When canines come calling

Dog Show

Says Dheeraj, one of the oldest members of the club, who is its current secretary, “We had our first dog show in 1991 at the RSI Grounds on M G Road.” He adds, “We conduct vaccinations for dogs free of cost every year.”

Dheeraj has been a part of the club since its inception. “Those days, there wasn’t much awareness and many people couldn’t afford to go for dog shows in other cities. So we decided to conduct similar dog shows in Bangalore,” he recalls. “Besides, people didn’t know about imported breeds. So thanks to the club, many people got the opportunity to see breeds from countries like Russia and Europe.”

Hamsa Govindraj, who is the president of the club, has always had a passion for animals. “As a child, I used to pick stray dogs and puppies up from gutters and bring them home and clean them,” she laughs. It’s been ten years since she joined the club. She has eight pets including two strays, a Saint Bernard, a Doberman and a Great Dane. “I just cannot live without them,” she exclaims.  

Hamsa gives a lot of importance to stray dogs. “They are more intelligent and streetsmart than the pedigrees,” she says. “We want to create an awareness amongst people that strays are not dangerous. Due to lack of food, stray dogs tend to attack people, who are carrying food. It’s unfortunate that people need strays for security but don’t give them anything to eat,” she reasons. Hamsa even feeds the strays outside her house, and gets them vaccinated. The club conducts a dog show every year in May, apart from the regular seminars and discussions on dogs.

“More than 350 dogs take part in this show and the judges come from different states and sometime, even different countries,” says Dheeraj. Being a veterinary doctor, Dheeraj spends most of his time with animals. “I have eight pets — Pugs, Rottweilers, Labradors to name a few,” he says.

The Bangalore Kennel Club office is located in Dheeraj’s clinic in Indiranagar itself. “We register dogs and the papers are sent from here to Chennai. These papers are meant to certify the breed of the dog,” he informs. The members meet once a year prior to the dog shows, generally on a public holiday, to organise the show.

There are around 40 members of the club in Bangalore. But at present, the club is not enrolling any new members. “We take new members once in two or three years,” says Dheeraj. But animal lovers can always volunteer by either sponsoring or taking part at the dog shows. The club is always open to volunteers. For details, call 25259475.

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