Pets are darling little lifesavers who hand out happiness and love. As any pet-parent will tell you, coming home at the end of a long, tiring day is the best when you have a furry buddy waiting for you. Our pets define us, shape our thoughts, and make us into much better persons than we are, but what do we really do for our pets?
Adopt A Pet, Save A Life
Buying a pet gives in to the idea of animals as commodities, and promotes aggressive breeding and often harsh behavioural training. Adopting a rescued animal gives them a permanent home and gives you a friend for life.
We had an interesting chat with World For All co-founder Ruchi Nadkarni, on the best ways to adopt a pet in Mumbai and help our animal buddies in every little way we can.
IB: How is pet adoption better than buying a pet?
Ruchi: Pet adoption entails giving a home to a rescued animal. This is great on multiple levels including saving a life and having a pet. Buying a pet encourages treating animals like commodities and using animals for monetary benefits! This is never good for the animals in question. There is a lot of abuse in the industry and so cutting the demand will definitely directly affect the supply. Adoption also promotes our native Indian dogs that have been labelled one of the best breeds in the world owing to their adaptability, genetic superiority and great behaviour.
IB: How are adoption agency pets different from pets-for-sale? Are there special considerations to be kept in mind?
Ruchi: Absolutely. Adoption agency pets are rescued animals, usually from unsafe locations. They are worked with specifically to make them healthy, both behaviour-wise and physically, to be a part of the family they will be adopted into. They are always allowed to be with their mother for the prescribed 8 weeks and are checked and vaccinated ethically by veterinarians.
Pets for sale are often snatched away from their mothers too early, wrongly medicated and vaccinated, leading to disease and death and generally have many behaviour issues leading to their abandonment–because families cannot deal with them and haven’t been counselled well enough during the buying of the pet.
Adopted pets from agencies come with a full service of pet behaviourists and adoption counsellors, who take painstaking efforts to make sure the pet is right for that home. There is also the facility of returning the pets, which is not provided in pets-for-sale, since the seller does not remain responsible after the pet is sold.
IB: Caring for pets who have undergone trauma or ill-treatment can be hard. Any tips on dealing with scared pets?
Ruchi: Yes, it is definitely hard. Scared pets need to be counselled by pet behaviourists. Many informative videos for the same are available online. There are many volunteers working with such animals, always available to help. They need patience and respect. There are ways that they can trust again and behave normally too, but they shouldn’t be expected to be perfect. Each animal like each human has its flaws, and they must be accepted. There are homeopathic calming medicines and our own behaviour patterns that can be altered to help them.
IB: Many people would love to adopt a pet, but are unwilling or unable to commit to a full-time pet. Could you tell us a little more about your fostering program?
Ruchi: Yes, a lot of animals in Mumbai need foster care either before their adoption or during the healing from an injury. Many times, infant animals without mothers need hand-feeding as well. Several NGOs in Mumbai including ours offer this possibility. So people that are not ready to commit to a pet full-time can take up a pet for two weeks to a month, and hand it back. Foster homes are actually the true saviours for these animals, providing them with individual attention, hygienic environment and love and affection. We always need fosters at World For All and our foster program is open to all pending a counselling session to explain animal care in detail.
IB: What are the other ways pet-lovers could help, apart from adopting and donating?
Ruchi: Pet lovers can help in several ways by volunteering at events and offering their skills to help the organisation. They can foster animals, be a part of our awareness campaigns and even just spread the word. Even small actions like sharing important information, feeding just one animal for their lifetime, and keeping water out on hot days for birds and animals, goes a long way! A simple phone call to inform of a distressed animal helps as well. Each individual can help in some way or the other if they wish, no effort is too small.
IB: Could you tell us a little about your volunteering program?
Ruchi: We currently offer opportunities in animal care, awareness, marketing, clerical, school sessions, fostering, events, and skill based volunteering. Our volunteering program is currently being revamped to offer more engaging opportunities; we hope to also offer longterm internships. Currently anyone wanting to offer help in any capacity is encouraged and engaged accordingly. They can write to [email protected].
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