Rakesh Shukla is a software engineer from Bangalore, or rather he was a software engineer – he now spends most of his time on his three-and-a-half acre farmhouse taking care of 735 four-legged children. His new passion for rescued pups has earned him the nickname ‘The Dog Father.”
Shukla founded his own company ten years ago and in an interview with BBC, he remembers, “Life was all about buying big cars and expensive watches and living a fancy life. I had traveled and seen the world many times over, but then I was not happy.” That is until he met his first dog, Kavya. She was a shy pup who hid in the corner until they locked eyes. Shukla says, “It was a physical feeling, my hair was tingling, I could feel a warm glow. And I’ve never needed to ask myself that question – ‘why am I here?’ – again after that.” At that moment, Shukla and Kavya embarked on an epic journey that would save hundreds of homeless dogs in India.
Lucky, his second dog came to him three months after Kavya, “It had been raining for 12-13 days, she was wet and miserable, so I brought her home too.”
Shukla began bringing a stay home ever few weeks. When his wife protested, he tried keeping a few of them in his office.
Eventually, his family grew too large to be kept in the city, so he bought his three-and-half acre farm house in Doddballapur and created a safe haven for unwanted dogs.
He and 10 other employees care for the dogs on the spacious compound.
The farm costs around $663 a day to operate. 93 percent of that comes directly out of Shukla‘s pocket.
But he certainly doesn’t mind.
He says, “I’ve made a pact with my dogs. We will part only when one of us kicks the bucket.”
See Shukla at work in the video below:
If you’re as inspired by Rakesh Shukla as we are, share this post with your friends and bring a little joy and hope into their lives. If you want to become “The Dog Father” (or “The Dog Mother”) of your area, visit your local shelter to see what you can do to help homeless animals.
Image source: ASIF SAUD/BBC