Adopting Street Dogs
Humans have grown love and affection for the Indian street dogs, and there’s no doubt that it’s getting stronger each day. You will find them canoodling in every random street, sometimes defensive towards a total stranger. Their ancestors belonged to the legacy of about 4500 years, making them a part of the Indian Heritage. Even after that, they are less considered among the commons. This piece will help uncover their different traits with steps/ways for everyone to easily adopt and give a better life.
If we are born and brought up in India, we have learnt ways to live with street dogs. The Indie dog breed was named Pariah by the Britishers during their rule in India, but with time, their name and definitions changed. People started representing them with names like Native Dogs, Our Dogs and what not. Their current population rounds about 35-40 million and growing. People have started becoming aware of different ways to give them healthy treats.
Native dogs have grown old by learning ways to live on the street. They are vulnerable and powerful both at the same time, sometimes they are fed well, while the other time left to starve. They always have a powerful story to tell, melting several hearts around the globe. Animal care or animal welfare, whichever term suit better has grown with time as the awareness spread, be it through social media, campaigns from different companies, industry initiatives and a lot more. And this initiated an approach to stand for the Indian native animals. Even tourists who have visited India have become attached to them with time.
Laws for the Paws
Animal welfare isn’t limited to feeding, it’s about being an all-rounder for them. Helping street dogs involve being proactive, keeping a check on them now and then so that you are aware whenever they require our help. For instance, we have experienced those times when we are short with the supplies like sugar, salt etc and we have a neighbour whom we can reach out to. Let’s not forget that animals on street can’t ring our doorbells whenever they require our help.
Animal Welfare Board of India has announced laws in favour of helping paws when in need. If acted against, they will have to go through various punishments. One such law - The Prevention of Cruelty Animals Act,1960 states that if any human being acted with inhuman treatment with animals such as beating, killing, torturing, overdriving, overloading or cause any unnecessary pain to them will be in violation.
Furthermore, the list of violations include:
- Employing an animal who is not fit to work concerning its existing medical conditions or age.
- Keeping animals in a cage which are not appropriate to their height or which restricts their movements.
- Keeping an animal in close confinement, or even chained using heavy chains or chords which can cause them harm.
- Keeping an animal devoid of any food or water requirements.
There are more to this list, read here to understand various animal-friendly laws by the Animal Welfare Board of India and understand where you can help dogs on the street. You can directly report the issue to the authority if you find any violation.
There are organisations like NDMC, International animal welfare organisation, World Animal Protection, and Veterinary Services Department that have shown a great deal of humanity. They have been feeding native dogs in different zones[CLICK FOR IMAGE], especially during the pandemic when no one’s outside to take care of them. The Prime Minister of India announced last year - August 2020 that people must care about stray dogs and even start adopting them so that they are not left behind. After this long shot by the respected Prime Minister Narendra Modi made people realise what was the need of an hour and while people were becoming agitated about the lockdown 2020, this initiative saved the life of many street animals.
Gajender K Sharma [Country Director, World Animal Protection, India] - Lockdown 2020
“It is now over three months since the announcement of lockdown by the Government of India. Now the country is slowly opening up, but the effects of the lockdown can be evident every day. That means, it is now over three months of irregular or no food for stray dogs in our cities and localities, as they are dependent on people stepping outside and feeding them. This initiative of World Animal Protection and NDMC will help feed hundreds of stray dogs in Delhi. And we hope people take inspiration from this feeding drive and give food to stray dogs in their localities.”
Apart from these, there are other initiatives as well to help feeders feed stray dogs without any problem. People often feel a lack of motivation because of peer pressure and the rules of the locality where they live. With the stage of animal lovers, you may also find the opposites, those who dislike feeding stray dogs just because they are afraid of them. Feeders who are focused and aren’t afraid of such opinions Animal Welfare Board of India have announced a feeding pass, an identification in which the caretakers or those who are keen to help stray dogs can take an identification card. All they have to do is submit a form to the board and they will issue the identification so that they can feed without any problem or obstruction.
