When Katarina Havlova moved to Chennai from central Europe three years ago, she had no idea that she would play a part in saving the lives of over a 100 street puppies. “It was a shock for me to see dogs on the street. I felt so sorry for them,” she says, recalling how it began. “I found homeless puppies and got them adopted.” When Katarina moved house, she met Anuradha Manish-Chawla and Jennifer Jacob-Murali Anand who were also actively rescuing and rehabilitating orphaned pups. Together, they co-founded Chennai Adoption Drive and began monthly camps where dozens of furry ones found loving families. “Indian dogs are really great,” says Katarina. “And they are more suitable for this climate than foreign breeds. I see some pedigree dogs that sleep all the time because they are so tired in this hot weather. And this results in weight problems.”

Katarina gushes about her own Indian dogs – ones she adopted as puppies when they weren't lucky enough to find homes. “I was able to toilet train them when they were just four weeks old. They are just like my babies.”

While the adoption drives required considerable effort and struggle, Katarina observes that the compassionate streak in people always shines through and saves the day. “One puppy we helped with adoption was deaf but we didn't know at the time. The family called us later and told us this. We were a bit worried about whether they would want to keep it or give it back. But they told us that they loved the puppy so much, after just a few days and that they would keep it.”

She signs off with a message on behalf of the city's homeless puppies: “If you are thinking of having a pet, please consider those pups that are on the street. They have feelings too.”

(To adopt a healthy, vaccinated puppy from Chennai Adoption drive or to volunteer with them, call 9025389033 or email chennaiadoptiondrive@gmail.com)

TAKE ME HOME Beautiful Bessie is a two-month-old rescued Indian pup who has been de-wormed and vaccinated. To be her proud family, call 9789087789 or 9600 025290

Hero of the week J. Marshal Karan nominates his father Justin for rescuing a struggling crow that was stuck in a kite string and hanging near his office. Justin cut the string and set the bird free.

TAKE ME HOME This rescued male kitten is looking for a loving, safe home. To be his family, call 9176563279

TAKE ME HOME Coffee is an active healthy pup that makes friends with people easily. She has been de-wormed and vaccinated. To adopt her, call 8754547414/9940084405

TAKE ME HOME These cute Indian pups are healthy and friendly. For adoption, call 9840987824 or 9381011816

Keywords: puppiesPetpals

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MetroplusJune 28, 2012