Pet Dog Abandonment In India
Are these questions coming to your mind?
What is pet dog abandonment? Why people abandon their pet dog? What are the consequences of abandoning a pet dog? I have no option other than to leave abandon my pet, is there any better alternatives or ways of doing it? Is there anyone who can adopt my pet or anyone who can help in this process? Is there any animal welfare societies, organizations associated with dog sheltering, dog adoption?
Abandonment means to leave something with no intention of returning. Dog abandonment means to leave your pet forever. Dogs are taken to a far place and left there so they cannot return back. Many a times they are left in some of the forests/jungles or to a roadside and left to the mercy of god where they have no food or shelter. These abandoned pet dogs have different way of living and cannot cope up with the harsh situations of the forest and cannot compete with the other animals. Moreover animals have the habit to make and live in their territory, so they don't allow the newly abandoned dog to share their place leading to fight which might result into severe injuries and sometimes the dog may even die. Other times the dogs may run and come to some unknown surroundings or may get hit by some vehicle and met with some automobile accident. They may also eat something poisonous when hungry as their natural instincts are not so developed because of living in human vicinity and may even die. Some of the dogs survive and add to the so called stray dog population. The population of stray dogs in India is increasing alarmingly due to uncontrolled reproduction among stray dog population adding to which is increasing trend of dog abandonment. So animal birth control (ABC) programme has been instituted where females are spayed and males are castrated to curb over population of stray dogs. Dog owners should at least look for a new home or shelter for their pets so that they can at least live safely.
Reasons behind it
People give a variety of reasons to abandon their dogs some of them are like
i+The most common of them at least in India is being the economic reasons as people say they have poor living standards and cannot feed the dogs.
i+A member of the family may die and others don't want to keep the dog.
i+Owners may shift from one place to the other and may not take pets with them because of long distance, lack of means of transport of the pet or they simply don't want to.
i+A dog may get some health problem and unable to meet expenses associated, the owner think to abandon their dog or may even think to kill/ euthanize the dog.
i+Some owners complain of allergies with dog hair, problem with excessive barking and even some owners complain of hyperactivity which causes problem in living societies.
i+Sometimes dog breeders abandon such puppies which do not meet the breed standards thereby increasing breeders expense in rearing those pups which have no or very less sale value.
i+A pet purchased on the spur of the moment or as a gift for another person. Often the owner discovers that caring for the pet is much more work than expected, or requires more space or exercise than they are prepared to give.
i+Pet leaves home or cannot find its way back, and carries no identification tags or microchip. The owner does not succeed in finding it (or makes no attempt to do so).
i+People leave the country; quarantine laws in some countries can be traumatic to pets and owners, so to avoid the stress, the pet is surrendered to an animal shelter.
Consequences of dog abandonment
The dogs are very emotionally attached to their owners and the family they are living in; to abandon them means to separate them of their family. Just think how a child will feel if left alone in unknown surroundings without food water and shelter!
The very first thing about dog abandonment is that it is unethical and against the law. It leads to increase in stray population of dogs. Municipality of our place will just collect the stray dogs and further handle the issue. It is illegal even for a municipality to round up stray dogs and abandon them outside city limits, as it places them in circumstances likely to cause their death from starvation and thirst. Therefore, you should not do this as it can be challenged in the court.
Previously, municipalities would kill these animals (mainly dogs) cruelly by electrocution, starvation and burying alive. After 1992, it became illegal for municipalities to kill stray dogs. The High Courts of Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Mumbai and several other states have specifically forbidden the killing of stray dogs and have directed the municipality to introduce a sensible sterilisation programme instead.
Alternatives/ Better Ways
If you are thinking of separating your pet from you then there are better ways also. You should look for a shelter for your dog. There are a number of ways to do this if one wants. One of the methods is to look for another house for your pet among your neighbor or relatives. Other way is to send the pet to some shelter house where they can be kept. There are shelter houses for dogs which are helping for the dog adoption to the people who want to get a pet. So next time you are looking to bring a pet to your home, please go to a nearby shelter house and adopt a dog instead of buying the new one so that these speechless creatures can get a home to live and bond with.
It has several advantages that now you don't have to spend the money to buy a new pet. The other thing is that now you can get a well trained dog. Above all you will get a mental satisfaction for giving home to a pet which no money can buy.
Societies/Organizations- A Helping Hand
There are many societies and NGOs operating in India and abroad which can help you http://weforanimals.com Organizations like the BlueCross society http://bluecrossofindia.org are working throughout India to help give shelter to the animals and help in dog adoption. Pablo's Dog Adoption Foundation India is a group that brings together all animals, mongrel lovers, adopters worldwide http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=21048859101 . There are no kill societies which will keep the dog but not kill them unlike the other shelter houses which were working earlier where dogs were euthanized after a particular period of time.
Problems Associated With Adoption
Lack of awareness is the main reason. Many people don't know if there is any such procedure where you can send your pet to shelter house and look for another home by dog adoption.
Lack of responsibility is the other main problem associated. Unless you feel your responsibility for these lovely creatures, you cannot do anything but to abandon them. One should at least think once before doing this cruelty!
Many people have this query if the adopted dog will go well in their house. Dogs are very intelligent and are very fast learners. If taught with love, they will follow you sincerely. Moreover, the shelter houses should observe a pet/dog/animal for at least a week and tell the prospective owner about behavior of the particular animal.
Benefits behind Sheltering and adoption
i+First of all and most importantly it will control the population of stray dogs.
i+Secondly the cruelty against the dogs and a possible risk to a life can be averted.
i+You can save a life and get a chance to give home to a homeless dog, also called the Man's best friend.
i+You can get the dog for free and don't have to purchase it.
i+You can get well trained and grown up dogs and can escape with the initial training required when a small pup is first of all brought to the home.
Raise a Voice
It is high time to stop this malpractice of dog abandonment among people of India as it is inhumane, cruel and leads to increase in stray dog population. The better measures like dog sheltering, dog adoption, ABC progamme should be instituted all over India. Apart from that, some awareness campaigns are required so that more people know about this and stop this. Be a part of it and try to save a life!
Dr. Surbhi Tyagi (PhD scholar, Surgery)
Awareness Campaign Cell