Daycare system in Kochi for pets gets a thumbs up from owners

Six-month-old Retro jumps on to Kumkuma Sara Jacob and Arjun Guru as they walk into the home of musicians Neha Nair and Yakzan Gary Pereira. He had earlier met the duo, when his parents had to travel for the first time since getting him in August. “A friend has recommended this team that was doing foster care for pets. We weren’t sure about it since he was only four months old, and left him with Yakzan’s mother in Thiruvananthapuram,” says Neha, while Retro happily moves around and enjoys the cuddles of all four.
But then during New Year, they left him with Arjun for a couple of hours. “We wanted to know if it would work out. Retro gave good feedback; I could feel that he was super happy. In fact, he was happier than when he was at Thiruvananthapuram,” adds Yakzan, who feels that this service is a relief for those who have to plan everything around plants and pets. Retro is now frequently looked after by Kumkuma or Arjun whenever Neha and Yakzan have a work assignment.

The pandemic encouraged many people to keep pets, who often turn out to be the best antidote for lockdown blues and mood swings in homes. However, when things started to get back to normal and people began moving around again, pets became a concern for many. That’s when a group of youngsters including Arjun, Kumkuma and Liz came up with the idea of offering foster care for pets. “It has been four months since we began the foster care facility. So far, we have handled 70 pets. We have staff with animal welfare backgrounds who are ready to take care of pets at their homes and also in the pets' houses. The staff are paid by the owners. People leave their pets with us for anything from two hours to over a month,” says Arjun.

Chartered accountant Kumkuma happened to meet Arjun while she was on a job hunt post lockdown and he discussed the idea of having foster homes or home boarding systems for pets with her. “I love pets and this is like a full-time job for me. I accommodate pets at my home here in Kakkanad like a day care system. Retro has been dropped at my place a few times. Generally, pets are really friendly. They just need some attention. I am not a cat person but I have even taken care of cats,” she says. The food for the pets are largely provided by the pet owners. “We also serve cooked food as some pets prefer fresh rather than dried food,” she says.


According to Liz, who has also been part of the foster care facility offered in the city, it’s a perfect profession for those who are interested in animal welfare activities. “I have been working as part of Oneness, an animal welfare group. Even those who are working from home nowadays could take this up as a part-time job,” says the cyber security professional.

As Retro accompanies Kumkuma and Arjun to the elevator of Neha's apartment as they left, Neha says to Retro, "You will meet them soon anyway."

End of the article

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