Posted on July 16, 2015: Unfortunately, for animals and animal lovers the metro cities of India seem to be building a track record of cruelty to animals. Earlier last month, Gingertail reported on the increasing number of abandoned pets turning up on Mumbai’s streets. And now, I came across a recent story from the streets of Chennai which saw over 52 pet dogs abandoned over a span of 90 days.
But where there is strife, there are unlikely heroes. PFCI (People For Cattle in India) stepped in to help these shelter-less animals and take care of them. PFCI is a non-governmental and non-profit organization which started out working against illegal cattle trafficking and slaughter. Founded in 2012, the organization has saved the lives of over 1000 cattle in India since then. Their mission soon grew to preventing cruelty to all animals and creating an aware and responsible society.
Over the last three months, volunteers of PFCI have rescued over 50 pedigree dogs in Chennai. “We rescued 52 abandoned dogs from the roads and streets in the city. Most were near the outskirts of the city,” PFCI founder Arun told the Times of India. Most of the dogs wore collars clearly indicating that they were household pets. This high number of abandoned pets reflects poorly on the owner’s part, who clearly shied away from the responsibility of taking care of their pets. These rescued dogs are of various breeds - German shepherds, Great Danes, Pomeranians, Labradors, Terriers etc. Many of these dogs were found in horrid conditions. Most of them were starving, and others had injured limbs and other ailments.
PFCI’s general manager Dinesh Baba told the daily that two out of the 52 dogs failed to respond to treatments and died, while 18 others were receiving medication and were placed under observation. As a silver lining to this dark cloud, the animal lovers of Chennai came forward in strong numbers and 32 dogs got new forever homes.
Such household pedigree dogs go through massive stress and difficulty to survive when their owners abandon them as they are not used to living on the streets, unlike stray dogs. Pet dogs also are often harassed and attacked by packs of stray dogs and also hit and run over by speeding vehicles.
Fortunately, animal welfare organizations step in where irresponsible pet parents fail. They work day in and out and have active helpline numbers where people can report animals in need of help and rescue. There are pet adoption drives as well, which see enthusiastic participation from animal lovers.
But even these NGOs can only do so much. Have no doubt about it - abandoned pets are put to death to control the population. In Romania and Bulgaria, abandoned pets are poisoned or starved to death, while in Ukraine they are burnt alive. In Mexico, they are either beaten to death or electrocuted. And in the US, they are culled by gassing them or with the heart stick method. In the UK, abandoned dogs are killed using a lethal injection. Read Gingertail’s full story on What becomes of unwanted, abandoned pets?