Street Dog Doctor

Sandip Karan, The Street Dog Doctor of Kolkata.

Kaushik Sengupta

Kolkata, India. 2012

Sandip Karan loves street dogs and, unlike most dog lovers,  his love knows no bounds. His home is shared with forty street dogs he has taken in. Most of these dogs are in need of medical care – some have lost their legs, others suffer from liver ailments and then there are those with cancer, which he treats with extracts of Vinca rosea, the base of the vinicristine chemotherapy drug.

The dogs are being treated with care and compassion by this self-taught vet who learned his lessons while assisting veterinary surgeons over the years. Karan has become confident enough to successfully perform surgeries.

He does not believe in chaining the animals or caging them. They are left free to move around and take rest in his house. Karan is assisted in caring for the animals by his wife, Moumita, and his mother, Sarasti. Mr. Karan loves to cook food for  his ‘four-legged patients’. When called to treat a street dog in a faraway place, he sometimes brings home his patient if the situation demands hospitalisation. After the patient gets well under his treatment he ensures its safe journey to the place it had come from.

He has to date treated around 2500 street dogs in his own locality and the vast adjoining areas, but not all his neighbours favor what he is doing, and continually berate him. This however has not prevented him from dreaming of a house for the animals he loves.