The woman who gave up her home for Dhaka’s stray cats and dogs

Living costs are up, but animals still come first for the founder of Bangladesh’s first animal adoption shelter.

An illustration of a woman standing with three dogs and two cats jumping in front of her trying to get her attention with another dog walking away on the right, a cat jumping from four boxes on the left and a cat sleeping on the right. The woman is standing on a long receipt or list that acts as a road.
[Jawahir Al-Naimi and Muaz Kory/Al Jazeera]
[Jawahir Al-Naimi and Muaz Kory/Al Jazeera]

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Name: Dipanwita Ridi

Age: 37

Occupation: Founder and chairperson of Animal Lovers of Bangladesh (ALB) animal shelter, the country’s first animal adoption shelter for strays; freelance content writer and translator.

Lives with: Two rescue cats – a 13-year-old female called Pitu and a six-month-old male named Pouch. Various stray cats - a female and five males - come and go as they please.

Lives in: A one-bedroom apartment in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.

Monthly household income: In August, Dipanwita earned 43,591 Bangladeshi taka ($390) from her freelance work.

The average monthly income is 7,614 taka ($68) nationwide and 10,951 taka ($98) in urban areas, according to the 2022 Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics Household Income and Expenditure Survey.

Total expenses for the month: 30,000 taka ($269) spent on rent, utilities, food and transport to attend a birthday and a wedding.

Source: Al Jazeera