ZabiKhan is a 20 year old Engineering Undergraduate from Hyderabad. He is an Animal rights activist, National Youth Icon for Humanity 2018, Padmashree Nominee, Pride of Telangana 2018, Rise young citizen in 2017, a social entrepreneur, world record holder for being the world’s youngest Animal Rights activist, Humane educator, founder of ‘A place Bark Society’ and an Ashoka youth venturer He started working for animal rights from the age of 13yrs, and was 16yrs old when he started an registered NGO named ‘A place Bark Society’ and started running a rescue/adoption animal shelter. So far, he have rescued over 500+ animals and rehabilitated around 3000+ animals.
About his NGO, Animal rights are taken for granted but the pain and suffering an animal goes through is no less than a human and this lead to the formation of ‘A place to Bark Society’. A Place to Bark, an initiative by me is registered under section 3 of Indian Societies Registration Act, 1860. It holds a strong position in the city for the welfare of animals. He deal with abandoned and abused animals who had a rough start in their lives. They rehabilitate, retrain and rehome them in the best families who deserve them. The activities range from Animal adoption, rehabilitation, retraining, providing medical assistance to the injured animals, rescuing abused animals from pathetic conditions, spreading awareness in schools, colleges, orphanages and also sending food to animals affected by natural calamities. He has covered over 86 schools, colleges, universities and orphanages lecturing
A candid walk a talk with the awesome inspiring personality has thrown a light on various aspects of his passion and the rescue operations of the animals.
Did you have pets while growing up? Did you always have a love for animals? What prompted you to work for the cause of animals?
I love animals for as long as I can remember, I was a real stubborn kid and always use to trouble my mother to eat. Every morning she you to take me out , we had some colony dogs so my mother use to feed them the half chapatti so that seeing dogs out of happiness I use to eat the other half without troubling her. I think that little gesture by my mother just to make me eat has impacted my life tremendously.
all started when i was 13years old was walking down the street and i saw a German shepherd puppy lying on the road, I inquired around and found that someone just dropped him off a car and never returned.
The puppy looked sad and was very hungry, I got him home and named him Casanova. However, 4 days later, Casanova was running very high temperature. I took him to vet with my dad’s help; vet examined him and told me, that my little kiddo will be all fine within a few days. Once back home, Casanova remained a little dull but followed me around all through the day. I woke up at 4am the next morning I called out Casanova and he didn’t responded, i touched him and they was no response, my little kiddo was no more.
I still clearly remember that morning and give me shudders. My dad told me that Casanova was suffering from parvo bacteria and was in the last stage, he was probably abandoned because his previous owners thought he wasn’t worth investing so much in. As a matter of fact why would they put in so much of money and efforts to safe a dog, at the end of the day they can buy one more again. That night shattered me as well as showed me the meaning of my life. I promised myself that I would now never let any animal suffering like my Casanova did. My life had a purpose and a meaning now and that’s how it all started.
Have you volunteered/worked with other animal rescue homes/NGOs before?
Yes, before starting my own organisation I have worked for about 3yrs with local animal welfare groups and ngos.
I was 16years old when I formed a place to bark society.
What year was your NGO A Place To Bark started?
A place to bark was started in 2014 and was registered in 2015 under section 3 of society act.
Then you brought this initiative to your college campus. How did you manage to do that? What are you studying? How do you manage to both study and work for your cause?
Animal rights are taken for granted in a country like india but the pain and suffering a animal goes through is no less than a human and this lead to the formation of APTB. A Place To Bark was started by me Registered under section 3 of society act, it holds a strong position in the city for the welfare of animals. We deal with abandoned and abused animals who had a rough start in their lives. We rehabilitate, retrain and rehome them in the best families who deserve them. The activities range from Animal adoption, rehabilitation, retraining, providing medical assistance to the injured animals, rescuing abused animals from pathetic conditions, creating awareness in schools, college, and orphanages sending food to animals affected by Natural calamities.
I first rented a place near my home and ran an animal shelter there for two years and then I joined my engineering college and it was getting real difficult for me to manage shelter as well as studies together.
Then I thought why don’t I open a shelter inside my college campus. . Through my work, i inspired and motivated other students in my college. They joined my work and sympathized with the cause. With students strongly backing me,i then went on to convince college authorities and open an animal shelter in college. i have been successful in convincing my college and has constructed animal shelter inside the college campus and made my college the World’s first Animal-Friendly Educational campus.
i have been successful in creating a self-sufficient, self-governing system in my college where all students contribute in some small way towards running the shelter (the help could be in terms of taking the dogs for a walk or bathing them). This in turn also engages students in some other activities apart from studies and gives them some time out.
I am in my Engineering third year now ( computer science engineering), it’s a blessing that I have one of my shelter inside my college campus so it helps me being regular to collage as well as look after my rescued animals.
Do you rescue animals other than dogs as well?
Yes we rescue all the animals who need help. My shelter presently is a home for rescued dogs, cats, turkeys, hens, ducks, rabbits and birds.
We are in process of starting an Animal Sanctuary in Hyderabad for rescuing larger animals like Cows, Buffalos, donkeys, goats, pigs etc.
