Adopting abandoned dogs has been going on for long, but it is only recently that awareness has increased among people regarding this. But, what is most surprising, say dog lovers, is that not only mongrels, people even abandon pedigree dogs, because they are very expensive to maintain.
According to Rishika Kothari, a dog trainer, people of Indore for the last one year have started adopting country breeds.
"Not many go for country dogs but the awareness regarding adoption of desi dogs has certainly risen. Many people prefer adopting country dogs instead of foreign breeds because they are equally good and loving," said Rishika, who also helps in dog adoption.
One such proud owner of two country dogs is Saurabh Srivastava. Saurabh’s mother happened to adopt one dog ‘Tinku’, while the other one ‘Max’ was adopted by Saurabh. Sharing his story with HT, Saurabh said, "Both my dogs are country breeds and were adopted. My mother got Tinku home when he had an accident and injured his leg. He was only five months old when she got him home for his treatment and he then became a part of our family. Later, one night while coming back home from work, I saw a day or two old pup who had not even opened his eyes, struggling to walk on the road. I tried to put him on the road side, but he kept coming on the road, hearing the sound. His mother was nowhere to be seen and I could not leave him to die. So I got him home and named him Max."
Though there are many who are willingly adopting strays, there also those in the city who have been discarding their pedigrees for no good reason. "I happened to find Bruno (St Bernard) roaming alone at midnight without any leash or a caretaker. There weren’t any missing complaints made for him. After waiting for a period of two three months for his owners to come, I decided to take him with me. Since then, Bruno has been living with me."
A similar story rings true to Veena Sahni who adopted a two-month old Labrador puppy. Speaking about her nine-year-old dog Messi, Veena said, "I got to know that Messi’s owners were going to abandon him because they could not afford to keep one more dog. It was then I decided to get him home with me and raise him. It has been nine years now that Messi has been a part of our family."
One of the reasons suggested by Akram Khan for abandoning of dogs is their care. "Many people buy dogs for their social status. Foreign breeds aren’t easy to look after. They are expensive and need a lot of care and attention. Owners then start neglecting them and some even abandon them after a period of time," said Khan, owner of a dog website ‘dogsvilla’. Adding to this, Rishika said, "There has also been a case where owners wanted to poison their dogs."