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In Conversation With Meitim Connolly

N. Penna
07/05/2019


She all 70 plus but her enthusiasm is infectious. Her love for animals seems to be so contagious that being with her even an animal hater would get to adore those four legged beings.

 An Irish lady with a love for animals, Meitim Connolly who is Amala Akkineni, the film star and animal activist’s mother speaks about her passion, “I always loved animals. My father was doctor during the World war in UK and during the war no one had time to think of a vet for the animals so he would treat even animals and we would help him. I have always encouraged my children too to take care of animals. I was working as in the Hospitality industry as an Administrator and retired ten years ago. I had promised my daughter that the moment I retire I would come to help her and that is what I did,” and continues with a smile, “Amala is actually the face of Blue Cross. She is the backbone and apart from her we have other directors, doctors, manager, helpers and other volunteers who make it happen. I cannot take credit for the work here as it is team work.

 Making an effort to be perfect…..

 The jolly old lady gives details, “To facilitate my work I did a course in animal first aid before I came to Hyderabad to take care of the Shelter. I was the Director till recently but now I do the counseling. The post of the Director is by rotation, so all the Board members get to be a Director.”

Disturbing facts…..

 She enlightens about the sorry state of the animal welfare, “In Madhapur alone, around 471 pups and dogs have died last year in road accident. I do not understand people who abandon their pets and we do not encourage people to do so. Most of the abandoned dogs die of separation trauma. All they seek is love and when they trust their owners it is not fair that they do this to them,” and goes on about a tragic episode, “We had a couple who decided to go abroad and came here to leave the pet. When we asked them to pay Rs5000 towards it care they went away and abandoned it on the road. How can people be so heartless? Would you abandon your child?

Love my job…..  

 Meitim believes in practicing what she is preaching and has adopted five abandoned dogs. Elucidating about her love, “Working with the four legged beings is so satisfying. They give unconditional love. Animals are fun and de-stress you. Animals need to know that they are cared. I had one abandoned dog which had behavioural problems. He was abandoned by the owner and he could not relate to other dogs and did not trust human beings. The dog came in sick, very thin, was heavily dozed with strong medicines and had chronic diarrhea and was so pathetic. I tried to give him homeopathic which worked for his diarrhea. He would dirty the place several times. I took him in as a challenge and surprisingly his attitude slowly changed with the constant sound of soft music.  He slowly became friendlier and when he recovered I felt so worth while.”

All things wise and wonderful…….

Though the septuagenarian is very modest about her contribution to the Shelter one needs to know that her work has indeed made a difference. “I have personally brought in many changes in the shelter especially in the procedure before adoption of animals. While giving away a pup for adoption we look into many things. The couple should have enough of energy and time to take care of an active pup. The age group of the kids in the house and the space available for the dog is also very essential.”

Caring for their feelings…..

 She says, “The apartment culture has never considered looking into the pet’s comfort. Recently we have been in touch with a township which is pet friendly. And when it comes to breeding dogs as a profession, people do not understand that the Indian breed is best suited for our climate. We encourage people animal lovers to adopt the Indian breeds.”

 In need of a home....

 “Presently we have lot of abandoned dogs who are actually thorough breeds but abandoned because of their disability. A Newfoundland Mastiff dog was abandoned because of a genetic disorder. He is huge and needs lot of food. We need a person with a heart of gold, pots of money and lost of space too look after this fellow.”

RIP….

 A person with a heart that beats for these beings, Meitim talks about the trauma of cremating dead pets, “People living in apartments face problems when their pet dies. All they want is decent burial for them. Keeping in view of this problem we have spoken to a few parties who would be setting up a place for the burial of pets. Actually my uncle donated a morgue for the Shelter, but we are looking for a space where a pet could be given a dignified cremation.”

 Her gusto is seen in her work and this active lady is indeed making a difference to the abandoned beings of Hyderabad.



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