NRI student’s dog dies after being beaten, owner and staff at Chennai pet shelter reserved

A pet shelter owner and two of his employees in Chennai have been convicted under Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code and several sections of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, after CCTV footage showed one of the employees allegedly beating a dog, leading to his later death.

Velachery Police registered the case on the complaint of Sharmila, a Tiruvannamalai resident studying in Germany who left her dog Charlie at Pet Paws dog shelter in September 2020 for a monthly fee of Rs 12,000.

Sharmila’s complaint said that although dog shelter owner Ram promised to show her Charlie on video calls, he continued to evade her requests for video calls. When Ram showed her the dog once, Sharmila noticed wound marks on the dog’s paw, which he attributed to an infection. On March 3, Martin, a caretaker, called Sharmila to tell her that Charlie was having difficulty breathing and was being taken to hospital. Within hours, she was notified that her pet had died of a heart attack.

Speaking to, Deputy Inspector E Sekar said Sharmila, who came from Germany a day later, asked Ram to show her CCTV footage from the shelter. Although he showed her edited footage first, Sharmila insisted on unedited footage. She found another guardian, Suraj, who allegedly hit the dog in the footage. Confronted by the police, Ram repeated that the dog had died of a heart attack.

“We dug up the dog’s body and sent it for an autopsy. We will get the results in a day or two and further action will be taken based on that,” Sekar said.

Charlie was buried in Kannamapet on March 5. Some of the CCTV footage was shared on social media.

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