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Every day, the Blue Cross of India in Chennai receives calls from pet parents who want to ‘donate’ their dogs or cats to the institution, which rescues and rehabilitates orphaned, abandoned and disabled stray animals. When the volunteers deny their request, they get offended. In the dead of the night, they tie the animal to the gate of the Blue Cross of India in Velachery and leave the spot. Some even let loose their pets on the main road itself.

Blue Cross volunteers say even though they tried various methods to catch these culprits, it didn’t work. “Our hands are full and we take care of only abandoned stray animals. Our volunteers are busy with such cases. Every day, we get four or five such cases. The number may go up to ten or 12 some days. When we say this to them, they get angry. Some tie their pets to the main gate of our office and leave. This happens at midnight typically. I don’t know why people play such a dirty trick. There is absolutely nothing in the world that can justify abandoning a pet dog or cat,” said Dawn Williams, rescuer and general manager of the Blue Cross of India.

Williams posted the photographs of such dogs tied to the main gate of the Blue Cross on a social networking site a week ago. In that post, he suggested some guidelines to be followed by the pet parents. “This could be due to a number of reasons such as family pressure, apartment/landlord not allowing, transferring cities and so on. It is always better to find a friend, neighbour or relative who is willing to adopt the animal than dumping your pet on the streets or in a shelter,” said Williams in the post. “The average lifespan of a pedigree dog/cat is between 8-12 years so if you cannot commit to taking care of them well during his or her lifetime, please do not buy or adopt based on your instant pleasure. An animal is not an object. They too have emotions, and they too suffer from depression when abandoned,” he said.

“Our hands are full and we take care of only abandoned stray animals. Our volunteers are busy with such cases. Every day, we get four or five such cases. The number may go up to ten or 12 some days.”

The pet dogs and cats won’t be able to survive outside if abandoned. Since they lack the sense of road, many meet with accidents. Stray dogs also chase them as a matter of territorial conflict. “Some dog owners play a cheap trick. They tie their dogs near our office and ‘inform’ us that someone has abandoned a dog just in front of our office. We know that the real culprits are those who make the calls only,” said Williams, who has decades of experience in rescuing animals. Blue Cross of India is a private and charitable organization, which runs a hospital and rehabilitation centre for injured and unwell stray animals such as dogs, cats, cattle and birds among others.

There is a serious behavioural issue associated with dogs who are abandoned or deserted by their masters. “They don’t know their masters abandoned them. They are always obedient to their masters. They will never blame their masters for abandoning them. Though we give them great care, they don’t consider us as their masters. Many dogs even expressed through their body language that ‘I am so-and-so, I am not going to obey you and I am not supposed to be here’. They suffer from stress due to this. Some even stop eating food. It’s a difficult situation,” he added.

An animal is not an object. They too have emotions, and they too suffer from depression when abandoned,”

The cases of ‘tying-and-leaving’ the dog are on the rise since the relaxation of the pandemic-imposed restrictions. “People have started travelling after a couple of years of pandemic-imposed restrictions. Many find it difficult to maintain their pets in such a situation. We are getting more such cases in front of our gate due to this. We don’t know how to tackle it. I hope the owners of dogs will understand it and avoid this irresponsible practice,” said Williams.


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