The Dog Man



“My love for animals started in my childhood. I remember petting every dog in my street endlessly.” These are the words of 22-year-old Lionel Praveen who has been religiously visiting Kamarajar Salai, as several strays are yearning for food and water.

Lionel Praveen who is popularly known as ‘The Dog Man’ has been helping and feeding strays by giving them food and water since he was 5 years old. At the age of 14 he started to adopt strays and helped them live a better life. 

After ceaselessly trying to contact concerned pet organizations, I was appalled at the apathetic response I got. Ever since, I decided to take matters into my own hands.” Lionel who today works with an organisation of veterinarians has surely come a long way from just giving food and water to strays. He also tends to injured strays and also attends to emergency calls about them. He has become quite popular in his city after ‘The Hindu’ a leading Newspaper company of India wrote an article about him in March 2020 after he helped a lot of stray dogs during the pandemic.


Even the pandemic couldn’t stop Praveen doing his duty as he gave strays food and water even when lockdown was established all over the country.


“Some policemen understand and let me go, while a few have asked me to return home immediately,” he says. He set up 50 to 60 bowls of food and water In the Marina beach which is a very large beach situated in Tamil Nadu. This helped spark a movement in his city as many other civilians also showed up with food and water to feed strays.  Praveen also posted a request on Facebook, requesting people to help him with rice or pet food. He soon began receiving many messages. If someone wants to provide food for Praveen’s cause they just contact him and Praveen drives down on his two-wheeler to collect the food. He receives foods such as dry fruits, pet care food and also rations of rice. He himself makes rice and dal for the strays every day.

He plans to organise a system through which people can give him their food waste like chicken bones, dried rotis and rice which will be used to help feed strays. He is planning to leave bowls and thalis all around his city where people can leave their food and the strays will be able to feed on them.

Even the DC and Superintendent of Police – CIU enforcement of his city Subulakshmi Ma has also helped in sponsoring the water bowls that he placed in Marina beach and she has also promoted his page a lot on social media.

Financial crunch is a hurdle that Praveen faces from time to time but yet he is able to feed and look after 13 cats and 2 dogs in his house. “Since this entire journey runs on donation and my own money, it does get tough financially, sometimes. During such difficult times, I rely on my mother, who is always up for rescuing animals.” He says “If people can provide water and some more food, I will be grateful and happy.”

People like Praveen restore our faith in Humanity by doing such amazing and wonderful things in life. We at Forfurs hope he achieves all his goals in his life and gets immense support from everyone. He is truly a marvellous person who just wants to see strays happy and loved and not be poorly treated. We all believe he will reach amazing heights in life.

-Avijit Mandal