For Anuradha Chawla, a 36-year-old homemaker, rescuing and caring for dogs came about quite naturally. “I always had dogs at home but I didn’t know anything about community dogs,” she says.
She vividly recalls her first rescue. “It was in 2002 and I was going for a walk at night when I heard a dog cry out. I found her and tried getting her into a home, but ended up adopting her. She, Sandy, was my first Indian dog,” Anuradha says. Later, Anuradha founded the Chennai Adoption Drive, along with Jennifer Jacob.
Anuradha was in the US for a few years but when she came back around five years ago, she took her job of rescuing dogs very seriously. “If I see an abandoned pup or dog on the road, I either drop them at organisations such as the Blue Cross or I make a call, asking for the dogs to be picked up,” Anuradha explains.
There is a system she follows with the rescues. “I take photographs of the dog and put it up at vet clinics – this helps people whose pets have gone missing. Also, with dogs who get adopted, I always check out the families and homes of people taking them in,” Anuradha says.
Besides taking care of four dogs at home — Sandy, Ginger, Bruno and Sparky — Anuradha for four years now, has been feeding 40 dogs every night in and around Thoraipakkam. “What started as a one-day event has now become a routine!” she says.
Although Anuradha has rescued quite a number of dogs, she does face several challenges. “One major challenge is the fact that people hesitate to adopt black puppies and female dogs. They seem to prefer male dogs. And finding foster homes is really difficult. How else do you think I ended up with four dogs?” she laughs.
View a related video here: http://thne.ws/peta-dogshelter