Inside the “paradise” of a 75-year-old Parsi lady for 431 animals rescued

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TIt is quite difficult to get Roxanne Davur to speak for 30 seconds without a break, as a cacophony of animals in the background often erupts.

“It’s always noisy when breakfast is served at the farm,” laughs Roxanne, who runs Probably Paradise, located 7 miles from Karjat, Maharashtra.

She laments that she is often asked, “Why is the name Probably Paradise for an animal shelter?” “You have to be dead to go to Heaven, which is why it is probably Heaven,” she replies.

The 1.5 acre farm in Karjat is now home to 431 animals, including 250 dogs, 162 cats, eight ponies, seven donkeys, two horses, a pig and a cow. The 75-year-old lists the numbers on a list sheet that is updated monthly. Most of these rescues come from Mumbai and Pune, where they have been injured, abandoned or become chronically ill. This refuge for unwanted animals has the sole purpose of giving them a “dignified place to die”.

“They are all residents, not pets,” says the master animal welfare trainer.

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Life on the farm begins early when this septuagenarian, clad in floral patterns and her neatly combed short hair, wakes up in the wee hours of the morning to prepare the herd for the day. “The staff come at 8 am, then we have feedings, meds, and we tend to do emergencies throughout the day that even go on until nightfall,” the woman explains. 75 years old.

“As recently as last night, someone brought in an injured dog, which will likely stay here. Our doors are open so that the animals can come and go as they please. We also allow visitors, but only during reasonable daylight hours.

Their daily routine also includes preparing tons of food, medicine, buying vegetables – and you wonder how many hours a day does Roxanne have?

But her journey with the rescues begins as a young girl watching her hardworking father, Murzdan Davur, find time to bring home injured and injured animals. So, having grown up in a typical Parsi household, animals have always been a “way of life” for the Davurs.

Growing up with wild cats

Roxanne Davur conducts Probably Paradise

“At first, my father brought back abandoned street dogs like German Shepherds, Dobermans. At one point, I think my dad had 50 dogs, and my mother-in-law and I took care of them, ”she recalls.

In 1963, the Davurs moved to Karjat while Roxanne was sent to boarding school.

“We had a diverse group of animals. We also saved hyenas and wild cats from the jungle, ”explains Roxanne.

She grew up working in the sales and airline industry before finally giving up everything to open “Terra Anima Trust” in Ooty, Tamil Nadu, in 2000.

“My mother-in-law often said – She will end up around animals“, laughs Roxanne, adding:” I started with an animal shelter in Ooty for seven years from 2000 to 2008. I was an ‘honorary animal welfare inspector’ for the Nilgiris, appointed by the government, without salary. I also did rescue missions there when I was in my 50s. But, unfortunately, we had to close later due to insufficient funds. “

She further adds, “After that I returned to Maharashtra and opened my doors to animals on my 1.5 acre family land with Probably Paradise. Back then, people were much more generous in Maharashtra than in the Nilgiris. Plus, I had the land ready, which no one could throw at me.

So, at Christmas 2011, Probably Paradise was born with the help of World For All, based in Mumbai. Linked to the NGO, she is confident that her legacy will not die with her.

In 2016, the shelter had fewer than 100 dogs, less than half the number of cats they house today, a donkey and five guardians.

The Probably Paradise team
The Probably Paradise team

Today, Probably Paradise has 14 employees, which is still a 60% shortfall from the number of animals they house. They also have a veterinarian on call and an equine dentist. Speaking about their 10-year journey, she says they slowly started building the shelter but still have work to do today, referring to building an additional cattery and a another block of stables.

They also have to redo the medical block, where a Mumbai vet gets off by car.

“We cook about 100 kg of chicken waste a day, which is cooked each afternoon for serving the next morning. We use around 30 kg of dry food for dogs and cats. I use premixed forages for donkeys and cattle. I have a monthly budget of Rs 4 lakh to Rs 6 lakh for current expenses, ”she says.

When asked how she manages the management of this foster home, she replied seriously, “I beg you. A brief pause later, she continues, “I’m constantly on Facebook; I write CSR grant applications [corporate social responsibilities] and organize fundraisers to raise funds.

Animals are beautiful people

Roxanne Davur founder of Probably Paradise

The animal activist encourages people to bring injured animals to her instead of carrying out rescue missions herself – which are expensive and do not guarantee the animal will not wander away.

“Sometimes people leave old animals on the streets in the hope that they will be run over by traffic. Peanut was one of two ponies that had to be picked up from Matheran – the first was dead by the time we got there. Peanut’s hoof was crushed, and it’s still horrible, but it’s now in treatment, which can take up to six months. We therefore had to organize a tempo to recover it, ”explains Roxanne.

The tales of the farm are full of such stories which often have a tinge of comical humor.

“Peru, the dog recently had facial reconstruction surgery because he was hit on the head several times. He’s got no ears anymore, but he’s a hilarious dog. He’s always up to something: trying to steal food. And he always has a happy face, ”she says, adding that there are some dogs that you can’t help but smile when you see them.

For dogs, being on two or three legs is not a “handicap”, says Roxanne, “They go on living. “

Probably heavenly hideaway
The hoof of Peanut who was seriously injured in a traffic accident.

“I have Lalu bhai in front of me, who suffers from dementia. Now we have more cases of dogs with dementia because street dogs are not killed as easily as they were before the 2000s. Lalu trots somewhere and often stops in his tracks because he forgets why he is there. go. It’s the same disease that affects humans, ”she said.

Speaking of a solution for stray animals, she vehemently states, “These animals have a legal right to stay on the streets and be cared for. We need to teach children that it is not okay to beat / mistreat a living being. “

As we finish our discussions, Roxanne pulls the receiver away from her and calls out some dog names. Then, with a small laugh, she continues: “A few dogs, who have finished their breakfast, have sneaked up on Lalu bhai steal his food.

The animals of Probably Paradise are up for adoption, but their wait is often in vain. The 1.5 acre lot is often insufficient for the animals at the shelter, who are happy enough to encroach upon Roxanne’s living quarters.

“Once you open your doors to animals, you don’t have to do much – the animals will find their way to you,” she concludes.

If you would like to help Probably Paradise and the work of Roxanne Davur, please click here.

Roxanne davur

(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)


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