Major hope for rescues as White House’s first rescue pup-to be reinstills faith in forever homes
President-elect Joe Biden’s German Shepherd, Major, is going to be the first rescue dog in the White House. This reignites hope among local rescuers to provide forever homes for abandoned animals.Updated: Nov 12, 2020, 14:06 IST
President-elect Joe Biden’s arrival at the White House also brings with it pawsitive news for animal lovers and rescuers. His German Shepherd, Major, is going to be the first rescue dog in the White House. Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has been making strong points for the adoption of indie puppies. And now, many celebrities including cricketer Shikhar Dhawan and actors Randeep Hooda and Raveena Tandon have adopted strays and rescue dogs, more so since the pandemic broke.
Henri A Fanthome, owner of an architecture firm, adopted a female rescue Lila in 2014, who now has puppies of her own. “She took to me very naturally. I was warned that she might show separation anxiety or depression, but none of that happened. When I was bringing her home, she kept licking my head, and does so to this day. She adapted to me and my house instantly, and made friends with other dogs in the park where we go for walks,” he shares, adding that Lila helped him discover some things about his own personality, too. “Earlier, I would always put others first, giving them so much leeway as to walk all over me. But when Lila came along, I drew the line. She made me visible, made me notice these things,” he reveals.
Adopting rescue pups also brings a sense of gratification, of giving back to nature. Shubha Sinha, homemaker, who adopted Pyaari around three years ago, says, “We were told she is two years old by the volunteer working with the shelter. She mostly looks like a breeders’ reject who was dumped after she was done serving her purpose. It took her a lot of time to trust people. Except for the three of us, she wouldn’t go near anyone. She isn’t the fittest or the healthiest girl and a lot of physical work goes into taking care of her but I guess there is a sense of happiness that comes with it. We feel that at least we could give back to the society in some way and our life isn’t just about us.”
Corporate communications specialist Ankita Dasgupta, who adopted Sikander in 2018, says both her family and the pet have come a long way in adapting to each other. “Initially, my parents were very distressed because he used to pee everywhere including on the beds and used to constantly want to eat. He did not give cuddles and was a bit of a recluse. We have all come around changes now. He gives morning cuddles and seeks out our company and has colony friends,” she says.
There are volunteers who work tirelessly to help find abandoned pets and strays forever homes. Seeing a trend, Ruchi Gupta, who volunteers at two animal NGOs, shares that the abandonment rate of pedigree dogs has increased post the pandemic. “This has also impacted the adoption of indie dogs. People want young pedigree puppies below the age of three years,” she says, adding that people look at what breeds are in trend before adopting. “Earlier it was Pugs and Labradors. Now people want Shih Tzus and Huskies. More German Shepherds are being abandoned now.
Vidhi Malla, a communications consultant has four rescues at her home and has facilitated the adoption of many “children” as she calls them. She has dealt with cases where the pups have been adopted and abandoned multiple times. “My youngest, five-year old Toto got adopted but was returned after six months. It was an extremely difficult time. It has been three years, but she is still scared of strangers or walking on the street,” shares Malla and lists out certain challenges in getting dogs adopted. “A lot of people prefer breeds; the adoption of desi dogs is very difficult. People have very specific demands in mind – a certain age and kind of puppy,” she adds.
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