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Indian tycoon Ratan Tata appeals for blood donations for sick puppy

A super-rich Indian businessman took to social media to appeal for urgent blood donations for a critically ill puppy.

Ratan Tata, 86, rose to prominence at the helm of the Mumbai-based conglomerate the Tata Group, where in 2008 he famously oversaw Tata Motors’ purchase of British car brands Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford. He retired as chairman in 2012 and has since thrown himself into improving the lot of India’s many stray animals.

On Thursday, the multimillionaire took to Instagram to appeal for help for a young dog being cared for at the Small Animal Hospital Mumbai, which was set up by Tata himself and opened earlier this year.

The post featured a picture of the sick pup, with an IV drip in its front left leg, covered by a blue bandage.

Tata, who has 9.7 million Instagram followers, wrote: “I would really really appreciate your help.

“This 7 month dog at our animal hospital needs urgent blood transfusion. He is admitted for a suspected tick fever and life threatening anaemia.”

Tata, who tagged the hospital in the post, did not identify the dog by name or sex. However, he did go on to detail the requirements for potential blood donors. Eligible dogs would need to be clinically healthy, aged between 1 and 8 years old, weighing at least 25 kilograms (55 pounds), fully vaccinated and with a clean bill of health.

His efforts quickly proved successful, as Tata wrote in a later post that same day: “I would like to thank the spirit of Mumbai and Casper, Leo, Scooby, Ronny and Ivan for coming forward to donate blood for the patient in crisis. We have a cross match on one of you and hope that the recovery will be quick.”

According to its website, the new veterinary hospital features “every possible diagnostic and treatment specialty.”

It states: “The city of Mumbai and its small companion animals have long awaited a one-stop healthcare facility where no stone is left unturned to treat your valued family member. At the Tata Trusts, we have recognised this plea.”

It is unclear whether the dog has an owner or is a stray. Last year, the Press Trust of India estimated there were around 62 million stray dogs in the country, although experts say the real number would be nearly impossible to verify.

It is an issue that Tata has previously spoken out about. In an Instagram post last year, he expressed concern for the safety of stray cats and dogs that shelter under cars during the monsoon season.

In 2019, Tata posted a picture of himself holding the paw of a German shepherd dog.

He wrote: “Today would be the 14th birthday of my late dog, Tito. I still come home to two kind souls and meet so many others in and around the office. While few have the comfort of families, many struggle on the streets, and yet somehow, their affection remains the same. Those of you who strive for the welfare of the voiceless, truly have my respect.”

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