As every animal shelter will tell you, rescuing an animal is not a hard job. Finding them homes is the larger problem. Thanks to social media (twitter, facebook & instagram) adoptions now reach a larger audience but sadly most inquiries come in for pedigrees leaving our “streeties” behind.
Every time an adoption post goes up there are two kinds of response. If it is a pedigree the adoption line is flooded and we have to struggle to keep up with the inquiries. If it is a desi or an Indie featured then the calls come in over gaps and breaks and we are lucky if we find one good home amongst them. Indie is not exactly a breed but over time it has evolved as one. What we call an Indie is actually the indigenous breed of dog that used to live on the periphery of human settlements in our country but has now over the centuries been cross bred with other breeds that have entered the country. For all that they live on the streets these dogs are actually of mixed heritage with the blood of many breeds running through them. But what has not changed is their sturdiness and suitability to our environment.
Indians are pretty snobbish when it comes to their pet. They prefer to be seen with an exotic breed on their arms irrespective of the fact whether the said breed suits their lifestyle, the extreme weather conditions and the available space. Most of them are not aware of the natural needs of their pets. No wonder more and more pedigrees are finding their way into shelters – messed up in mind and body.
On the other hand, ironically most ex-pats who come looking to adopt always asks for a desi or an Indie. In the last couple of months we have had 2 desi girl puppies fly to Canada to lovely families, another desi girl Mittens who was not even eliciting an inquiry adopted by a lovely American family, her brother Indy found his family with Mark from Germany and there are many more such examples where beautiful “street” babies find homes with foreign nationals while we Indians overlook them for the Pug and Labrador and Poodle. Groups such as Desi Dogs Vancouver and Adopt an Indian Desi Dog (AAIDD) are helping make the desi dog popular worldwide and find international homes, while dog activists in India still continue to struggle to bust myths about our desis.
Things are changing though. The number of desis adopted by Indian homes have increased but the rate is in no way what is needed and desired. For every 100 puppies in the shelter only 5 find homes! We need more people to come forward and embrace these babies. Indians need to open their hearts and mind to this amazing breed we call “Indies” or the “pie dog”.