“All dogs are equal”, says Sudiksha Dutta Gupta, a college student and a volunteer with Chennai Adoption Drive. Over the past several months, Sudiksha and the other volunteers at CAD have spoken up against breed bias and have overseen the adoption of over 300 rescued Indian puppies and kittens. Sudiksha was going through a tough personal phase when she decided to start volunteering with CAD. She ended up making new friends and being part of a movement that changed the fortunes of hundreds of homeless animals across the city.

“People sometimes have a mindset that an imported breed is necessary. The dog then becomes a status symbol”, she says. “Our main aim is to tell everyone that Indian dogs are loyal and we should give them the same love and affection as we do any other dog”. Sudiksha is a firm believer in spaying and neutering animals, and hopes that pet owners will sterilize their pets instead of breeding them.

She observes that while young animals get homes very easily, the adults are not as lucky. “Even older pets are a joy to be with”, she says, appealing for people to consider adult cats and dogs that are in desperate need of love and security. Sudiksha’s father adopted an abandoned pet that he found wandering near his office premises. “He was over 7 years old. He lived with us for just two years and passed away this April. Even if it’s a short span, the time spent with them is priceless”.

She advises that visitors to adoption camps be mentally prepared for a 15-year relationship. “A pet is not a toy or a gift. He is a part of the family, like a child”, she says, and signs off with a message against commercialisation of this relationship- “You can’t say you’re a dog lover if you buy them!”

The next Chennai Adoption Drive is scheduled for this Sunday, the 30 of September between 10 am and 3 pm at No.6, First Avenue, Boat Club Road, near Hotel Park Sheraton. Vaccinated puppies, kittens and dogs are available for adoption free of cost. Call 8939311148 for more details.

SRIYA NARAYANAN

TAKE ME HOME These gorgeous mongrels (five-month-old male and 4-month-old female) are healthy, vaccinated and friendly. For adoption, call 9940066699

TAKE ME HOME This handsome ginger kitten is around two months old and is active and friendly. To adopt him, call 9176843133

TAKE ME HOME This adorable mongrel and his siblings are rescued and looking for new homes. Call 9445206592 or 9092716066

TAKE ME HOME This two-month-old puppy is healthy, friendly and playful. To adopt her, call 9003261848

LOST Four-year-old Snoopy is a male Lab-Indian cross who went missing from Medavakkam Main Road, Madipakkam and wasn't wearing a collar at the time. If you spot him, please confine him and call 89390 08996

LOST This Lhasa-Apso Terrier mix went missing from Anna Nagar last Sunday (her fur was shaved and her tail was bushy). If spotted, please confine her and call 96772 10119