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Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre

The Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre (SGACC) is India's oldest and Delhi's largest all-animal shelter. It was founded in 1980 from a legacy bequeathed by the late Mrs. Ruth Cowell of New South Wales, Australia to Shri Sanjay Gandhi.

A foundation set up in her memory, The Ruth Cowell Foundation, resolved to establish an animal care centre in Delhi that would serve as a prototype for other centres around India . The proposed hospital cum shelter was envisaged as a 24x7 facility that would rescue, home , treat and rehabilitate sick and needy animals, serve as a training centre for vets and animal handlers across the country, run an OPD for owned animals, offer diagnostic services, provide burial facilities, and serve as a holding centre for animal victims of cruelty cases.

Inaugurated in September 1983, The Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre, is today Asia ’s largest such facility and home to over 3000 animals at any given point. Spread over four acres of land in Raja Gardens , West Delhi between Shivaji College and the Home Guards' HQ , it is planted over with trees, assuring the necessary space and natural environment for animals and birds to enjoy freedom and security. An all-animal facility, SGACC is open 24/7 and runs a round-the-clock free animal ambulance service and helpline. Its busy OPD treats almost 200 companion animals a day providing medical, diagnostic, surgical and dental services. It is part of the city municipality's ABC (Animal Birth Control) programme wherein it sterilises and vaccinates street dogs. It works closely with the police to take in and care for animals confiscated in cruelty cases such as overloading and neglectful ownership. It organises a thrice weekly adoption stall at the city's most popular shopping mall through which it has placed over 2000 Indian puppies in loving homes. Under the patronage of Smt Maneka Gandhi, this pioneering facility named after her husband, Shri Sanjay Gandhi, has thus flourished into a well staffed, well equipped all round veterinary centre that is a boon for animals and their well wishers.

While the Chairperson , Smt Maneka Gandhi, visits regularly and is actively involved, the day to day management is headed by the Hospital Director while veterinary services are supervised by the Medical Director. Each separate department has an administrative head.


SGACC believes that animals are people too. Like us they too are entitled to the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As the planet's most vulnerable inhabitants, they deserve our strongest support.


SGACC mission is to provide sick, wounded and abandoned animals food, shelter, medication, kindness, safety and care for as long as they need it.


The Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre accepts all (any number, any type) animals that need help. It does not set a limit on the number of animals it is ready to house, nor does it euthanise animals on account of so-called constraints of space. While it is a no-kill shelter, it will and does euthanise animals that are in extreme pain and beyond recovery. It sees its job as not so much as to prolong life, but to curtail suffering. Recumbent animals with broken spines, cases where maggots have eaten into the brain, and any other instance where treatment would hurt more than help, are fit cases for euthanasia. SGACC does not believe in killing for food. It does not purchase meat, but obtains meat waste from hotels for consumption by its dogs, cats and birds of prey.

SGACC Objectives include

  • To prevent cruelty and secure the welfare of animals throughout India. In the initial phase, the area of operation to be restricted to the Union Territory of Delhi.
  • To alleviate animal suffering and instill a feeling of compassion in people so that they may realize their responsibility as humans to protect animals.
  • To initiate, promote and advance legislative and other measures, calculated to encourage kindness, discourage cruelty and stimulate human sentiments towards the care and treatment of animals.
  • To assist in the establishments of panjrapoles and sanctuaries to give shelter to birds and animals in sickness and old age.
  • To synchronize its operations with other voluntary agencies and associations, including local bodies as well as the State and Central Governments for the promotion of projects and programmes designed to curtail animal suffering.
  • Sensitising owners to the needs of their animals which includes providing proper food, shelter, attention,and opportunity to exercise .
  • Controlling the homeless animal population through sterilisation and an active adoption programme that promotes the virtues of Indian dogs as companion animals.
  • Discouraging the breeding and buying of dogs.
  • Raising awareness about the helpline and ambulance services so that sick and wounded animals may receive timely aid.
  • Constant upgradation of veterinary skills and services.
  • Improving efficiency to prevent loss, neglect or ill treatment of any SGACC inmate.


SGACC employs a staff of almost 100 persons. These include administrators, vets, compounders, helpers, cleaners, drivers, cooks, masons, electrician, security guards, accountants and a store keeper.

Chairperson : Smt Maneka Gandhi

  Director SGACC   Ms Nidhi M. Bhalla.
  Assistant Director:   Ms. Ruchika Aggarwal Khungar
  Director Medical Services   Dr. Sanjeev Baruah (B.V. Sc. & A.H.)
  Head of Surgery   Dr. Manoj Kumar Sahu (M.V. Sc. Surgeon)
  Vety Head of Small Animals IPD:   Dr. Akhilesh Singh Kushwah (B.V. Sc. & A.H.)
  Head of ICU (Small):   Dr. Sangeeta Chabungbam (B.V. Sc. & A.H.)
  Vety Head of Large Animals:   Dr. Amit Kumar (B.V. Sc. & A.H.)
  Ambulance Service In Charge:   Mr. Dilip Suri
  Accounts In Charge:   Mr. Shashi Pandey

Chairperson's Message

Thirty years ago I started India’s first animal rescue centre and hospital. It was originally designed to cater to approximately 200 animals. Over the years it has saved thousands of animals, inspired others to start rescue centres, become a training ground for veterinarians and been largely instrumental in eradicating rabies from Delhi.

I could not have done this alone. It was achieved only because people like you contributed to its upkeep. Today SGACC has over 2,500 animals in the hospital, and 20 more come in every day. We have abandoned animals, accident and illness cases. We have hundreds of cows and buffaloes who come in every week when they are saved from illegal slaughter by police teams working with People For Animals. We have people bringing in their pets for free treatment or to abandon on the pretext they have found them on the street. We have people who call us at three in the morning because they want to remove a barking dog. We work round the clock.

We get no grants from the government or from foreign foundations. We are completely dependent on donations. Our services even for the paying customers are the cheapest in India. We have the best dental, ultrasound, x ray and blood lab for animals in Delhi.

But the hospital is simply collapsing under the weight of the load it is attempting to carry. Every year, the rains damage part of our infrastructure. In winter we are hardpressed to arrange covered shelter for all of the daily arrivals. In summer we have to arrange additional fans and coolers. We simply do not have the ability to carry on like this. I am physically managing the hospital myself in order to effect repairs, employ more doctors and improve the infrastructure to make it more animal friendly. I need your help.

I have put together a list of items that we need, in order to continue to help animals (OUR WISHLIST) I would be deeply grateful if you could pass the list around and see what can be contributed by you and people you know. Some of these are very small items – some are larger. Instead of a cinema ticket or a birthday celebration, perhaps you could consider donating something that would save the life of a helpless creature.

This hospital has been started as a service to the community and we need people of the community to keep it going. We need you to expand the circle of love.

The law of Karma ensures that helping the truly helpless will bring you luck and joy in return. I hope that the coming year is full of luck and love for you.

Thank you for caring about animals and I look forward to your continuing support.
Maneka Gandhi