…and why you should adopt
“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated” Mahatma Gandhi
Bringing home a dog is a big deal – it is a commitment that requires you to take care of and look after a living being. But getting home a dog is also one of the happiest moments of your life, because you are bringing home a little being who will always love you unconditionally!
Some of the most popular dog breeds found in Indian homes are Labrador, Pug, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, Doberman and Pomeranian, but off late foreign breeds such as Husky, Great Dane, St. Bernard, Pit Bull and such have also become common. While each and every dog in the world is extremely cute, it isn’t humane or safe for some of these breeds to be brought to India.
Popular dog breeds in India
For most dog lovers, breed is not a factor that comes into play when they think of bringing a puppy home but there are many people who believe in only getting high pedigree dogs and feel anything less than that is ‘dirty.’ This idea of owning an expensive, high pedigree, award winning dog is a craze in the country as people feel it elevates their social status.
Hard Truth #1 – Do you know how dogs are treated by breeders?
In India, there are plenty of pet parents and dog lovers but for most of them the idea of bringing home a dog also means getting a pure breed dog. Because of these ‘breed conscious’ people, there is an excess of puppy mills and bad breeding practices, as well as mistreatment of dogs. There are hundreds of unregistered breeders, using intensive and inhumane breeding practices just to make easy money by selling puppies.
Breeders do not care about the health and happiness of the dogs that are producing the puppies and these poor souls are kept in deplorable conditions. Kept in a cage all their life, female dogs are mated early, always tied to a short leash, barely fed and raped by equally mistreated male dogs repeatedly until they can produce no more. And then they are left to die somewhere alone.
Hard Truth #2 – Mistreatment of pedigree dogs
Foreign breeds like Husky and Saint Bernard are not meant for the Indian climate and bringing them into the country just because you think the breed is cute, is just cruel.
Think about what would happen if you brought an Eskimo from Antarctica and asked them to live in Delhi, especially in the summers. Do you think they will be able to adapt to the extreme heat and humidity? Similarly, think of a Husky who is supposed to stay in only cool climates, being brought to the humidity of Mumbai just because the pet parent is breed conscious and wants to show off.
Doesn’t it seem unfair?
More over, dog abandonment is also on the rise, because people are unable to take care of these pedigree pets. Their medical needs are higher, and so is their maintenance, making it an expensive ordeal to own a pure breed dog.
Do you still want to pay thousands of rupees just to get a pedigree puppy, and endorse an industry build solely on the exploitation of animals?
Top: Female boxer abandoned because she couldn’t produce anymore Bottom left: Family abandoned St. Bernard Bottom right: Owners left Labrador on the streets because he was sick
Why not consider adopting our Indian dogs?
Instead why not consider Indian breed dogs that can be found all around the country, from the busiest streets to the quietest villages. The most common Indian breed dog is the Pariah Dog, and there are many others like Mudhol Hound, Rampur Hound, Rajapalayam, Gaddi Kutta and Indian Mastiff.
These Indian beauties are extremely cute, resilient and accustomed to the climate and surroundings of India, and in many cases are even stronger than pedigree dogs. They adapt easily, are prone to lesser medical conditions, are super loyal and are known to be some of the best guard dogs!
Top left: Mudhol Hound; Top right: Rampur Hound Bottom left: Rajapalayam Bottom right: Kombai
Unfortunately, people shun these dogs and everyday we hear horrible cases of cruelty against animals on the streets. Hundreds of puppies and dogs on the streets are neglected, killed, beaten or abused in some form just because people believe they are ‘stray’ dogs.
While there are hundreds of animal abuse cases all over the country every single day, a recent incident in Mumbai got a lot of media attention. On 24 July 2019, Lucky, a street dog in Worli went to take shelter in Turf View society from the heavy rains and was beaten ruthlessly with sticks by the watchmen because one of the society’s residents, Mr. Bhatia, wanted to teach the dog a lesson.
Lucky was already a malnourished dog just looking for some shelter, but was beaten so badly that he went into a coma and had severe internal injuries. Even after animal activists tried to save him and got him medical help, he unfortunately passed away
News coverage of the animal abuse case in Mumbai
The word ‘stray’ simply means someone who doesn’t have a home, so why not ADOPT and bring home a homeless puppy instead of BUYING one? They are no less than pedigree dogs. They also deserve love and do not deserve to be neglected just because they weren’t born a certain breed.
In fact, there are many Bollywood celebrities who support these street babies and have even adopted a few! Madhuri Dixit recently adopted a puppy and has named the pup Carmelo Nene. John Abraham too adopted Bailey from a local NGO. Other celebrities who adopted an Indie dog include Sonakshi Sinha, MS Dhoni, Raveena Tandon, Sidharth Malhotra, Imran Khan, Soha Ali Khan and many more!
A ray of sunshine – new laws for breeding of dogs in India
After years of campaigning and working towards a better world for animals by animal welfare activists and NGOs, the Ministry of Environment and Forest has put draft rules in place to regulate dog breeders in India and to stop animal cruelty. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Rules, 2017 were notified into law in May 2017.
Registration mandatory for dog breeders –
Every dog breeders must be over 18 years old and has to register with the State Animal Welfare Board of their state. They must meet requirements related to the animal’s health, housing and conditions for sale. The breeder should know the required facts and information about reproduction, nutrition, wellness, and care of dogs and puppies.
Breeders must submit any information regarding the breeding practices, veterinary health checks and records asked of them, and inspection of the breeding premises is mandatory. The license issued to the breeder is valid for a year and must be renewed on time. The board can refuse the issuing of license if the breeder doesn’t comply with the rules, or is previously convicted for animal abuse or mistreatment.
If a breeder is found in violation of the rules or is breeding without a licence, court proceedings can be started against the breeder.
Ban on import of pedigree dogs –
Indian breeders cannot import pedigree dogs from outside the country, and it is only allowed for defense and police forces. This ban will prevent import of breeds unsuitable for Indian climate, and also help reduce suffering of animals. The excess import of puppies also leads to pet abandonment and a rise in street dogs.
Proper health conditions for dogs –
Only healthy, mature female dogs over the age of 18 months can be mated and there should be a certified health check done by a vet 10 days before breeding. The dog cannot be forced to breed in 2 consecutive breeding seasons and must be mated only once a year, and no more than 5 times during her entire life. They cannot be mated after they are 8 years old as well.
Male dogs too need to to be over 18 months, healthy, and have to be certified by a vet 10 days before mating.
Change in breeding practices –
Only Out Breeding and Line Breeding is allowed in India, and Inbreeding or Incest Breeding is completely banned. Breeders need to keep a complete record of every puppy produced by the dog, along with their vaccination records.
There is now also a strict ban on tail docking, ear cropping or any other kind of mutation of the puppy, which is commonly seen for breeds such as Boxer and Doberman.
ADOPT DON’T SHOP
The need for only buying pedigree dogs and ignoring our Desi dogs can only lead to the improper treatment of animals, forced breeding and wrong pet ownership practices. We as a society need to change and stop the breeding of animals. Breeders are only here to earn money and the practice of buying a dog needs to be curbed because why bring more puppies into the world when there are so many already waiting to find a home? Adopting these sweet babies from the streets will not only give them a loving home, but also reduce the animals on the roads.
Dogs do not differentiate between our race, colour or status in the society, they love us unconditionally regardless. Why can’t we do the same for them?