When children are young, they often have a dream.
Whether it is to be the next Michael Jordan, a firefighter, or to build the biggest, baddest roller coaster the world has ever seen — many of those dreams dissipate after kids lose their youth-powered hope.
Twenty-one-year-old Zabi Khan never let his dream fall by the wayside, and he is here to tell you to do the same.
When Khan was in eighth grade, all he wanted was a pet. So, when he came across an abandoned puppy on the street and was unable to find the owners, he brought him home and named him Casanova.
“He fell sick two days later,” Khan told The Better India.
“My father and I took him to a doctor, but Casanova passed away that night. The doctor had told my father that he had a severe bacterial infection — it was probably the reason he was abandoned. He was my first pet and I was heartbroken.”
Fueled by his traumatic loss, Khan began working for animal rights organizations and shelters when he was just 13 years old.
In 2014, when he was 16, Khan registered his own organization called “A Place To Bark” in Hyderabad, India, where he rescued and cared for hundreds of animals.
But when Khan went off to take engineering courses at KG Reddy College of Engineering and Technology in Moinabad, India, he struggled to manage both the shelter and his studies.
But, unlike many others, he was unable to give up.
He went on to start a shelter at his college for dogs, cats, rabbits, turkeys and ducks.
And after much lobbying, speech giving and convincing, he was able to get many individuals to fund his dream.
Now, at age 21, Khan has successfully rescued and rehabilitated more than 3,000 animals.
Khan is passionate about finding animals a forever-home, but he is careful to make sure it is always the right one.
He conducts educational awareness sessions at various schools and universities to encourage people to adopt and, most importantly, take care of pets.
Khan thoroughly screens and counsels everyone who applies to adopt one of the pets he saved. Until the animals find proper second homes, they all stay safe in shelters under the care of Khan and other volunteers.
Khan also strongly advises against people purchasing exotic animals.
“People often buy exotic breeds to feed their egos and show off their status,” he told The Better India. “But when the pets get sick, they leave them on the roads.”
After college, Khan wants to expand his animal shelter and continue to encourage people to make smart, mature decisions when purchasing or adopting an animal.
He receives many calls asking him to rescue larger animals like donkeys, cows, buffaloes, goats, horses, pigs and more, but he simply doesn’t have the space to accommodate them yet.
A generous donor set aside 12 acres of land in Hyderabad for a sanctuary capable of housing large animals, but Khan doesn’t have the money or resources to start building.
When he can start construction, he plans to build a “shelter to bark for dogs, a shelter to meow for cats, a shelter to fly for birds and similarly a shelter for all the larger animals,” Zhan told the Chicago Tribune.
In addition to caring for the animals at the sanctuary, Khan plans to use the space to educate students on animal rights.
Khan anticipates the sanctuary to be more than just a traditional animal adoption agency. He invisions there to be an indoor clinic and a beautiful pool and play area for the various animals.
He is making the world a better place by fulfilling his dream, and he encourages others to do the same.
“We can all bring in change,” Khan said in a Linkedin video.
“It is important that we realize our potential and stand strong for what we believe in. Let’s together make this earth a more kinder, gentler and more sustainable place to live in.”
"In it to become a voice of the voiceless""We can all bring in a change and it's important that we realize our potential and stand strong for what we believe in. Let's together make this world a kinder, gentler and sustainable place to live in"Animal rights activist and founder of A Place to Bark, 21-year-old Zabi Khan shares an important story that made a strong impact on his personal and professional life. #ProfessionalsOfLinkedIn#InItTogetherKnow someone who has an interesting or inspiring professional story? Tag them in the comments section below!
Posted by LinkedIn India on Monday, September 24, 2018
News & Content Manager
Jackson Schroeder is a graduate of Ohio University with a B.A. in Journalism from the E.W. Scripps School. He is originally from Savannah, Georgia. Jackson has covered a wide range of topics, including sustainability, technology, sports, culture, travel, and music. He plays bass and guitar, and enjoys playing and listening to live music in his free time.