Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of buying vs adopting a dog, let’s begin with a brief historical overview of the native Indian dogs, Indie dogs, Desi dogs, Pariah dogs, street dogs, stray dogs or what ever you prefer.
The beginning of the existence of the native Indian dog breed is shrouded in history; no one knows since when have they come into being. They have just always been present in Indian villages and cities since times immemorial. In fact, historical references show that these dogs have been present since the Neolithic times! Even the beginning of domestication of these dogs has been a growing debate. It may come as a surprise but these dogs originating in India are ‘pure breeds’. There has been no human intervention in their breeding process, through any kind of selective breeding, manipulated in any way by humans. They’re as much naturally Indian as the country and it’s human citizens are. Patriots are you listening?
In order to promote our country’s economy we have been ditching the imported foreign goods and services. ‘Make in India’ is not just an economic policy but a lifestyle mantra these days. Also, we are trying to replace the artificial and processed elements of our lifestyle with more of natural or organic alternatives. That too, in spite of the prices being much higher as compared to their synthetic counterparts.
Why then do we want to go for foreign breeds of dogs that are not made in India? Why do we take pride in bearing the unnecessary cost of maintenance of these plush furry dogs meant for snow laden places, that have a hard time adjusting to or even surviving in our hot and humid climate? Which means, adding not only to our expenses in the form of general, everyday lifestyle costs. But also in the form of escalated Vet bills due to frequent health issues that arise due to their non alignment with the Indian climate and way of life, along with the dogs’ utter discomfort!
A REALITY CHECK
Some of our most longed for breeds, such as Siberian Huskies, Samoyeds, Alaskan Malamutes, Saint Bernards, among many others are originally meant to stay in snow! Their fur coats are specifically so designed, so they can dig holes into thick layers of snow and lie buried in there comfortably while they sleep. And we bring them to our homes and spend unnecessarily on electricity bills as they have to be kept in air conditioned rooms all day, for a minimum of the 9 out of 12 warm months, for their mere survival. Even the 3 Indian winter months are not cold enough for these breeds, they are just survivable, not comfortable!
Also the foreign breeds’ food requirement is totally different from ours. So they can’t be fed the regular Indian meals we are used to, which further adds to the nutritional costs as they’re heavily dependent on packaged, breed specific, high quality, dog food. In spite of which they still keep falling sick due to a host of allergies, skin conditions and a variety of other ailments, mostly because they have no natural immunity against these foreign (for them) allergens and infections that seem common to us or the native Indian dogs.
SORRY NOT SORRY TO BURST SOME PEOPLE’S BUBBLE!
Unfortunately many people claim themselves to be dog lovers, little realizing that they’re only into dogs that are fancy, expensive, imported breeds, that aid them in ‘showing off’ their luxe lifestyles. They don’t really love these dogs, if they did they would not have forced them to survive where they aren’t meant to, in the first place. These dogs are mere status symbols, disguised as ‘dog-love’, there is just ‘self-love’ here. How else would you justify this scenario, specially when there are innumerable Indian stray dogs starving on the streets, just out their doors and healthy ones at local shelters, waiting to be adopted for free?
THE UGLY TRUTH BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL PUPS BOUGHT FROM BREEDERS
An important pointer that would surely help you distinguish between the pros and cons of buying vs adopting a dog will be this one. Most people prefer buying pedigree breeds from breeders instead of visiting a nearby dog shelter (or even from the streets) to adopt an Indian pup for free. But I bet they don’t know what exactly goes on behind the breeders’ walls. People deserve and need to know how breeders that sell you dogs make money.
There are very few ethical breeders in our country, while the majority are just parasitic regular people who know nothing much about this department but just want quick and easy money without even working. So in order to produce pups they use this thing called ‘RAPE STANDS‘ ! Yes, no exaggeration. The female dog is ‘tied’ to this apparatus. Her neck is locked away from her body, so she cannot turn back and bite to protect herself. Even the rear legs are tied and fixed so she cannot intervene with the forced mating. Then, the male dog, also tied by his handler is made to mate and impregnate the female.
Once pregnant, the pups are born in a few months, they’re allowed to suckle on their mother for way lesser than even a month, that too because they can’t sell them this early, as they won’t survive this stage without their mother’s milk. As soon as their three weeks of life get completed, the sellers start rushing them to buyers, snatching away the babies from their helpless, depressed mother.
