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I Went To The Salman Khan-Themed Restaurant Accused Of Animal Abuse And Here's What I Saw

BuzzFeed decided to investigate after a Facebook post surfaced showing a St. Bernard puppy kept in a cage outside a Bandra restaurant.

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On September 4, Mumbai resident Astrid Alphonso posted a status about Salman Khan-themed restaurant Bhaijaanz, and how they have a St. Bernard pup caged outside.

"We were walking down the road when we saw this cage with bright lights a few feet from the restaurant with crowds gathering around to see what was in. In looking closer we realised it was a St. Bernard. My boyfriend clicked pictures and I put them up that night hoping that something would be done about it. By morning it had been shared over 270 times," Alphonso told BuzzFeed.

The post also said that people stood outside the restaurant, taunting and torturing the dog.

Being a dog lover myself, I visited the place, ready to expose their cruelties to the world.

That's me with my pup, Xander ^^.
instagram.com

That's me with my pup, Xander ^^.

When I reached there, there wasn't any cage. I noticed that the dog, named Hulk, was roaming around freely, and was playing with his owner Rahul Kanal, who is the owner of Bhaijaanz.

Andre Borges / BuzzFeed

He was sitting in an air conditioned room with Kanal and other people. After a while, he came out and played with the staff. I didn't tell the owner that I'm a reporter until I was convinced that there was no cage, and that the dog was indeed not mistreated.

Rahul Kanal

Kanal told BuzzFeed that he's had Hulk since he was 45 days old, and had a doggy house installed about three months ago.

According to Kanal, sometimes families come to the restaurant and are not comfortable with a dog roaming around, so he sits in the play house.
facebook.com

According to Kanal, sometimes families come to the restaurant and are not comfortable with a dog roaming around, so he sits in the play house.

Kanal claimed that no one ever complained about the enclosure outside before the Facebook post went viral. "There were fans, coolers and an AC provision for him. There was no leash or any kind of latch on the door either. There was always someone to attend to him as well," he added.

Kanal said that he only took down the doggy house as his friends urged him to, noticing all the outrage around it.
Rahul Kanal

Kanal said that he only took down the doggy house as his friends urged him to, noticing all the outrage around it.

He even presented BuzzFeed with doctor's notes showing that Hulk has had his shots, and goes for regular checkups.

Rahul Kanal
Rahul Kanal

Here is a signed letter by an animal welfare officer, who inspected Hulk and the restaurant and found that the dog was healthy, comfortable, and happy in Kanal's care.

"The dog is friendly and healthy. He is a dog of Saint Bernard breed, aged 6 months old, male. He is vaccinated completely."
Rahul Kanal

"The dog is friendly and healthy. He is a dog of Saint Bernard breed, aged 6 months old, male. He is vaccinated completely."

Alphonso, the poster of the Facebook status, also stated to BuzzFeed that the matter was resolved overnight with assurances from animal welfare officers and authorities. "Hulk is a healthy, well taken care of dog and will not be caged again," she said.

Hulk has been a frequenter at the restaurant since he was a wee little pupper.

Rahul Kanal

After work, he enjoys his evenings with his friend Buddy, a Dachshund who often comes to the restaurant to play with him.

Rahul Kanal

Kanal told BuzzFeed that Hulk lives with him, his partner Govind, or his manager when he is out of town. He also said that being an animal lover, he was pretty upset by this entire ordeal.

Rahul Kanal