Actor Trisha Krishnan on her pets, being responsible and the Chennai Adoption Drive.

Minx came into my life when I was all of 10. I can’t imagine myself without a pet. Even as a kid I remember always wanting one. At first my mom did not want one but she succumbed to my increasing tantrums. That’s how I got my first pup. Today, as I look back I can only tell you how having a pet changes you completely. It only gets better. They calm you down, make you more compassionate and more tolerant too. I still remember this when my mother or I raised our voices and she would walk up to us, lift her paw and hush us with her paw.

It’s an amazing experience as you learn to become less temperamental and more understanding. In fact what seems impossible in the beginning takes a few days to a week and before you know your entire world will centre on the new addition to your family.

I also feel that adopting a pet should be an informed choice. You cannot take up a responsibility without knowing what you are getting into. Every member in your family must be open to the idea as it’s a commitment for life. I still remember I lost Minx when I was 25 and we decided not to have pets anymore.

But we knew we could never do that since all of us had become animal lovers. In fact my mother was most attached to her. Even though we travelled a lot or had a lot of work coming back to a pet was the most looked forward to activity for the day. As soon as we adopted our next pet we knew they were the best antidepressants ever and all the therapy that we needed was right in front of us. Ever since that ours has been a houseful of dogs.

Raising a pet is not easy. It requires commitment, sincerity and discipline, besides loving them. Pets are like babies who never grow up. They need someone to take care of them and it’s good to see many families considering adoption. But what one needs to remember is that you cannot go back on your decision once you’ve made it.

A pet needs an animal-friendly home and shifting houses or family members leaving or other such changes that affect us also affect them the same way. I have never understood how people can be cruel towards animals. I can understand if you don’t like pets but that’s different from being irresponsible and unkind.

I have been associated with the Chennai Adoption Drive for the past two years, and I met Jennifer Jacob-Murali Anand who helped me with a pet we were fostering. Somebody spotted Pattu who was left outside my house wrapped in a cardboard box. I would have loved to keep him but my dog Cadbury was not okay with the new member.

Not knowing what to do I placed an ad in a newspaperand that’s how I met Jennifer. We found a great home and she asked me to help with the CAD campaigns.

Earlier CAD hardly saw very few adoptions. Today there are far more and almost all the pets find a home. I know there are a lot of people who raise their voices for issues and I do my bit for animals. This is my way of making a difference to their lives just as they have to mine.

Trisha is an active advocate of animal rights and associated with various organisations.

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