No change in plight of abandoned dogs

Lost and forlorn, many such dogs would have died of hunger and disease and depression if they had not been rescued by good Samaritans, reports Rajendra Khatry

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself” —Josh Billings

How would you feel if you are abandoned one fine day by your family that you love so much? What will you do? Where will you go? Pets like human beings experience the same pangs of pain and trauma when they are abandoned by their owners whom they loved so much and yet this trend is increasing day by day in many parts of the country. Panchkula is no exception and Sector 27 of the district is fast acquiring the tag of a notorious place of abandoned dogs.

Says Jaspreet Singh, a resident of sector 27, Panchkula, who in the past had rescued dogs in distress and continues to do so, “Dogs are increasingly being abandoned by their owners for no particular known reason at all. People don’t just abandon ordinary dog, but pedigreed dogs as well. Lost and forlorn and heart-broken, some of these dogs can be seen loitering in streets in search of food and shelter. They remain in a pitiable state till they are rescued,” she says. It is very difficult for the dog to adapt to the harsh life of the streets once it is abandoned.

But how does one differentiate between a stray dog and an abandoned dog? Jaspreet says dogs can be recognized by their looks and behavior. Abandoned dogs listen to commands because they have been a pet and lived in some home with people. They know how to sit in a vehicle. They behave in a more `civilised’ manner. They make friends more easily than the ordinary stray dogs. Many times belts are tied around their neck which makes it even easier to understand they belonged to some owner earlier,” she says.

Jaspreet, who has adopted three stray dogs and keeps them in her house in sector 27, Panchkula, says in January last she rescued a good looking black and white coloured grown up dog in her locality who had been abandoned by someone. The dog used to lie under a tree and seemed to be very hungry and thirsty when she offered him some food and water. “The dog must have lived in some good family as he is used to the comforts of a home and understands commands given in English.

She has now named the dog ‘Hero’ and is looking forward to somebody who can adopt him. “I already have three dogs in my house and cannot keep any more,” she says. Even the neighbours complain I have made my house a ‘kutta khana’ (dog’s colony). For the time being the dog is staying in her husband’s salon ‘Maneia’ in Sector 2, Panchkula. Hero’s owner must have owned a Thar jeep. He gets alert whenever he sees a Thar jeep on the road, she says.

According to another animal lover and rescuer of abandoned dogs, Sheeba Chaudhary, who is also a resident of Sector 27 in Panchkula, cases of abandoned dogs are increasing in the sector and she fails to understand why this is so. “Dogs shower unconditional love and affection to their owners. They give so much of joy and happiness. No wonder they are called man’s best friend.

And yet these furry friends are not always lucky enough to get a loving master who loves them for life. Many times these dogs are abandoned when they are deceased or are old or as is the trend these days the owners want to go for a new dog like another car, discarding their old ones. Sometimes these unfortunate pets are discarded when instead the love and support of their owners the most. Sheeba has rescued 8 dogs so far. Four of the dogs stay in her house, while four life in her farmhouse in Raipur Rani. “I can’t imagine how can a owner abandon his dog who becomes a family member after living in the house,” says Sheeba.

Deepali Rajput, Miss India Universe 2019, actor in Punjabi films and a resident of Sector 11 in Panchkula too is a great dog lover. She is a known rescuer of abandoned as well as stray dogs. She has adopted 7 abandoned dogs. According to her it is very tragic that the pet dogs and other animals are being abandoned by their owners. “It’s like leaving your kid or elder relative on the street to fend for himself or herself. It is both tragic and traumatic, but there are many such cases in Panchkula, she says. I try to help such animals by making other people to adopt them,” she says.

Deepali says she feeds 170 dogs per day in various sectors of tricity. She pays from her own pocket for the feed. So much so that she has even used the money she won as the prize for the Miss India Universe 2019 crown for the upkeep of the abandoned dogs. Recounting the plight of an abandoned dog of Beegle breed, she says somebody informed her about a dog thrown in the Ghaggar river sometime ago.

The dog with a bloated stomach had somehow managed to survive the ordeal and was clinging to a stone in the Ghaggar river. She took the dog to an animal hospital for treatment.

Some pebbles and sand were extracted from its stomach. Luckily the medines worked, after which it slowly recovered. In another instance she had found an abandoned Labrador whom Deepali takes care of now. Deepali is happy more people are coming forward to adopt abandoned or street dogs.

“Even Radio Jockey J Manav of Chandigarh has adopted to such dogs, says Deepali.

According to Kiran Mehta, who lives in Sector 39, Chandigarh, people initially love their pets initially, but some lose interest later. They love the puppies as long they are hale and hearty and good looking as well.

But abandon them later when they when they get sick or old. Many families abandon dogs when they go on long vacation or abroad. If they can do this to their pets, who knows one day they can as well abandon their aged parents too, she says regretfully.