This Sunday, dedicate some time for a furry little friend. Humanity for Animals, a non-profit pet service organization along with Daya, an animal welfare centre and Pedigree are organizing a pet adoption drive at the Kaloor stadium this Sunday, 19th February.
The drive offers free anti-rabies vaccine for all pet dogs brought to the location by the Cochin Pet Hospital. They also offer free Pedigree samples for families who adopt or vaccinate. Free saplings will be given to those who adopt and there will be information pamphlets on how to tackle street dogs and rabies scientifically.
“We are putting up motherless and abandoned puppies for adoption. There are dogs from 1-3 three months and up who have been thrown out or relocated by families living in the neighbourhood,” explains Ashwini Prem, a volunteer and animal welfare officer at Humanity for Animals. This is done purely out of fear, she explains. When there’s a new littler and a mom nearby, people usually don’t know how to handle it. “They fear that the mother might turn violent and hence relocate the puppies.”
With the stray dog problem forever under debate, it looks like we as humans don’t understand that the planet is for everyone. “We need to realize that the stray dog menace has been created by us, because we litter on the roads and don’t take initiatives to get them neutered,” the licensed Zumba instructor says.
She maintains that if this man-made error is rectified, then the stray dog problem will be solved too. Also, neutering your pets is very important. “Pets often go out to pee-poop and on their way back end up making more puppies. Instead of physically removing the uterus, one can opt for tubectomy or vasectomy that is less invasive and the recovery period is fast too. This allows the pets to be sexually active without the side effect of procreating,” she says.
Breeding international pedigree dogs seems to be another reason why there are so many abandoned strays out on the streets. “Just recently I rescued a Boxer and a Dachshund from Aluva and three Labradors from Panampilly nagar,” Ashwini says. The main reason owners give up pedigree dogs is either because they cannot maintain their upkeep, they get afflicted by some disease or because of old age. Breeders too, allegedly dispose off old dogs on the streets, especially the females after utilizing them for puppies.
“If only people would adopt more strays or even semi-adopt them by feeding them regularly and leaving out a bowl of water, this problem would be reduced to a great extent,” she adds. She goes on to say that there are 7000-10000 strays in Kochi and the population of Kochi is over a lakh. If just 1% of the population adopts strays, the problem can be resolved.
Not all strays are aggressive, Ashwini says. “Every dog can be moulded to behave a certain way if trained at a very young age. A dog is a reflection of what the owner teaches them. Moreover, strays turn violent only if they’ve had a traumatic past with a human where they might have been physically harmed.” As to what kind of harm these furry little friends might have experienced will remain a mystery.
Not wanting to overrule the problem of rabies, Ashwini says, “Rabies can be controlled by timely vaccines and anyone coming across a rabid dog can always get in touch with HFA (Humanity for Animals),” she says. Another easy way to tackle street dogs are by dropping biscuits or giving them dry food. “But most people feel that once dogs get used to getting food from people, they will stick around for more. Which is a good thing as these very dogs will become territorial and guard the area and the people there from any danger or thieves,” she says.
Being kind to strays seems like a great idea- after all, dogs are known to be man’s best friend.
The adoption drive takes place on Sunday, 19th February at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kaloor from 10am to 5pm. For more details, please call 7736705572.