THE EFFECT OF UNETHICAL BREEDING ON THE PUPPIES:
In developed countries, it is illegal to separate a pup from it’s mother and litter mates before at least 8 weeks after birth. But the parasitic breeders of the rest, can’t wait for their easy money that long. Even though these two months are an absolute necessity, not just because of nutrition but also because this is when a pup is developing mentally too and learning the canine societal cues from it’s mother and litter mates for the rest of his life.
The number one cause for these dogs to have behavioral problems later in life, is because they were separated from their families too early, but people seldom realize this. Most of us have witnessed a pet with anxiety issues, housebreaking incidences, destructive tendencies, that bark a lot or unexpectedly turn aggressive or something similar. This is mostly because they were denied this basic right of staying and learning things with their own family when they were little. People who own these dogs resort to beating and punishing them for not following their preferred discipline, without ever probing deeper to find out why. Ultimately it’s these dogs who suffer, the breeders continue minting more and more pups without a care.
THE TRAGIC TREATMENT AND FUTURE, OF THE FEMALE DOGS AT THE HANDS OF THE ILLEGAL BREEDERS:
The female dogs are made to bear pups so often, that they soon wear out of their fertility. The dogs who breed naturally, comparatively, stay healthy and fertile for almost their entire lives. But the unfortunate puppy mill dogs are exceptional cases and once they get sick and are no longer able to produce pups for these breeders, they are no longer useful to them. They either kill them or simply abandon them somewhere, and suddenly the meals that she used to get as compensation, all these years are now history!
She now has to learn to fend for herself like a stray with no shelter or even family or pack to stay with or protect her. Now other dog packs, already residing in places she enters scavenging for food, would obviously not welcome her to their territory, to compete for the already scarce food available. So if she survives, she survives, else who cares, those breeders have already replaced her with a new young female dog to keep up with their ‘business’ and the process goes on and on and on..
Added below are two images containing valuable information, that I found too important to let go of. Request you to kindly bear with the lengthy content and read through it all, for an even better decision making, in the buying vs adopting a dog front.
THE HEART BREAKING PLIGHT OF THE STRAYS
The Indian pups/dogs can be as good looking as the ‘pedigree dogs’ that are bought for huge amounts. Yes, they can have great plump, shapely bodies, with softer than cotton and shinier than silk coats. But that would require someone taking a good amount of care of them. They aren’t lucky like their counterparts. They have no one to feed them nutritious meals, take them for regular vaccinations to keep diseases at bay, or make instant Vet appointments in case there arises a slight hint of illness. Nobody cares to bathe them, or brush their coats to keep them healthy, dirt and knot free.
Their nutrition consist of bits of stale and rotten, discarded food from dustbins and dump yards, that too only if they’re lucky enough to find some. They scavenge the whole day to find bits of spoiled and infected scraps and survive on the dirty water from puddles and drains. Many a times they go without food and water for days too! Such is their plight.
If they catch an infection, or get wounded, they have no other option but to suffer and depend on sheer luck to get better by themselves, if the case is not that severe. If it is, they lie in agony and suffer until they die. And nobody cares or knows until their decomposing bodies emit foul smells, which make people staying nearby complain to the authorities, who send people from municipalities to come and pick up their carcasses, and toss them afar as garbage! This, in a nutshell, is the life of our very own Indian stray dogs..
Deeply saddening right? But it doesn’t have to stay like that, if we choose to adopt them for free, instead of buying a fancy breed not meant to stay in our country.
You cannot change a dog’s past but you can rewrite his future by RESCUING him!
In the rare chance of you still not being able to decide, on which side to take in the battle of buying vs adopting a dog, consider this as my final plea.
The joy of rescuing a poor stray pup is an unparalleled and life changing kind of satisfying. Just thinking of how the poor pup would be feeling, once he is rescued from it’s unfortunate state, brought into a cozy home, given some fresh warm food, and a nice soft bed of his very own, decked up with little toys exclusively for him, can light up the coldest of hearts.
