Pets News

Animal Rescuers Are Working Overtime to Save Abandoned Pets in Asia

Between her home and two shelters in Pune, rescuer Padmini Stump has over 1,000 dogs in her care, and counting. Photo courtesy of Padmini StumpAs the COVID-19 pandemic claimed lives and livelihoods around the world, a small, privileged percentage of the Indian population suddenly found themselves with a whole lot of time on their hands.
To save themselves from getting bored in the house, many of these mostly urban, upper-middle-class people either adopted or purchased puppies and dogs—giving rise to the phenomenon of the Pandemic Puppy.
But lots of them did this with little idea of the commitment it takes to have a pet. Or they later fell prey to misinformation, believing that their companions could potentially give them COVID-19, a fact that was later discovered to only carry a remote possibility. Some others, hit by economic difficulties, could no longer provide for their pets.
And so, a second crisis hit the streets: Hundreds of fully grown dogs and very young puppies were given up, throwing animal shelters and rescuers into chaos.
Over the past couple of months, pets have been left behind in balconies without food and water, tied to lampposts in public areas, tossed out of moving vehicles hours away from their homes, and bundled in sacks and left at the doors of animal shelters.
Abandoning pet animals is a crime under Sections 3 and 11 of India’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
Some of the actual excuses behind the abandonment that animal activists and welfare workers have heard have ranged from the banal to the downright ridiculous. ‘The maids are not coming so th
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