The recent pet carnival was a success with several owners coming forward to participate with their pooches

With animals being banned in most public spaces and by house owners in the city, there is little scope for pet owners to take their pets out. It was with this in view and to facilitate pet interaction that the Blue Cross of Hyderabad in association with Pedigree recently organised a pet carnival. Dedicated to pets, mostly cats and dogs, the carnival had a variety of stalls put up for the pooches and several fun activities planned to help owners bond better with their pets.

“With so many public places banning pets people can’t socialise their animals, which makes them more hostile and leads to unsocial behaviour. The city is quite backward in handling this issue. A carnival of this sort helps pets interact with other dogs and cats and also educates pet owners on what they should or should not be doing,” said Amala Akkineni, actress and animal welfare activist.

The carnival, which had stalls on pet grooming, pooch shop, a GHMC pet registration counter and pet health, was a huge success with several pet owners. They also had a pet adoption drive, with several rescued Indian puppies up for adoption. Some of the activities included hop & woof, most obedient dog, walk with your dog etc. There were also sessions with pet experts.

The enthusiasm of pet owners and pooches was palpable. Some enthusiastic pet owners even wanted to bring their horse to the carnival. “Two important things that we want pet owners to become aware of is the need for pet registration with the GHMC and also the need to clean up after their pets. The latter is also a reason why most places ban pets,” said Amala, while encouraging students of nearby government schools to interact with the pets at the carnival. Though hesitant at first, the children soon warmed up to being around the dogs. “He is so soft,” squealed one little girl while petting Leo, Akhil Akkineni’s Labrador.

For nine-year-old Hargun Singh, this was the perfect opportunity to take his dog Tofu out. “He is an Indian dog and I love to play with him. Here he is getting to interact with other dogs,” said the young pet owner. Swetha Paropkari, who had her dachshund Jason along, was thrilled at the opportunity to introduce him to other pooches. “He is otherwise a very jealous dog since he doesn’t get to interact with other animals much. Also this carnival is a good way to educate people to check with dog owners before petting them to avoid getting bitten,” she said.