The Indian Express conducted a survey a few years ago, revealing that 34% of respondents admitted to abandoning dogs on the streets. This statistic might be shocking or surprising, but it is not an isolated issue. Another global survey estimates that there are 80 million homeless cats and dogs in India. This seems somewhat unrealistic for a country like India, which boasts numerous animal welfare organizations and activists. We come from a nation that preaches about Buddhism and non-violence. The problem, however, does not stem from the lack of NGOs or public awareness but rather from human behavior and contradictions in our actions. Abandoning a pet is like sentencing them to death.
Many of us proudly label ourselves as animal lovers, but when it comes to actually supporting and caring for animals, these same individuals often disappear.
The Labrador in the picture is named Donut. She appears happy and healthy, doesn't she? You may be wondering about the adversity that led her to our shelter. This is a story of abandonment, a story of people shirking their responsibilities. This is Donut's story.
Donut was discovered by the director of our NGO, wandering aimlessly around a temple. What caught our attention was a tumor around her breast. We immediately provided her with the necessary medical care. After a considerable period of time, Donut began to recover from the tumor.
It appears that her owner abandoned her due to the tumor, perhaps fearing it might lead to other illnesses or unable to find a suitable vet. Regardless of the reason, the result is clear: Donut now lives with us. She has transformed into a healthy 6-year-old Labrador who enjoys socializing.
What's remarkable about Donut is her petite and adorable appearance. While Labradors are typically known for their size and somewhat chubby build, Donut's fragile and timid frame doesn't diminish her strength. She's incredibly spirited and playful. Her favorite pastime is gently nibbling on people's fingers. Being highly sociable, she approaches anyone with ease. If you offer belly rubs or head pets, she'll eagerly demonstrate all her tricks.
Donut possesses a cunning trait—her eyes. She knows she's cute and uses her charm as a weapon. Since she loves going outside, she'll inevitably find someone about to leave. Once she identifies her target, she'll follow them closely. Just as that person is about to exit the shelter, she'll deploy her famous puppy eyes, and voila! The target inevitably gives in and takes her for a walk. Mission accomplished.
Everyone in our shelter adores Donut, both animals and humans alike. She's never alone in the shelter. One moment, you'll see her playfully pouncing on another dog, and the next, she's making off with someone's slipper.
Reflecting on her story, we find the act of abandonment perplexing. Why would someone leave a dog as sweet as Donut to fend for herself on the streets? It breaks our hearts to imagine her alone on the streets, looking at people with hope in her eyes. She must have wondered where her previous owners went and how her life had changed so drastically—from being at home to roaming the streets alone. Did her former owner ever think twice before abandoning her? How can they continue with their lives when a cherished family member remains out there, if they had ever considered Donut as part of their family?
After witnessing this entire ordeal, one question lingers in our hearts. God forbid, but if their child had developed a tumor, would they abandon them too?