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Adopt, spay and neuter

The United States leads the world in the highest population of dogs at roughly 7.5 crore. India is seventh at 1.1 crore. However, in the U.S., 6.1 crore out of the 7.5 crore are pets.

In India that number stands at 0.1 crore. Hence the number of homeless dogs in India and the U.S. are almost equal. Here in the U.S., nearly 40 lakh dogs are euthanised at shelters and dog-pounds every year. Further, an un-spayed dog can produce 67,000 dogs in its lifetime: this is the extent of the problem we are up against. It’s not just the homeless dogs that are on our streets. It’s the potential of millions more that looms above our heads. How can we stop this?

My grandfather used to say, ‘Education is the solution for most ills in our country’. You and I must educate ourselves and understand the math, so we can be a part of the solution. Here are some ways — firstly, don’t buy a puppy. Breeders just want to make money, and participating in this makes us a part of what I call the ‘puppy mill mafia’.

Adopt a shelter animal. A big issue is the contrast between a purebred pet and a shelter dog in our minds — but shelter pets are as loving and loyal, and many do not come with the health issues that we create by selective breeding. Several shelter animals are pets who were abandoned by their owners. Educate your children too about the problem of puppy mills, and teach them compassion.

Secondly, spay or neuter your pet. I’m a part of several animal rescue organisations, and people often show up at our doors offering to ‘adopt’ abandoned purebred pets when we know that they just want to breed them. Spaying and neutering is another step that we must take together, in order to make a difference to these numbers. It’s time to stop being indifferent to the issue and to open our eyes.

The writer is a volunteer with various animal shelters in the US and India. For any queries on adopting a rescued dog, email him at

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 6:13:43 PM |

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