“Ever since I knew, I always wanted to help animals in need. As a kid, I would bring injured stray animals home and care for them. I guess I was naturally inclined towards them because I saw my mom feeding stray animals and birds on a daily basis. You know how they say – you learn more from someone’s actions than what you would from a textbook. And that really developed my passion for animals from an early age.

I remember when I was in school, I found an injured hawk and brought him home and cared for him till he was ready to be released into the wild. He would often come back to our terrace from time to time even after he was set free. I guess it was his way of saying thank you. And it was such a happy feeling to see him every now and then, all healthy and hearty. He was one of the many injured animals that I brought home growing up.

I did not pursue a profession in animal welfare after school though, and went on to complete my Bachelors in Nautical Science. Then, I joined Merchant Navy and after a few years, I realised that my true calling was somewhere else. So, I decided to move back to India and started this vet clinic. And there’s been no looking back ever since. I get calls everyday about animals in distress and these two puppies are also rescue cases. The one on the right is Faith and the other one is Hope. They’ve been at my clinic ever since and I’m trying to get them adopted too.

Working in this field has its good and bad moments. Like at times, I see cases where animals succumb to their injuries by the time they reach the clinic, which is always heart breaking. But, there are also cases where they manage to recover at a remarkable pace and that really makes up for the bad days. You can say that I’m the happiest around animals – be it a cow, a dog or even a hawk. Animals always come first…coincidentally, that’s even the name of my vet clinic – Animals First! :)”.

— Kartik Kumar Mittal