Abandoned by families, many large dogs struggle in shelter homes in Bengaluru

Once living happily with his pet owners, five-year-old Rottweiler Sam has been having a tough time at a dog shelter in Kengeri. Sam, as it turns out, was abandoned by his former pet parents, as they realised the difficulties of keeping a big dog in a family with children a tad too late. Instead of attempting to find Sam a loving new home, they did the easiest thing — got rid of him at a city shelter for rescued and abandoned animals. Sadly, he is not the only one who has been at the receiving end of such behaviour from a pet parent.
‘Around 1,358 dogs have been abandoned over the last seven years’
Since 2013, Compassion Unlimited Plus Action — CUPA has rescued 1,358 dogs of all sizes, many of which are larger breeds.
“Back in 2013, the kind of dogs that we had available for adoption were mainly Labradors, Spitzes, Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels and mixed breeds. But from 2016 onwards, we saw an explosion of large breed dogs being given up and abandoned. We have had 122 Rottweilers being given up for adoption,” says Sanjana Madappa, adoption coordinator at CUPA. Animal welfare worker Chinthana Gopinath adds, “Pet owners do not factor in the expenses that are involved when they buy pedigree puppies. As the pet grows bigger and older, the costs also go up — be it medical, food and maintenance —and it becomes a problem for many.”

Finding a second home is difficult
As if being abandoned is not bad enough, the trouble is that it is not easy for larger breeds to find a second home. “Large breed dogs are not easily adopted because people have misconceptions that they may be aggressive by nature. It can’t be further from the truth. These dogs, if treated well, and if living with people who know how to handle them, adjust as easily as any other breed. Any dog is only as good or bad as its owner,” states Sanjana.
Breeding regulation inadequate
The reasons for the increase are also because of inadequate implementation of the breeding regulations. “The lack of implementation makes breeds like St Bernard’s, Alaskan and Siberian Huskies, Akitas, Pitbulls and others, easily accessible to people who are not equipped to deal with the requirements of these breeds. People buy them thinking they are cute as pups, but don’t take into account that they will grow into large dogs that need a certain kind of upbringing. Also, they are expensive to maintain. Most of the time, these dogs land up at our doorsteps as young adults, because they become difficult to manage,” quips Sanjana.

Fancy puppy trends drive the market
“A lot of pet owners get carried away with the trend and we have noticed that whichever dog is trending for some time, are the ones that get abandoned the most. We had noticed a lot of pitbull abandonment cases at one point, as there was a trend and once that went off and costs came in the picture they were abandoned. People tend to buy a breed that is trending and fashionable, and those end up in the abandonment circle,” Chinthana signs off.

abandoned dogs 2

Abandoned dogs

End of the article

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