With zero biz, unlicensed breeders abandon dogs

On the other hand, pet lovers are adopting more indies from animal shelters
Last Updated 30 June 2020, 15:19 IST

Animal shelters in Bengaluru are finding more dogs abandoned on the streets, and at the same time, more takers for indies.

Sudha Narayanan, founder trustee of Charlie’s Animal Rescue Centre (CARE), says adoptions now take place online.

“Since people cannot come to the shelter, we have been conducting the adoption interviews over video calls. We ask pet parents to show us their homes, and then we send them details of the pup along with its medical records,” she explains. A staffer then goes and hands over the pet.

Pet lovers have adopted many cats and kittens from Precious Paws Foundation in Rachanamadu.

Debadrita Ghosh, who is part of the foundation, says, “About 40 per cent of the calls I’ve received are for puppies which I don’t have. We only have older dogs here.” She has also seen more people asking for indie dogs than ever before.

At CUPA, a team counsels pet parents and recommends a breed of dog best suited for a home. Sanjana Madappa of CUPA attributes the rise in indie adoptions to breeders not being active.

Left to their fate

Commercial breeders, many of them unauthorised, have abandoned many dogs on the streets.

“Illegal breeders have been affected during the lockdown as nobody is buying from them,” she says.

Abandoned dogs are in a bad shape as breeders overuse them mercilessly for breeding. “Breeders with licenses are still going strong but there aren’t too many buyers at the moment,” she says. CUPA has its own headaches: its shelter has about 150 dogs in a space meant for 80.

With the extra mouths to feed, the financial squeeze is tight.

“But we understand that everyone is going through a tough time and it’s not fair for us to go asking for more,” says Sudha.

Financial crunch

Debadrita is planning to shut the clinic at the shelter for outsiders.

“I will need it for the pets at home and we’re going to make use of that space for now. I will get a tax benefit certificate soon and then I can approach the corporates to help with funding,” she says.

For publicity

Debadrita feels that the initial enthusiasm from many apartments to feed street dogs was just for social media publicity.

“Where are all those people now? Where do you actually have the time to pull out your phone and take a picture or video when you’re feeding or rescuing animals? It’s all just a publicity stunt,” she says.

No play time

The animals at the shelter miss visitors. At CARE, the staff have stayed back for two months as commuting was out of the question.

“I think the animals are bored seeing us everyday,” Sudha says, laughing. “Earlier, there would be so many volunteers and visitors to entertain them but now they only see us.”

(Published 06 June 2020, 12:04 IST)

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