Thursday, September 10, 2009

Won’t you let me in....

After my post on a successful puppy adoption camp in the city of Bangalore which I reported about here, I think I owe it to my blog to record why a bunch of think that non-pedigree pups should be adopted. Btw, just FYI, Let’s Live Together has organized another puppy adoption camp on the 13th of September in its office premisesthrough which 40 Indian pups will get adopted. Anybody interested can go their website to check more.

Some news never make it in the daily newspapers. Sample these:

Street Pup Hit By Vehicle, Spinal Injury Sustained, Paralyzed For Life.
Paralyzed Pomerian Pup Found On The Roads, Family Suspected Of Abandonment
Street Pup Found With Throat Slit, 50-Year Old Man Held For Stoning
Old Doberman Found Abandoned In The Streets
Sick Lhasa Apso Found Abandoned On The Steets Eating Garbage
Starving Street Dog Moved To Shelter By An Animal Rights Volunteer
Great Dane With Elephant Chain On Neck Rescued
Female Doberman Dumped Over Vashi Center Wall
Four-day Old Indi Pups Tied Inside Gunny Bag And Throw Into The Sea

Somewhere in my consciousness these headlines ring a frantic bell. It sounds all too familiar! Woman Burnt Alive For Not Bringing Dowry, A Sharp Rise in Female Fetus Abortions, Young Girl Publicly Lynched, Ten-year Old HIV Positive Boy Boycotted In School, Elderly Man Forsaken By Family, Tries To Commit Suicide.... and many, many more.

The similarity I find in both sets of headlines is that the victims of the crimes against them are decreed “unwanted”. Clearly, there is some dark force out there who is deciding that some creations of Nature are unwanted. But, how can a marvelous, bountiful, giving, earth not have enough space for the old, the infirm, the girl child, the pups, the kittens, and every other organism that is created here by different processes but with an identical higher goal—to live, love, and co-habit peacefully. Regrettably, most of us have forgotten the highest purpose of our

You will agree that pups born on the streets have no control over their birth. Had they the choice, we can be sure they would not have chosen to be born on earth and live in the constant fear of being squashed by motor vehicles, made prisoners inside gunny bags and left to die, and all of that. The “street” pups are born of dogs of two kinds—Pariah breed and Mongrels. Pariah breeds are pure breeds while Mongrels are mixed. Both these kinds of dogs form the vast
majority of the stray dog population in India. They are called “strays” because they are born on the streets and live on the streets too. By this logic, an abandoned pedigree dog living on the street is also a “stray”. I learnt these basics from Rajashree’s blog, an ardent animal lover. Since in this article I mean to write why the Pariah breed and Mongrels should be adopted, for all practical purposes I will refer to them as “Indian” dogs.

Indian pups need a home because the rapid “growth” of the country has made them vulnerable on the streets—Reason No.1

There are many dog lovers in the country who like to keep dogs as a member of their family. The prevalent practice is to adopt “pedigree” dogs or in other words foreign breeds with a recorded line of descent. If the motive is to give and share love and affection with an animal as a member of the family, then Indian dogs are as capable of giving and sharing love as any other dog from any part of the globe. The website of the Blue Cross of India, Chennai describes Indian
dogs thus:

They have—“The intelligence of a Poodle and the loyalty of a Collie. The bark of a Shepherd and the heart of a Saint Bernard, the spots of a Dalmatian, size of a Schnauzer and the speed of a Greyhound.”

I would say even if Indian dogs did not sound such super duper champs, I would have still adored them. I know of a lady from France who came to Chennai to study dance and during her stay grew fond of an Indian street dog living near her apartment. She named the dog “Ooty”. Many a evening I would spot the white lady on her trendy bike being trailed by Ooty. They looked more like pals and less of a human and a dog. At times the lady would bend over to Ooty and say something to her and Ooty seemed to understand. It used to be a blessed sight. When the lady was about to leave India for France, she booked Ooty on the same flight with her. And that is the dream ending to this anecdote.

We also have the very recent case (last month) of Hugo Boss—a four month old Indian pup who found a home in Canada after a Canadian couple adopted him. Hugo Boss was found in a very sad state by an animal lover—a lady—on the streets of Ahmedabad. The lady picked him up and
brought him home and later posted his details on the web for adoption. A Canadian couple responded and it was as if God spoke up for Hugo Boss that moment. Not only this, Hugo Boss's fantastic tale has become quite popular in the print media. The Times of India, Ahmedabad edition did several articles on Hugo Boss and I have the link to one article here:

Ahmedabad bids Hugo tearful goodbye

In case you wish to see pictures, you may click Hugo’s Incredible Journey and Friends old and New from Rajashree again.

Hmm, just wondering aloud and with lament, every time do we have to be told and
demonstrated by westerners how precious our own things are.

Indian pups should be adopted because there is no difference between them and foreign breeds—Reason No.2

If Indian pups are not adopted because of “prestige”, then I can only say that prestige is an illusion created by the limitations of the human mind. Related to the prestige issue is the third big reason for adopting Indian pups—organized professional breeding of foreign breeds. Professional breeders of pedigree dogs have unleashed the unethical practice of mass breeding. Female “breed” dogs are kept permanently pregnant throughout their reproductive lives. In many cases they are made pregnant by artificial means. Invariably these dogs live
in substandard conditions. Once the bitch is not bodily capable of bearing pups, she is literally thrown out and left on the streets. If you have seen old pedigree dogs roaming the streets and wondered who left them there, you have some clue about their ill-fated past.

Of course many pedigree dogs are abandoned on the streets by their owners because either the dogs have grown old, or have a disease, or the owners have moved out, or simply because the owner does not want them anymore. Ah well, that’s another issue and I won’t go into it now. Last month, the Chandigarh government ordered dog owners to stop breeding their pets. The administration has also asked people not to buy and sell pets from each other. I do not know the intention behind this order but I hope it would be strictly followed. Professional breeders and dog trainers are already protesting against the order. It is not hard to imagine why. If it is anything that drives these people to breed and train dogs, it is nothing but money. It is hardly a love for dogs. I know for a fact that that these people do not touch Indian dogs even with a bargepole.

The crude impact of advertisements on the minds of people is another thing to deal with. The Hutch advertisement that uses the innocent Pug is responsible for the hectic breeding of Pugs and the soaring rates of Pug pups. These pups are brought and sold for as much as Rs. 30,000/- and more. Just like we question—who gains from Fair & Lovely advertisements, it is high time we question who gains from animals being used in advertisements! From most of what I know, the glamour of animals used in advertisements is limited to their images on print and on screen—they actually live a life of dejection when they stop to “perform”. The matter of ethics about animals in advertisements is a separate issue again.

Indian pups should be adopted to beat senseless and unethical professional breeding—Reason No.3


Munchmany said...

A very touching post, Ambrosia. I must say its an eye opener. Specially about dogs being made to perform, and being abandoned later.

I am really proud of you for making a difference in every little way that you can.

ambrosia said...

I am glad you liked the post Munchmany. There are so many cruel things happening to the animals under covers that we don't know about. It is disgusting how animals have been taken to "service" the "needs" of humans as though that is their one and only utility in the ecosystem.