Pets abandoned in huge numbers amid Covid second wave

Pets abandoned in huge numbers amid Covid second wave

Deaths and job losses are resulting in more animals ending up on Bengaluru streets

An abandoned Labrador being treated at the CUPA Trauma Centre, Sanjaynagar.

The second wave of the pandemic has taken a big toll on pets, with many being abandoned on the city’s hostile streets.

Last year, when working from home became the norm, pets were welcomed into new homes. In 2021, the story is different.

“With many pet parents dying in the pandemic, and families testing positive, there has been an increase in pet abandonment,” says Col Dr Nawaz Shariff, general manager and chief veterinarian, People for Animals, Uttarahalli.

The organisation, which previously treated only wildlife, has now launched a cell to take care of domestic animals in Bengaluru.

“Last year, there were many cases of pet cruelty and hunger deaths on the streets, which is what drove us to start a separate cell for domestic animals,” he says.

Helpline buzzing

Charlie’s Animal Rescue Centre, Yelahanka, has witnessed an increase in calls over the past two months. They now get 70 to 80 calls every day.

“Most are for cats and dogs that have been abandoned or need to be rescued,” says Keerthan R P, manager.

Loss of employment forced many people to go back to their hometowns, and they had no option but to let go of their pets, he told Metrolife.

CUPA gets at least three calls a day from people who want to give away their pets. “These are on our official number. Many of us get calls on our personal numbers as well,” says Ajay Arun, head of project and resources.

Large working animals like tonga ponies and bullocks are also being abandoned, adds Ajay. “With owners having no work, they have no means to take care of large animals,” he says.

Strays problem

The last two months also saw breeders abandoning pups as customers dwindled. “Many are only focused on making money and don’t know how to take care of animals. That is why we educate people to adopt and avoid buying from breeders,” adds Keerthan.

These developments have led to an increase in the number of stray dogs on the streets. 

Animal birth control operations are on hold because of the lockdowns.

Think twice

Animal welfare organisations urge pet owners to think hard before abandoning their animals.

“When you adopt an animal, it becomes a part of your family. You cannot abandon it when the times are tough. If you are truly unable to take care of it, contact animal shelters and volunteers, and they will surely help you out,” says Nawaz.

Ajay suggests fostering by friends till pet parents tide over the crisis.

They help

Krupa Loving Animal: 98805 63690

CARE: 94839 11110


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