It’s a dog’s life, especially for strays

strayBengaluru: Dog lovers are dime a thousand rather than the proverbial dozen. But, try adopting a stray puppy and the experience will leave you wondering the norms defeat the very cause of befriending the best friend of human beings.

On a Sunday morning, we found a stray puppy in a pathetic condition near the bus stop in the upscale locality of Koramangala. Worried that it would not last long, we decided to take him to a dog shelter.

When we reached our first option, the man who takes in stray dogs for treatments said: “You will have to pay Rs 2500 for the treatment as you rescued it. If you are not willing to pay the amount then please take the dog to CUPA (Compassion Unlimited Plus Action) and they will accept it”.

Disheartened, we took the stray pup to another shelter located in the premises of the Veterinary Hospital and run by CUPA.

An official of the CUPA animal rescue centre said: “We can start with the treatment but it is not possible for us to take the dog in as it is a puppy and adoption of a stray dog is a huge problem”.

Undeterred, we decided to take his advice seriously and took the stray pup to the KARUNA animal shelter which is not too far. In fact, it is right opposite the CUPA rescue centre. They took in the stray pup along with a donation of Rs 200 after we got the puppy vaccinated and treated for dog bites.

It is not that we alone were facing the problem. A lady who rescued puppies on a regular basis was also facing the same problem. She had to pay Rs 1000 as donation, five times more than us.

An official explained: “There is a fixed amount accepted for pedigree dogs. Rs 2500 for an adult dog and Rs 1000 for a puppy. Whereas for stray dogs the amount of donation depends upon an individual’s interest”.   

In other words, it meant that rescue shelters for dogs are primarily meant for pedigreed dogs. If there is any additional space available, stray dogs are accommodated.

In fact, a member of CUPA who did not want to be identified, said: “as these stray dogs are not considered pure breeds, there are less chances of finding a home for them. Compared to the pedigree dogs, these are less attractive. But, we at CUPA personally suggest Indian stray dogs, as they don’t require much: one meal a day.’’

There may be sympathy for the lonely street dog, but “no one wants to adopt a street dog. Everyone wants a pure-bred dog even though the stray dogs have the same basic needs as the pedigree dogs. They also need a place to sleep, yearly vaccinations and some care and affection. These dogs can be wonderful watchdogs,” the CUPA member said.

So, the question that begs an answer is: With all the capabilities of a pedigree dog why is it still difficult to adopt and accept a stray dog?

– Laxmi Pavani Kodati

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