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Ratan Tata finally completes his ‘pet’ project, to open an animal hospital in Mumbai

The hospital will be one of the largest of its kind in India and will be the latest addition to Tata Trusts' portfolio

Ratan Tata, aged 86, is about to launch a new animal hospital in Mumbai. The hospital was inspired by his quest to find advanced medical care for his injured pet dog. The hospital will open in the first week of March and will be spread over 2.2 acres, costing Rs 165 crore. It will be one of India’s few 24×7 hospitals catering to small animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits and other pets.

In an exclusive interview with TOI, Ratan Tata expressed his belief that pets are no different from other family members and recognised the need for such a hospital. He recounted his experience of flying his injured pet to the University of Minnesota in the US for a joint replacement, which made him realise the importance of a world-class veterinary hospital. However, he could only start working on the project after retiring as chairman of Tata Sons in 2012.

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Ratan Tata
Image: Times Normal

Despite various obstacles, Tata’s dream of building this veterinary hospital is about to come true in 2024. The hospital will be one of the largest of its kind in India and will be the latest addition to Tata Trusts’ portfolio, which includes other renowned institutions such as Tata Memorial Hospital, NCPA, Tata Institute of Social Sciences and Indian Institute of Science-Bengaluru.

Initially planned in Kalamboli, Navi Mumbai, the hospital was moved to a more central location to reduce the commute time for pet owners in Mumbai. However, this relocation resulted in delays in getting the necessary approvals and permissions. Covid-19 also impacted the construction of the hospital, causing further delays.

Hospital will offer a range of services

The ground plus-four storey Tata hospital, with a capacity for 200 patients, will be led by Thomas Heathcote, a British veterinarian who has relocated to Mumbai for this project. The hospital has tied up with five UK veterinary schools, including the Royal Veterinary College London for training, and will offer surgical, diagnostic and pharmacy services, along with multidisciplinary care for small animals.

The hospital will also house a dedicated facility to cater solely to the welfare of stray dogs, run by an NGO. Bombay House, the headquarters of Tata Group, also has an exclusive kennel for strays from the area, thanks to Tata’s love for dogs.

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According to a veterinarian based in Chembur, “The current healthcare infrastructure for animals is still inadequate. And this hospital, coming from the Tatas, will be a blessing as vets will not think twice before recommending pet parents there.”

Ratan Tata expressed his personal dream of having a state-of-the-art animal health centre in the city, which will be a resource for pet owners and anyone who comes across distressed animals. The hospital will help save limbs, lives, and cure diseases.

You might also be interested in –Rise of N Chandrasekaran: Ascending from a TCS intern to the chairman of Tata Sons

Dr. Shubhangi Jha

Avid reader, infrequent writer, evolving

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