Your pup may very well feel so overwhelmed, that he may even cry a little. Yes, rescued dogs are known to have shed tears of joy, once they realized they have been taken into loving homes forever! Thereafter, the kind of bond that you two would share is simply indescribable. Rest assured, be prepared with a tissue, to feel proud of yourself for all the heartwarming reasons listed below;
- You gave the pup a life he deserves, you made him believe that all humans are not the same. He had only known cruel/mean or indifferent humans all his life, before he met you. You are his almighty savior, you are his God. You gave him a life full of love, security and care, something he had only dreamt of all his wretched life.
- He now understands that there’s no need to be scared of the threats, he was used to all his life. A few examples would be, other stray animals, thunderstorms, humans, vehicles, you name it!
- He knows there’s fresh and tasty food awaiting him whenever he is hungry, he now never has to worry about when will he get to eat next, as before. Starvation is now a thing of the past.
- He is no more unwanted and nobody will be shooing him away again. He is now loved, wanted and pampered. His life now matters and he would do his best to love and protect you to return the favor.
COMPASSION OVER FASHION:
- You will feel proud of yourself, for choosing to be a bigger man. For not following the trend blindly and actually going against it to do what’s required, what’s right. You could have easily got yourself a nice plush pooch, but you chose compassion over fashion! You gave this baby a life, no one else would have. You turned his dream and right of being loved, protected and spoiled into a reality.
THE CHAIN REACTION OF SO MUCH FOR SO LESS:
- Also, you chose to do your bit towards not only this particular dog, but to others as well. Who knows, people may and will get inspired from you and adopt more such strays. Which in turn, would lead to not just saving more lives by adoptions but also by curbing the demand of their foreign counterparts, discouraging those cursed breeders from producing more pups. This, then would lead to an end of the sufferings of the puppy minting mother dogs, along with putting an end to the foreign breeds’ misfortune, as they’ll no more be needed to survive in a foreign climate they weren’t meant for. So much for so less! All it shall take is your stance..
I hope, I have by now been able to help you distinguish between the pros & cons of buying vs adopting a dog. So, having talked about all the bad and sad things so far, let me now try to compensate with some good news too..
AN EMERGING SILVER LINING
Of late, even though slowly and sparsely, but Indian households have begun recognizing the worth and plight of these lovable strays. So instead of shunning them as usual, many have taken to feeding them outside their houses regularly and even adopting them in.
THE STARSTRUCK STRAYS
A lot of Indian celebrities, sport stars & bollywood actors have come forward supporting PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, a leading non profit organization committed to animal welfare internationally) to encourage and urge people to adopt these innocent, homeless souls. Some have even ended up adopting a few Indian stray dogs (and cats) and are now spoiling them rotten, in their lush homes as esteemed members of their family, with all the love and pampering they can think of! Below is a picture gallery of a few of our beloved stars, who proved to be a ‘hero’ not only on screen but off it too, with equal gusto!
(I researched the internet for hours, to gather all the below pictures with the captions as they are & put them in an automatic slider for the sake of the article’s length & reader’s ease. Hence I’m not being able to mention all the different sources, kindly excuse me for that.)
THE INTERNATIONAL INDIES
Before we wrap up for the day, an interesting addition would be, that of late there has been a slow yet rising popularity of our Indies, internationally! There are various instances of foreigners who could not help but fall in love with them, at first sight! So much so, that they were flown across countries and continents to live happily ever after, in their new forever homes!
Some of these dogs had claimed their pawrent’s heart, through the internet where they were listed for adoption, along with an account of their terrible pasts, the deplorable conditions they had survived in and the fatal diseases they had overcome, with the help of some kind NGO. While some chanced upon their humans, while they had come to visit India for work or leisure and couldn’t help but end up rescuing them from their miserable conditions on the streets.
Listed below, (curated from the internet) are a few article links & one of my favorite videos, of some such heartwarming rescue/adoption stories to tug at your heartstrings… Enjoy!
I would feel really appreciated if you ‘Like’ or ‘Comment’ on my work on ‘Buying vs Adopting a Dog’. Your‘Subscribing’ for future updates would feel equally great. But if there’s one thing I could ask from you, it would be to ‘Share’ it. The sole purpose behind this article was to encourage people to consider adoptions, instead of shopping dogs. Of course, there are a lot of people who agree already. But for the rest, I need you to help me reach out and appeal to their reason, for the sake of our very own breed. If you agree with my content and believe that they really deserve better, please pool in to the cause and share it on.
Thanks in advance.
Stay Dog Blessed!