Homes become equipped
When we talk about animal care the first thing which comes to our mind is how well they are going to adapt to this temperature. If we talk about the breed-specific dogs, they all have some boundaries in terms of maintaining good health; one cannot tolerate excessive heat while the other cannot live in the boundaries. Indies or Native breed have no such limitation. They are born in the Indian climate, learnt to live in the harsh heat, can say without water or food sometimes.
Animal care shouldn’t be different from caring for any other human being. A human child requires attention, food and care, the same as for dogs. Therefore thinking about them differently will not give them justice. You can always learn different aspects of caring when it comes to street dogs.
And you can always count on a specialist’s advice about feeding and keeping them healthy all the time. Once they are fed well, you will self-learn ways to maintain their happiness. Indian stray dogs are born on the streets, and therefore keeping them in boundaries won’t do the trick.
Adoption doesn’t mean forcing physical boundaries on someone, but taking care, and sharing an emotion to keep them close so that you can become a part of their comfort zone. If everyone understands the concept of adoption, then we can openly say that the homes now are equipped.
We were all taught different subjects in school that helped uncover ways to become better human being. We were taught by our seniors, teachers and parents that there will be a time when we all have to put our education to good use, and we got all confused thinking about how can we put our lessons to use? It got clear as we grew up. We learnt the ideology of making the right choices after knowing about our people and their roles in the past. And this gave rise to our approach of building a better future with others.
While it was just another day in the office of Dear Pet, a soul climbed at our doors. Of course, it was long before the lockdown in 2021. We got acquainted with one of the beautiful souls, he was living on the streets, use to come by to our office, our doors were never closed, so, he use to come inside and run like hell, he must have said “ come, catch me if you can” in his language. The whole team ran after him and everyone started playing. While it was a menace during the deadlines, he managed to keep us happy.
While we all were motivated in treating him good, some people feared him. Frankly speaking, it wasn’t for long. We found a perfect companion in him and otherwise as well. We gave him healthy food, offered treats now and then, gave him a bed, well basically two, once he managed to rub off from its existence. He had all the possible amenities in no time. Usually, our office time ends at 6:30 pm but we were seen hogging around him later until it got dark.
We noticed that he becomes a wanderer at night because he uses to go for a stroll by himself at night and later comes to sleep on his bed during the broad daylight. We named him PV, an intriguing name for many. But there’s wasn’t any story behind it. Well, one fine day, another day at the office, we came but couldn’t find him. We got all surprised since he managed to complete all his errands and come back to his bed. Later, we got to know that he went through an accident. It was all so quick and we couldn’t digest it. That changed our lives in so many ways.
We understood that he brought a lesson with himself, a lesson that made us understand what means when we talk about loving selflessly.
Among the million moral stories of honourable actions, we’d like to share our story as an inspiration so that more and more people come forward to add their part of the effort in making the life of dogs on the streets better. These are a group of students, say humans, who have gone ahead with such morals and helped stray dogs by giving them food, shelter, treatments, and mostly love. These are the volunteers who joined hands with Dear Pet, a brand that caters to much more than just another e-commerce platform.
We took this initiative to let people understand ways to come close to animals. And on the special occasion of Holi 2021, we gathered as many individuals as we can with whom our interests match. We wanted to do something for dogs who have always lived on the streets and Holi 2021 gave us that opportunity. We worked around ways to add real colours of Holi to their lives and therefore came to this conclusion. We were happy to share the festival with our Dear Pets. Let’s meet those volunteers who shared their fair share of stories with us. It expanded our vision in understanding what more we could do to make their life easier and better.
On 30th January 2021, we took another initiative to help dogs who live on the streets. We along with some of the promising, trustworthy and loving hands moved around localities in Delhi to feed stray dogs. This initiative was made in the loving memory of Casper. He was one of the most special souls to Mr Nitin Bansal, Founder, Dear Pet. Casper holds one of the biggest roots in the making of this company, it was because of him that Mr Bansal aimed and visioned what Dear Pet is supposedly be all about.
