These dog-lovers from across India reveal their reasons for adopting a rescued animal

Jimmy looks like a gentle, grey wolf and loves both people and animals. The handsome Indian dog was at the Mad Dogs Trust shelter, a Kochi-based NGO devoted to rescuing and rehabilitating homeless animals, when Abdul Qayoom saw him and fell in love. Qayoom adopted Jimmy and in the process, found a best friend and loyal companion. “It's not fair”, says Qayoom, referring to the reluctance that people have when it comes to adopting local breeds, mostly due to misconceptions. “I like Indian dogs very much and would recommend that people adopt a puppy or dog from the street or shelter — this way, a needy animal finds a home and you get a best friend for free”. Jimmy now has a free run of his owner's property and has gone from being a destitute dog to master of the house. “Jimmy is really intelligent”, says Qayoom proudly, referring to a recent incident. “When my kitten strayed into the road, Jimmy walked over to him, picked him up in his mouth and returned him to the safety of my shop”.

Sadhwi Sondhi, founder of Red Paws Rescue, Delhi started a dog adoption blog to promote Indian and mongrel breeds and feels that the trend is a positive one. “There are many benefits of adopting an Indian breed, starting with the fact that our local dogs are made to live in our climate”, she says. Sondhi's dog blog has seen a surge in visitors and has encouraged volunteers from other cities to set up similar web pages that put people and their future pets in touch with each other, totally free of cost.

Bangalorean Shwetha Bhat who has four adopted dogs all of whom were rescued from the street has this to say — “If you really love a dog, it won't matter what breed it is. Puppies are companions, not commodities. You don't buy a friend!”