Friends of Stray Animals protects stray cats and dogs
Konica Bhatt 06 March 2014

Appalled by the way people tend to treat stray animals, Preeti Bhatt decided to set up an organisation especially for their protection at Pune.

I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man,” said Mahatma Gandhi. As much as this quote is true, it is also a bitter truth that in a nation where human beings are treated disrespectfully, expecting love and compassion for animals is a tall order. This is where Friends of Stray Animals (FSA) comes in. FSA, located in Pune, was founded in 2008 by Dr Preeti Bhatt, who has been a trustee of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Pune. While with SPCA, Dr Bhatt was appalled at how people treat stray animals; some horrifying cases were reported to the NGO, but lack of manpower, adequate facilities and internal conflicts prevented them from doing much about it. That was when she decided to start her own organisation that would provide the best treatment possible to these animals.

FSA started by providing a home to seven rescued cats; it now has three working branches looking after nearly 250 cats and 50 dogs. Its latest animal shelter was opened at Bhor, on the outskirts of Pune. Mitali Courtinho is another member of the organisation, who operates a separate animal shelter.  One of the greatest challenges for Dr Bhatt was to convince people about her motives and to generate support for the organisation. Although financially independent, she required the support of the veterinary doctors, animal activists, government officials as well as people in her area to set up the organisation. She says, “My family has been my greatest strength. My husband and kids never questioned my beliefs. There were times when everyone was against us, but they always stood by me with as much compassion as I have for my pets.”

Born and raised in Mumbai, Dr Bhatt completed Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) from R.A Podar Medical College in Mumbai. She practiced medicine for several years before shifting to Pune, completed her PG in Ayurveda from Pune University. Although a medical doctor by profession, she was always empathic towards animals. She actively participated in animal welfare, and often took them to treatment to the SPCA hospital. Well known for her dedication and goodwill, Dr. Bhatt became the trustee of SPCA Pune from 2005 to 2007.

She has witnessed a number of cases of cruelty to animals in the past 11 years; this has made her resolve to protect them even stronger. Initially, she faced much harassment from her neighbours who lodged several complaints against her. One of them even threw boiling water on one of the cats that was sleeping in his parking lot. “People will always harm the weak because they cannot fight back. It is a harsh reality that some people that can go to any limit to harm animals. We want to try and eradicate such behaviour,” she says. She has now given up her medical practice and manages the NGO full time.

The animals are looked after well and given timely medical help. FSA holds regular animal adoption as well as vaccination camps. FSA takes the initiative to sterilise stray animals in other localities. Apart from FSA’s employees, there are volunteers who work from their own localities. The local veterinarians also show their support to the organisation by charging less than the regular price for vaccinations and treatment. The support is growing now, with more people willing to come forward and show kindness to animals. Regarding donations for the trust, Dr Bhatt says, “We need volunteers who are willing to adopt pets or help in their own way. Also, since there are a large number of animals, we constantly require newspapers and old clothes, so anyone willing to donate that is always welcome.” Donation cheques can be sent to the address alongside. Donations are exempt under Section 80G of Income Tax Act.

Friends of Stray Animals
2, Indumati Apartments, Lane-7,
Plot-17, Dahanukar Colony,
Kothrud, Pune 411029
Email: [email protected]

7 months ago
I have 4 cute kittens with mother need to give them please contact me 9762092020 Hadapsar,
11 months ago
At Nigdi, Pune
11 months ago
Can anyone wanted cute 2 kittens with loving mother.. Anyone interested to adopt all 3 together.. Kittens are really cute, healthy and playful.
2 years ago
I have found 2 cats they are 40 days old please can u help them

2 years ago
I saw a very little kitten here in my locality in Bhor.I am here for a few days stay.Would have gladly taken that baby but i already have a cat who is a bit fiesty and i live in 1 RK house so cannot keep two cats.Anyone who is interested in taking that kitten plz reply.She is wandering from place to place here.Now she is gone somewhere i dont know but i think she isnt with her mother.She is lost
2 years ago
IN my building two cats pet two or three days old
The mother cat not come
Please save tmem
2 years ago
My Society is not allowing to feed stray cats in Pune. What should I do? Whom to contact?
2 years ago
stray cat ka nashbandi krvana hai
3 years ago
A stray cat has given a litter of4 in my garden. They are 1 month old, and a terrible nuisance. Any one interested in adopting them ?
3 years ago
Mere terece pe 4 month ke cat ke 3 baby he muje unko and unki mom ko dena he ye sab stary cat nd baby he me 2 more days unko rkh skta hu plz koi unhe lekr jayega unki mom unke sath nahi rehti he chillati he also marne ki koshish krti he wo phir se baby degi
Again same aisa hoga
Koi inko leke jayega plz contact krna or what's up 8459061231
Area katraj
Also me 1000 rupees or cat food dunga 7kg ka
Plz ????
Muje cat psnd he bhot but ghr me 1 vs 3 voting he issliye nahi rkh skta
Help me asasp
3 years ago
In my locality there are 5 puppies who are I think motherless so is anyone interested to adopt them?
Replied to gunjanksathaye0506 comment 3 years ago
Yes I am interested to take the dogs
Replied to nandiniagarwal1066 comment 3 years ago
My contact number 8668989687
3 years ago
Found a stray cat with her two kittens. Shelter needed urgently. If yes then please reply.
3 years ago
found a stray cat, i live at sarbatwala chowk camp, pune. Looking for a shelter
can you help us?

3 years ago
In my compound I found a stray cat . I am looking for a shelter for her. Can you please help??

4 years ago
In my compound I found a stray pregnant cat . I am looking for a shelter for her. Can you please help??


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