit orgnisation that rehabilitates, retrains, and rehomes animals.
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Realising the importance of animal rights at a young age, Zabi Khan, a 24-year-old engineering student from Hyderabad, started an NGO named A Place to Bark Society (APTB), a rescue and adoption animal shelter.

So far, he claims to have rescued over 500 animals and rehabilitated around 3,000 animals.

“Animal rights are taken for granted in India but the pain and suffering animals go through is no less than a human. This is what led to APTB," Zabi tells SocialStory.

Incidentally, Zabi is also a world record holder for being the youngest animal rights activist.

The beginnings

For Zabi, it all started at the age of 13-year-old. An animal lover since childhood, he came across a German Shepherd puppy abandoned on the road.

“The puppy looked sad and hungry, so I got him home and named him Casanova. Four days later, he was running a high temperature. I took him to the vet with my dad’s help, who examined him and said he will be fine within a few days,” Zabi recalls.

But even after they took Casanova home, the puppy was a little dull and the next morning, he passed away.

“I still remember that morning clearly and give me shudders. My dad told me that Casanova was suffering from parvo bacteria and in the last stages; he was probably abandoned because his previous owners thought it wasn’t worth investing in his treatment.”

“I promised myself that I would now never let any animal suffer like my Casanova did. My life had a purpose and a meaning now and that’s how it all started,” he adds.

Thus in 2014, at the young age of 16, Zabi registered his NGO ‘A Place to Bark Society'.

The shelter house

A Place To Bark is aimed at the welfare of animals. It deals with abandoned and abused animals, who have had a rough start in their lives. The NGO rehabilitates, retrains, and rehomes them in the best families who deserve them.

According to Zabi, the activities range from animal adoption, rehabilitation, retraining, providing medical assistance to the injured animals, rescuing abused animals from pathetic conditions, creating awareness in educational institutions — schools and colleges — and orphanages, and providing food to animals affected by natural calamities.

Zabi also convinced his college authorities to build an animal shelter inside its campus to make the college more animal-friendly. Students contribute in some small way towards running the shelter — taking the dogs for a walk or bathing them.

“Each dog and cat we rescue have been adopted by amazing families. As soon as we get a clear medical report of the rescued animal, we make sure we rehabilitate them. So far, we have rehabilitated over 3,000 animals,” he says.

Advocating animal rights

Zabi claims to have covered over 86 colleges and universities to spread awareness of animal rights and to motivate students to start their own social ventures. He has conducted different events like adoption drives and fashion shows to educate the public on animal rights

“Each animal has a different need. Some have paralysed legs, some have tumors, others have skin allergies, cancer, fractures, burns, road accident cases, and the list goes on,” he explains.

However, it is difficult for him to manage resources and funding and the activist now aims to raise funding through crowdfunding platforms like Milaap.

He and his team are currently working to start an animal ambulance, which will rescue needy animals 24x7 from all over Hyderabad. Furthermore, he plans to expand his shelter home from the current 200 sq yard place to a sanctuary like area of about 12 acres of land.

As Hyderabad does not have an animal sanctuary of its own, Zabi wants to build one for all kinds of animals.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

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