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Many people make room in their hearts and in their homes for dogs abandoned during lockdown
Appu, a half-indie, half-Chippiparai puppy, is tired of chewing on shoelaces, rubbing his stomach and dozing in his owner’s lap. The six-month-old is now ready to go to the office, as soon as the lock is lifted.
Luckily, Vikram Krishnan, who brought Appu home on April 10, works in a pet-friendly office and is excited to commute with his new furry colleague. Although the two may be inseparable now, Vikram admits that he originally intended to feed the pup for only a few weeks. However, the puppy quickly became a family. “This dog is great company. He really is a moody student, ”smiles Vikram.
Meanwhile, Renuka Jaypal is all smiles. She runs Tail Alert, a Chennai-based Facebook group that helps rescue, rehabilitate and rehabilitate abandoned and abandoned dogs. A depressing number of dogs, many of whom are pedigrees, including Rottweilers, Retrievers and Irish Setters, have been abandoned in recent months as towns grapple with COVID-19. Although she regularly treats abandoned animals, she says the number of cases has more than doubled in recent times. “Breeders throw away dogs they don’t want to feed when they can’t be mated or sold,” says Renuka. “Misinformed owners think they can contract COVID-19 from a pet, despite clinics, World Health Organization and Indian Council for Animal Welfare saying this is not possible . And the worst part is that some people use empty roads to get rid of pets, without being detected.
Renuka adds: “We struggled to find accommodation during this period. The number of dogs entering was four times the number of dogs that found homes. We also had amazing families who stepped forward and brought our rehabilitated dogs home. It’s the stories that keep us going.
Like Doki, an injured six-year-old Tibetan Terrier who was rescued on March 24 and reunited with his family forever on May 26. “Some determined people did everything they could, from raising money for complex surgeries to getting the word out about him. It all led him to his perfect home forever, where he currently enjoys belly massages and relaxing music.
On the bright side, over the past month, people who were reluctant to adopt adoptions due to busy work and travel schedules are using this downtime to adopt and integrate puppies as well as abandoned dogs into the family. . “The number of households capable of accommodating puppies has increased during this period,” explains Renuka. Mumbai-based popular content creator and Instagrammer (with 1.2 million subscribers) Jitendra Sharma, who calls himself Ted The Stoner, agrees. He has managed to find homes for over 8,000 animals over the past six years. He says, “Compared to 10 hospitality offers per week, we now have 100 or 200 per week.” The 26-year-old adds: “Everyone is at home and keen to take care of a pet. The foster family gives the family a chance to understand the animal and see if they can handle it for the long term. “
In March, after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) put up signs indicating that COVID-19 could spread through living wild and farm animals, many people abandoned their pets, Ted says. Although the Society later took back what it said, it was too late. However, many animals have been fortunate enough to find housing. “In the past two months we’ve seen 800-900 dog adoptions,” he says, adding that “50-100 have been physically adopted. For the rest, the formalities have been completed and they will return home to various parts of India as soon as the lockdown is lifted.
While Ted is happy that people are adopting, he also wants them to keep a few tips in mind: They should stop discriminating on the basis of race. “If it’s a purebred puppy, we get over 1,000 calls. If it is an Indian puppy we receive 10 calls and if it is an adult stray animal the chances of adoption drop by 90%. We are trying to change that way of thinking.
While rescuers have always fought against age discrimination, Sanjana Madappa, CUPA (Compassion Unlimited Plus Action) second chance chief advisor in Bengaluru, said she was happy to see that during in recent weeks at least 10 dogs aged seven and over – some with congenital ailments such as heart problems – have found housing. “People are becoming more responsible,” she says.
When the lockdown first went into effect, there weren’t too many people abandoning dogs in Bengaluru, Sanjana says. “But in the last two to three weeks, there’s been a sudden increase in dropouts and we’re getting about six calls a day,” she says. The reason is that a lot of people have been affected financially and can’t handle the expenses that come with a pedigree, she says. “Those who have independents will not abandon them. The Indies are much stronger and require little maintenance, ”she adds.
Thirty dogs were adopted last month, through a strict screening process. “We have to make sure that the animal is not adopted as a filler just because people are now at home,” says Sanjana.
Are you looking to adopt a pet?
- Besant Memorial Animal Dispensary, Chennai 044-24466253
- Blue Cross of India, Chennai 044-46274999
- Friendicoes, Delhi 011-24320707
- Let’s live together, Bangalore 9986413916
- People For Animals, Hyderabad 7337450643
Adopters are aware of the benefits of having a pet in the home, says Sanjana, adding, “Some single people realize how a pet can change their lives for the better.” As in the case of Vikram, who was living alone when the lockdown began, but is happy to have Appu around. Her schedule includes going for a jog with her furry baby at 5:30 a.m., playing search, socializing with other dogs on the road, and clicking through countless photos of her pet. “He is an active dog and loves to run. I’m burning more calories now, ”he laughs.