New Delhi: The Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre in Delhi, helmed by animal rights activist and BJP MP Maneka Gandhi, has been shut down “for a complete overhaul” after videos of cruelty against a stray dog undergoing treatment there went viral. The dog eventually died of her injuries.
In a statement shared on Twitter, Maneka Gandhi said the animal care centre had been short-staffed over the past one year owing to the Covid pandemic and two recently hired para-vets were providing support to the animals brought in.
“Recently, a dog was brought in for a rescue… The rescue took a regrettable turn when the dog — naturally agitated, as she was in extreme pain — bit the para vet, who in turn retaliated with frightful violence. The dog died from her injuries,” she said.
The video of the dog being beaten up was shared on Twitter on July 5 by animal activist Kaveri Bharadwaj through her handle @TheDogMother.
The disturbing video shows a man slamming a dog against a wall hard and then letting her drop to the floor. Two men are then seen hitting a dog on the mouth. There are visuals of injuries on the dog’s leg and mouth.
Another video went viral on Instagram in which a woman claiming to be a staff at the animal care centre describes the torture the dog went through.
The BJP MP was strongly criticised over the incident after the videos spread on social media.
Maneka Gandhi said in her statement that the incident “has shocked us all to the core”. “I have been personally seething with rage and have been sick to my stomach since I watched the horrifying video. We immediately filed an FIR against the para-vets and they have been arrested. The doctor in-charge of the section has been given a notice to leave. But this is not enough,” the statement said.
She added that the 40-year-old care centre has “faltered in its mission and needs to be rebuilt again”. She said the hospital will be shut down for “a complete overhaul”. “We will rebuild this institution again — physically (with the entire dog section rebuilt, with new infrastructure) and more importantly, in terms of staffing.”
Maneka Gandhi said they will “overhaul the hospital management and its staff completely, while ensuring everyone working there is provided with animal sensitivity-training.”