At most animal shelters and adoption camps, some dogs (or puppies) are less likely to be adopted than others. This is possibly due to misconceptions we have about our canine friends. For instance, there is a general feeling that female dogs are harder to maintain due to the reproductive cycle and the fear of unwanted pups in future. This is easily solved through a sterilization surgery that not only ends the reproductive cycle for good but also protects females against certain types of cancer. The operation requires an experienced vet and a few days of post-operative care, and must not be performed on pups that are younger than eight months. Says animal rescuer Nithya Pari who adopted her dog Elsa when others hesitated to adopt the female pup, “Elsa is like a child to my parents and is a sibling to me”.

At shelters, adult dogs (even those that are visibly friendly and docile) are sometimes overlooked due to the worry that they might not adapt to a new home, being fully-grown. Mehul Kamdar who met his best buddy Jack as an adult dog at Blue Cross in Chennai begs to differ. “The single most important reason in my opinion for adopting a grown up dog is that they do not need to be house broken”, says Mehul who fell in love with Jack when the little dog stood on two legs and greeted him from behind the enclosure. “Older dogs are also more capable of understanding what an owner wants them to do than pups are - it is similar to the difference between talking to a child and to an adult. I wouldn't talk anyone out of wanting to adopt a pup - all dogs deserve homes, both pups and adults - but there is a misconception about adult dogs not adapting to their owners' homes as easily as pups, and that needs to be corrected. Dogs can easily adapt to new homes as adults if they are shown love and affection”. He looks back fondly on the day he decided to bring home the 3-year-old dog. “Jack will turn 15 this November. I think these were easily the happiest years of both his and my life”.

(For queries on adoption of female pups or adult dogs, email Red Paws Rescue at redpawsrescue@gmail.com or visit facebook.com/redpawsrescue)

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