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KOCHI, India: A woman refused to vacate her flooded house in India’s Kerala state without her 25 dogs, a rescuer reported Saturday, as the death toll continued to elevate.
The dogs were found cringing on beds in the flooded house with rising water when an animal welfare group arrived for a last-gasp rescue, said Sally Varma of Humane Society International.
Sunitha, who uses only one name Sunitha, was found by rescuers in Thrissur, one of the districts worst hit by floods in Kerala that have left at least 324 dead.
The woman however, refused to vacate her house unless all her stray dogs and abandoned pets, were taken too, Varma told a French wire service.
“She sent back volunteers and rescue officials because they said they could not evacuate her dogs.
“She was just not willing to leave her dogs behind. She then managed to get in touch with us,” Varma added.
“When the rescue team reached her house, it was completely flooded and the dogs were huddled on beds.”
Sunitha, her husband and the dogs are now staying at a special shelter as the relief camps set up for the disaster refused animals.
Varma said she has started a fundraiser for Sunitha and her pets so a separate kennel could be built at her home for her pets’ shelter.