Do you have a team helping you out?
Yes, we have 462 volunteers all over Hyderabad who help us in saving lives.
How many animals have you rehabilitated so far? Do you also have adoption drives?
I have rescued over 500 animals and have rehabilitated over 3000+ animals in amazing homes. Every animal we have rescued gets a family and a home to call his/her own.
Yes we do organise events like Adoption driver where in each time we get like 30-40 orphan pups/ cats good homes and other events like Fashion Shows where in we have models who walk the ramp with rescued animals/ pictures of abused animals to educate the public.
Can you tell me about a success story where someone adopted a pet from you and now the pet is happy and thriving?
Sunshine and stardust were a breeders end product. They were 30days old little puppies and were being poisoned as they was born with a genetic disorder due to unethical breeding. They had no power in their hind legs and couldn’t even stand, the only option we were left with was to either put them down or get them wheelchairs. I can never put any animal down before giving them a chance at life. With all the hope and prayers we started physiotherapy.
Physiotherapy for long 3months, alot of love, care and patience made our little girls stand again and eventually run.
Sunshine recently got adopted in an Army family and they love her to bits
Stardust was adopted by an amazing family, the daughter of the couple had suffered from polio and can’t walk properly. They both relate and now are Inseparable
(Will attach some picture from their journey)
You’ve managed to achieve so much at such a young age. What would you say is your biggest achievement so far?
About me: This is Md. Zabi khan from Hyderabad. I am 20 years old engineering student. I am an animal rights activist, Padmashri nominee 2018, National youth award nominee 2018, Rise young citizen 2017, a social entrepreneur, world record holder for being the world’s youngest Animal Rights activist, Humane educator, founder a place to bark society and first person from Hyderabad to be recognized as an Ashoka youth venturer. i started working for animal rights from the age of 13yrs,When i was 16yrs old i started an registered NGO named a place to bark society and started running a rescue and adoption animal shelter. So far i have rescued over 500+ animals and rehabilitated around 3000+ animals.
Something I cherish the most: I think being a world record holder for rescuing over 3000+ animals is something I cherish the most.
Do you think people’s mentality must change where animals are concerned? What message would you give people to make them more aware about animal rights?
Animal rights are taken for granted in a country like India but the pain and suffering an animal goes through is no less than a human. We rescue so many animals from pathetic conditions where humans torture them just for fun. It breaks my trust in humanity, why would you torture, harm or kill a voiceless living being who have done no harm to you?
Research finds a clear and compelling link between animal abuse and other violent acts. Animal abuse does not only hurt animals; it affects our entire community. Whenever an animal is abused, a chain reaction begins in our community. Not only does an innocent animal get injured, but the person who commits the offense often falls into a cycle that could ultimately result in violence against other people. The evidence of a link between cruelty to animals and violence toward humans is compelling. In the vast majority of cases, cruelty to animals is just one aspect of a social environment marked by violence. In fact, people who abuse animals are five times more likely to commit violent crime.
Animal abuse, like many other forms of abuse, is about power and control over a helpless victim. It is intolerable. By taking action against animal cruelty, we not only prevent animal suffering, but also uncover and perhaps prevent additional crimes. Understand the link and take animal abuse seriously. Hurting an animal hurts us all.
If you don’t love or like animals that’s really fine but then at least be humane enough to not hurt them. They even deserve a right to live with dignity.
Do you plan to expand your work in other cities? What are your plans for the future?
I presently run two shelters in Hyderabad and both if these shelter are for abandoned and abused dogs/cats i have been successful in convincing my college and has constructed an animal shelter inside the college campus and made my college the world’s first Animal-Friendly Educational
My second shelter is permanent home for over 45 desi old dogs who have no place to call their home.
As I run two shelters for Dogs/cats we are able to deal good number of cases every single day but then we do get rescue calls for bigger animals like injured Donkeys, cows, buffalos, goats, horses, birds and pigs etc. but with heavy heart every single time we have to say a no as we don’t have place to shelter them.
Sadly Hyderabad have no Animal sanctuary and I want to start one, Be it a pig or dog, be it a cow or a cat the pain and suffering each them go through have no difference
a kind soul have donated us a 12 acr of land in Hyderabad(near shamshabad) for the sanctuary.
We are getting a foundation registered named Animal rights foundation and we will be building individual shelters under this one land. Say a shelter to bark for dogs, a shelter to meow for cats, a shelter to fly for birds and similarly a shelter for all the larger animals. All the individual shelters will be constructed under one land and all these shelters will work as branches of Animal rights foundation.
All the animals injured/abandoned who need help will be nurtured/treated and cared.
The sanctuary will also act as an educational institute and we will be inviting different schools/college students over weekend and educate them on animal rights.
It will act as an adoption center as well.
We will have a clinic inside and a beautiful pool/play area for all these animals.
I am currently working to start an animal ambulance which will rescue the needy animals 24/7 in the city
We are in process of expanding our shelter from 200 sq yard place to a 12 acr of land.
I have covered over 86 colleges and universities to explain about Animal rights and to motivate students to start their own social ventures.
We carry out different events like adoption drives and fashion shows to educate public on animal rights