From being guinea pigs to darling pets, dogs find 'liberation'

Adopting lab creatures

Scared and timid, one-and-half-year old Buster, the beagle hound, was brought to the office of Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA) at Ulsoor.

The Preetham-Saroj couple and their daughter Jennifer pat a beagle hound rescued by CUPA in Bangalore. DH Photo

He refused to come out of the box in which he was housed for some time.

However, when he came out by himself and started walking overcoming his inhibitions, he was picked up by the Preetham-Saroj couple for adoption as part of CUPA’s adoption programme.

The couple and their daughter Jennifer were told how to take care of the dog because he was one of those beagles which were rescued by CUPA from a pharmaceutical company recently.

“We had rescued 81 dogs, of which we are giving 13 for adoption,” said Sandhya Madappa, a CUPA trustee.

The dogs, imported from China, (they were bred for lab testing in that country) were subjected to drug tests. Medicines for diabetes and blood pressure were fed to them before commencement of human trials.

Considered friendly and even tempered, these dogs are most preferred by pharmaceutical industries, where they are tested for drugs by feeding them tablets. They are kept in a closed environment and are deprived of social life.

The unnatural environment also means that the dogs are never exposed to sound and natural light and housed in airconditioned chambers in the laboratories. “This apart, they are looked after well by the companies in terms of feeding and caring for them. When we rescued these dogs, we got a health certificate from the Government veterinarian,” said Sandhya.

“They were very scared and shy when we brought them here, like a child without any exposure to schooling. One needs a lot of patience to keep these dogs. We just advise them on looking after the dogs,” said Nirupa Rao, a behaviour expert who was advising people who wanted to adopt them.

The dogs appeared restless and traumatised, while some of them sat in a corner without moving, while the others adapted to the new place within a couple of hours. Members of CUPA have ensured that people who have real concern for these special dogs adopt them.

“We select the families for adopting them, because to keep these dogs, one should give them more time. We post the information adoption on Facebook so that people can contact us.

“Once people show interest, we speak to them, counsel them and give the dogs for adoption, only if we find that they can take care of the canines,” explained Sanjana, another trustee.

The families who came to adopt the dogs were found enthusiastic about them.
“We want to have two dogs, but we want to see how this one will respond. Then, we will decide,” said Preetham.

“We want more dogs. But since we reside in an apartment, we will see about it later,” Saroj quipped. Nikhil, another of those who has adopted a dog, says, “ I would have adopted another, if I did not have a dog already.”

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