Adopt, Don’t Shop

The 19th anniversary of International Dog Day falls on August 26, and highlighting the cause that focuses on the importance of adopting a pet is the way forward. Many animal lovers and NGOs promote adoption of dogs over buying them from unethical breeders.

WOW! speaks to three of the many NGOs that promote the adoption of animals.

Street Cause PAW is a unit of Street Cause, one of the largest student-run NGOs in Hyderabad. Since its inception, the organization has been conducting vaccination, sterilization and water bowl drives. They also conduct awareness campaigns and adoption drives. The latter has potential adopters vetted through interviews.

Founded in 2018, the non-profit aims to make students understand, care for, and co-exist with community dogs. “We go to government schools; through videos we teach students how to rescue and vaccinate animals, not be scared and adopt a friendly and compassionate attitude,” says Richa Singh, President of Street Cause PAW, 2022-23.

Finding a home for adult animals can be a lot more challenging than finding one for puppies and kittens. This is due to the age of an older animal and past traumas. “We usually choose people who have already had experience with animals. We also keep checking on them to see if they are facing any issues. The idea is to make sure the animals are taken care of and not abandoned,” Richa explains.

The NGO raises funds by conducting an annual fundraiser. They accept donations and are open to volunteers.

SWAN also known as Shakuntala Society for Welfare of Animals and Nature, founded by Harsh Kishore Bhatnagar in 2021, initially started out with a group of volunteers who engaged in promoting the wellbeing of street animals. “We take care of animals who are in need of immediate medical attention and those who need to be rescued,” shares Harsh.

SWAN also works as a rescue team that goes to different locations to rescue injured or sick animals. Some are given medical attention and sent back to the streets, while others, who either cannot fend for themselves anymore or are abandoned, are permanently taken aboard or fostered and placed for adoption.

In collaboration with activists and shelters like the AASRA Foundation, SWAN fosters animals and places them for adoption through social media and adoption drives. They also participate in vaccination and water bowl drives and are currently planning to introduce a rescue ambulance. “Once we have the vehicle in place, I think we will be able to serve the animals a lot more easily,” shares a hopeful Harsh.

The non-profit is self-funded and accepts contributions, including blankets, sheets, food bags and toys. You can also volunteer with them.

Telangana Pet Adoption, an eightyear-old NGO, was founded by G. Vijayalakshmi to promote the adoption of Indian breeds, fight the stigma associated with them and reduce their population through animal birth control. “We have been trying to discourage people from buying, socalled pedigree breeds, and instead have been encouraging them to adopt Indian dogs also known as Indies,” explains Vijayalakshmi.

For the last six years, the non-profit has been conducting adoption drives every Sunday. They are held at Neredmet, outside the Rachakonda Police Commissionerate. Here, animal activists, who rescue Indian dogs and foster them, can put them up for adoption. The potential adopters are made to go through a screening process wherein only the genuine ones serious enough to take on a long-term commitment are allowed to take an Indie-buddy home.

Additionally, Telangana Pet Adoption aims to eliminate the societal stigma attached so that people can adopt without worrying about perceptions. Vijayalakshmi shares, “So many people want to adopt Indian dogs, but they think they’ll be made fun of.” One of the steps the NGO has taken to address this issue involves showcasing celebrities, like Madhuri Dixit, MS Dhoni, and Sachin Tendulkar, all of whom have adopted Indies, endorsing adoption on their social media.

This self-funded NGO accepts donations and volunteers. n IPSHITA

Street Cause PAW: 7893533211

SWAN: 9966903030

Telangana Pet Adoption: 9000700220

Deven Baheti, founder of Deven’s Hope Society, shares benefits of adopting an Indian breed:

  • Don’t require a lot of vaccinations since they have better immunity
  • Better suited to our climate
  • Better suited to our climate
  • Can be fed home-cooked food
  •  Easy to maintain
  • Free of cost
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