Human Interest

Bangladesh gets first boarding house for pets

Dhaka, Feb 22 (EFE).- Furry Ghor, the first pet-friendly hotel in Bangladesh, officially opened its doors this Tuesday, allowing any owner to leave their dogs or cats in it without having to worry about their care.

“The idea of Furry Ghor came when we found there was no place for people to keep their pets when they leave the station (go out of the city) for the time being,” animal rights activist Rakibul Haq Emil, a cofounder of the place, told EFE.

Such was the case of Shemonti Ahmed, an animal lover who in January adopted two puppies Luffy, a Lhasa Apso; and Coco, a German Spitz; but needed a place to keep them in order to attend a family reunion.

“I was worried about Luffy and Coco because the family where we had family gathering did not like us taking pets there. But we could not leave them at home either. They had to be given food at a fixed time and they also cannot go to the bathroom alone,” Shemonti added.

Luckily, she was able to contact the hotel and, despite not having opened yet, the owners agreed to keep her pets while she was away.

Moreover, the idea of a pet boarding house is especially useful for those owners who seek to go on a holiday, since “very few hotels and guest houses accept guests with pets in Bangladesh,” Emil said.

“People also struggle to carry them because no airlines and trains allow traveling with pets in Bangladesh. Special arrangement is needed to carry pets in buses,” added Emil.

This has led many people to leave their pets in the care of people who do not have the necessary knowledge or expertise to take care of them.

Furry Ghor, located on the top floor of a three-story building in Dhaka, also houses a coffee shop, which allows pet lovers to grab a bite while their animals run around the premises.

On another floor of the same building is the PAW Foundation (People for Animal Welfare), which was founded in 2015 to provide medical care to injured stray animals and promote compassion towards them.

Furry Ghor, which charges around 1,500 taka ($17) per day for each animal, has decided to contribute 10 percent of its profits to the PAW Foundation.

“We run this foundation on donation. But when it comes to donation, people think of humans first and then animals. So, we thought we should do something so that our foundation can be benefited. Furry Ghor is the first step towards that,” said Emil, who is also a co-founder of PAW.

This animal welfare organization hit the headlines in 2018 when it fought a court battle that resulted in a six-month jail term for a security guard who killed several stray dogs, the first such case in the country.

In Bangladesh there are no official figures on the number of pets.

The only estimation Emil could provide was “based on the vaccine card we sell,” which shows “there are about 5,000 pet cats” in Bangladesh, but there is no such count available for dogs. EFE


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