Lifestyle of Native Dogs
- Intelligence: Indie dogs are known to be intelligent. Since they have a world of experience sustaining in the versatile atmosphere, they are use-to vulnerabilities and strengths. They are the good watchdogs and sometimes the most active ones. For instance, try walking down an unfamiliar street for the first time.
- Trainability: Some Indie dogs are active enough to get trained fast but on the other hand some will take a lot of time. The reason behind this characteristic is territorial nature. They will sometimes act aggressively so, always consult a vet to learn more about the dog that you have adopted. Always remember that they have already struggled alone while growing up; a sudden company will scare them away. Take things slowly.
- Affordable & Simple Grooming: Indie breeds does not require much attention as compared to any exotic breed. They don’t require frequent parlour visits, or expensive shampoos to maintain their fur. Their immune system is naturally strong, and they have the experience to live in a versatile environment. They have a short coat which gives them a lot of benefits. They don’t require much grooming, stay clean most of the times, and have almost zero per cent body odour.
- Energetic and Smart: Since they have lived on the streets, they are extremely active and can become the best guard dogs. They have strong instincts and are always ready to show the doorway to unwanted strangers. They have good adaptability that makes them an all-rounder.
- Climate conditions in India don’t bother an Indie breed because they have always lived in this type of climate. They have seen the harshness of the sun, extremely heavy rainfalls, humidity and whatnot. They can easily settle down without asking much from your end because they are prone to the climatic conditions in India. Like some breeds need to be kept home because of an extreme climatic condition be it winters or summers.
What after adoption?
- Vet visits are mandatory. Once decided that you are adopting, you will have to make sure that they stay healthy all the time. Take them straight to the vet for their health examination. They will guide you with their feeding requirements. Make sure to follow them by heart. Ask them about the essential grooming supplies, though they won’t require much. Pro tip:Never skip their scheduled vet visits.
- Indie dogs are prone to extreme conditions already, so, only require regular food, regular vaccination, and regular exercises. So, you don’t have to give them any special attention, but a truckload of love. Vaccination helps in maintaining their health. A regular dose can help avoid the spread of rabies. As per WHO (World Health Organisation), rabies is the cause of nearly 18000-20000 deaths in India.
- The next step is shopping. Once you are aware of their essentials. It’s time to do some shopping. It is a task sometimes, but now, it’s just about a few clicks. Explore pet products at India’s best online pet shop. Find beds, clothes, collars, leashes, harnesses, bowls, grooming supplies, toys and most importantly, food. Find all the best quality dog supplies online, and your shopping is done.
- Learn ways to train them, look for the professionals who will help you train them at the comfort of your home. Always remember, domesticating doesn’t mean forcing so make sure to use peaceful methods. They are street dogs, and they don’t have much experience with humans being that close, so learn their behaviour and act on it accordingly.
- It is essential to help them socialise with other animals and humans at the early stage. The Indie breed exhibits aggression towards strangers and therefore react in that way. They may juggle with decision making when meeting a new human; they might even be traumatised by any experience. So, it is essential to help them socialise when they are small so that they can get use-to that human.
- The same goes while introducing them to the other dogs or animals. Their instinct might tell them to react aggressively because of their experience. And they may show predatory behaviour to suppress the other to save themselves. Therefore, it becomes crucial to take help from the professional and learn ways to settle their behaviour.
- Indie breeds don’t require much medical attention. Since they learn to cope with the challenges themselves, some medical issues are cured naturally with time. They are only bred once a year and can deliver 6-8 pups at every session. Their average lifespan is 13-18 years.
Adopting someone from the streets requires a lot more than selective adoption. You will have to help them understand what love is, give them a meaning to live a happy life and make them understand what humanity means. Before adopting, you have to make yourself ready for this commitment because an impulsive decision might not help you in the long run. Adding them to the family means giving them hope, and it’s not limited to your attachment with them, but their attachment to the family as well.
Always cater to a healthy approach by adapting the right mindset and making yourself understand how good of a pet parent you can be. Always consult like-minded people who have gone through this process or even the experts can help you make the right decision.
No one can tell you if you are ready to adopt an animal or not, it’s about your commitment, if you feel ready then you defiantly are.
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