The city is seeing a rise in the number of pedigree dogs being abandoned by their owners. These dogs, which are bought as status symbols, are often disposed off at animal shelters or just left on the roads to fend for themselves by their owners. With summer vacations just around the corner, animal shelters expect the rise in the number of abandoned dogs.
“On an average, the shelter gets seven to eight dogs in a week. Since summer vacations are approaching, the figures for unwanted pets will go up and is expected to reach 15 to 20 each week,” says Geeta Seshamani, co-founder, Friendicoes SECA.
“There has been an increase in the number of people selling and buying pedigree dogs. It is a huge uncontrolled business and there are no legal protocols in place. As a result, a lot of people end up buying unhealthy pups. Even non-pedigreed ones are passed of as pedigrees, and sooner or later, they are abandoned,” adds Seshamani.
The most common excuse that people give when they abandon their dogs are that the animals sheds fur, they can’t be handled properly, the family is shifting to a new home, among others. Also, old and sick dogs suffering from terminal diseases are the most abandoned lot.
“We get a lot of excuses from people for leaving their pedigree dogs, with the majority coming from those families who buy large breeds such as St.Bernard and Mastiffs. At that time, they don’t realise how big the dog will get and how much care and time would be needed for the dog. So, once it grows up, it ends up getting abandoned,” says Sadhwi Sondhi from Red Paws Rescue.
While pedigree dogs are being sold and bought in huge numbers, there are hardly any takers for Indian breeds. “It is a very difficult task to find a home for an Indian breed. Families are not keen in adopting stray pups because they feel that pedigrees make for better pets, which is not true. If more people start adopting stray puppies, breeders will be deterred from running puppy mills,” says Sondhi.
Help strays in summers
You can do your bit in helping the stray animals and birds survive this harsh weather.
1. Keep a birdbath or bowl of water on your terrace or balcony for the birds.
2. Keep water in plastic or earthen bowls for stray dogs.
3. If you find an injured or dehydrated animal, take it to a vet or the nearest animal hospital. Call animal hospitals for help.
4. You can mix small amount of glucose in water.
5. Big buckets of water can be placed for stray cattle.