Published: 21st September 2018
Every dog's best friend: How Hyderabad's Zabi Khan has rescued more than 3,000 animals
A Global Goodwill Ambassador for LinkedIn, you probably know Khan if you'e into dog welfare or just really love the idea of someone who's dedicated to dogs the way that he is
If you are looking to adopt a furry friend, look no further then Zabi Khan's Facebook timeline. He puts up adorable pictures and cute descriptions of animals he has rescued that are ready to be adopted into loving homes. Now, Zabi Khan is a name most of us are familiar with. National Youth Icon for Humanity 2018, Pride of Telangana 2018, World's Youngest Animal Rights Activist (he started working for animal rights from the age of 13) — these are titles that he's associated with. He even started a shelter in his own college, KG Reddy College of Engineering and Technology. "Now, we are also planning an animal sanctuary, the first of its kind in Hyderabad, as it will also educate people about respecting all forms of life," says the excited 20-year-old. Though they have enough funds for construction and a Good Samaritan was ready to lease the land to them, Khan started thinking more long-term. He was in talks with the government, particularly the Collector for the land, but after the dissolution of the parliament in Telangana, everything has come to a standstill. But he hopes that he can begin working on it again by January 2019. And when he shares his plans for the sanctuary, about how it will have different shelters for dogs, cats and birds, and bigger spaces for larger animals like cows and horses, we too hope that his work to "give abandoned animals a loving home and a family," begins soon.
Rescue and rehabilitation of animals is not a one-day process. It sometimes takes up to three months
Zabi Khan, Founder, A Place to Bark Society
We collectively shudder when we recall, along with Khan, the recent incidents of animal abuse like when a dog was thrown from the top of a building. "You know what? Studies show that hurting animals is the first stage of a human turning into a potential abuser because it shows their wish to dominate a voiceless soul," informs Khan, who goes on to tell us horror stories of how they sometimes have to rescue animals from the worst possible conditions. He recently received a call at 4:30 am and was informed about an abandoned dog in Secunderabad whose eye was infected by maggots. "I named the dog Morning because we rescued it in the morning," says Khan sweetly. They also rescued a St Bernard recently whose eyelashes were growing into the eye and if not treated, this condition can lead to the dog losing its eyesight. "The dog did not trouble me at all. Throughout the rescue and rehabilitation, its disposition remained calm, so we decided that we should make it our sanctuary's mascot," informs Khan.
Khan has spoken at about 86 colleges and universities to talk about animals. He works with 380 volunteers and has rescued and rehabilitated 3,000 animals till date
Khan suggests that the best way to inculcate the spirit of social entrepreneurship and empathy is to encourage students to volunteer for a cause they feel deeply about as a part of their Environmental Studies syllabus. And we second that idea because there is no doubt that we need more empathetic and proactive youngsters like Khan.
To get in touch with Khan, you can email him on firstname.lastname@example.org