There is no question that adoption is a good thing, and of our local Indie dogs is even better, given their sheer numbers, as well as how hardy and ubiquitous they tend to be. Plus, they are our own, and INDIAN. The preoccupation with pedigree and caste or jaat has resulted in a glut of foreign breed dogs in our country, many of them quite unsuited to climate , or poorly bred in puppy mills or backyards resulting in poor health and immunity. So all arrows point to adopting more Indies, we serve our national purpose (yes, even the PM says so!), we get them off the streets, we twang the chord of our own true kindness and Indies being hardy and loyal, their practicality ensures we serve ourselves well too.
The good news is that it is starting to happen, and slowly, slowly Indies are the New Cool, as even National Geographic has pointed out. People who adopt Indies are considered woke, sensible, caring and high integrity. The emphasis on pedigrees -unless it’s a rescue- makes the parent look like they need a status symbol not a family member, and many look down at such parents as being ignorant and insensitive. Kids are now more conscious and ask parents to adopt don’t shop!
The sheer numbers of dogs increasing with slow neuter impact, better caretakers and feeding. However, managing street dog population is uphill if the supply of these hardly Indies is also not addressed. Adoption, community care, encouraging RWA, Apartment Complexes, schools and offices to take care of their dogs by adoption is a definite need. And a decision of compassion.
As CJMT and BBMP we can have a simple MOU to leverage at any and every opportunity to take forward initiatives of safety and compassion via citizen-government interaction, working with relevant NGO’s, Shelters and community groups
We need to address the stray dog issue from two important ends – demand AND supply, while increasing compassion for the streeties and branding Indies as an aspirational breed. Other cities are already finding innovative ways to address this issue as well, so we need to move quickly Thankfully, Bangalore has a massively pet friendly and aware population and the larger numbers of techie, educated working population and millennials makes the focus on being a responsible, woke, pet friendly citizens easier.
Benefits: The sheer range of benefits are obvious to all, but let s highlight a few
o More dogs off the street
o More compassion for street animals
o A long-term branding that males the Indie dog aspirational not down-market, will SUSTAIN this campaign.
o Incorporating children as champions and supporters as younger start creates longer impact
o Focus on ABC and insistence on spay/neuter reduces further population
o Subtly highlights, resonates and reiterates the patriotic #MadeInIndia mantra
Procedure – so how do we do this? Where do we start?
o Special benefits given to those who adopt Indies – free spay and ARV
o Certificates with every adoption
o No Garbage Cess charged by BBMP for homes with Indies
o Free Pet License Fee for Indies, Free Health Check
o End of the Year, best Indie Family Award with CJMT (HEAL Stories)
o Joint Adoption Camps at each Zone with ABC Partner and local Shelter
o BBMP Seniors leading by example – D Randeep and Suresh Abraham
o Have Indie Ambassadors, as well as children
o Build on PM’s message on adopting Indian dogs
o Creating a one Indie per Apartment/office/school concept
o Tie up with schools like Parikrma with economically backward kids well trained in animal compassion. +BBMP Schools
o Involve NRI’s especially Kannada Koota and such groups overseas.
o Sister City with a pet friendly, highest adoption in the USA.
Aim for a large photo mosaic of Indie Dogs as a result.
Impact – What difference can we make? How can we measure?
o Greater compassion towards street dogs
o Reduction in numbers means less bites and accidents, less garbage issues too
o BBMP rub off as being compassionate and proactive on supply AND demand with two pronged ABC/Adoption approach
o The City will feature higher in India’s Best Cities list with this initiative – Safer and Compassionate
o We can state BBMP and Blr City aims to have Swachh Bharath & Max Indie Pets – create metrics via licensing
o An Annual Award and recognition by Chief Minister, Yuva Puraskara etc
Some useful Links
As a start, make announcements, tie up with a few shelters, get the certificates, create a good adoption format. The rest can be built up slowly.