NEW DELHI (PET ADOPTION) — Are you considering becoming the guardian of a new dog? If so, you should look into the different avenues for pet adoption rather than simply purchasing from a store. Adopting a pet gives you the opportunity to live with a companion, to save a life, and to feel warm inside. While animal homelessness is a worldwide problem, a few dog lovers in India have responded by adopting stray dogs and helping others do the same. Read on to learn more about the work being done by these passionate individuals in India. — Global Animal
(DOG)SPIRED, Leslie Brown
Street dogs come without a price tag. They are a nuisance to some, a threat and a sore sight to others, invisible to some, and an occasional friend to others. They don’t help your social status, they don’t make heads turn, they don’t make it to television, and they don’t get stolen. They just pile on the streets, while the likes of Labradors and Cocker Spaniels make for fast sales.
So when someone makes a pet out of a street dog, it’s for reasons beyond mere love for the canine. The reasons range from ideological to economical. Some people can’t fathom why someone would shell out a few thousands when there are so many dogs out on the streets waiting to be embraced and to find a home.
Chennai-based Priya, a dog lover, said “Pedigreed dogs have a huge market, but no one pets a street dog. Having a dog today is like buying a car. You have so many brands, it’s ridiculous.”
Agrees Anisha Ralhan, who adopted an abandoned dog two years ago from a camp organized by People For Animals, India’s largest animal welfare organization.
“I hate the concept of dogs as brands. There are so many dogs out on the streets without a home. Being a dog lover, I adopted one in 2009,” says Anisha, a Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student.
These street dogs are more adapted to the Indian climate and are more immune to diseases. To lend them an air of respectability, they are also called “Indian dogs.” For hardcore dog lovers, breed doesn’t matter, they just love dogs.
Achala Paani, who runs Let’s Live Together, an NGO (non-governmental organization), promotes the adoption of Indian dogs. She rescues abandoned dogs, fosters them to become healthy and clean, and then finds them permanent homes.
“Our foster homes are basically families that want dogs for one or two months. There they become happy, healthy, chubby and clean. Then we try to find them permanent homes,” says Paani, who lives in Bangalore.
For this, she organizes monthly adoption camps. In the two-and-a-half years of work, this NGO has been able to complete around 230 adoptions.
“The whole idea of a dog is to have a companion, someone who can love you. You don’t need a pure breed for that. An Indian dog serves the same purpose very well. Besides, you save a life.”