On October 1st, a unique flea market is being organised at Yogistan in Indiranagar, Bangalore. Here, you will find, live music, delectable food and most importantly, sixteen adorable senior dogs that are being put up for adoption.
Numerous dogs are abandoned every day in various cities across the country, but the type that usually end up on the roads are older dogs.
This usually has less to do with the temperament or behaviour of the dogs and more with the circumstances under which owners make such hasty decisions – the death of a guardian, the novelty of a new dog wearing off, the arrival of an infant, loss of a job, a shift in work schedule, etc.
When we get in touch with Deebalana Ghosh, who is in charge of the adoption and awareness drive along with Vani Shankar, she puts us on hold because someone is at the door. A chorus of dogs can be heard barking in the background. Deebalana tells us that she became interested in the rescue and rehabilitation of older dogs after she adopted four of them herself.
One of her Labradors was abandoned on the road and she learnt how to care for dogs that had been deserted because of her experience in foster care.
She tells us that the dogs that are up for adoption are currently staying in various shelters, foster homes and NGOs that work for animals around Bengaluru.
She says, “Every day we get around three or four dogs and very good centres, such as Precious Paws, are overflowing with dogs. So, we first approach our friends in familiar networks to house these dogs until we can re-home them. And, as a last resort, we approach good boarding centres where we get highly discounted prices for housing the dogs because of our rescue work. We have to take care of the dogs’ health, get them vaccinated, sterilized, and address other health issues. Once we’re done all this, we put them up for adoption.”
It is essential to keep in mind that most adoptive parents looking for dogs as pets prefer young ones because they believe them to be more energetic and healthy. Deebalana says that by organising this adoption camp, she and her friends are trying to erase the stigma around adopting older dogs.
“We are trying to raise awareness to remind people that senior dogs make for healthy, playful and loving pets too,” she adds.
The organisers of the event are aware of the fact that people do tend to make emotional, impulsive decisions when looking for pets; they would prefer that people be more practical in their choices. Deebalana said, “What is most important is that the temperament of the dog matches the lifestyle of the family that adopts it. So, we have a stringent screening process to make sure that we know all the details about the family – from their work schedule to their exercise habits.”
Deebalana and Vani say that the advantages of adopting older dogs are also that they are usually potty-trained and understand basic commands.
They are also calmer and more adaptable than younger dogs. When we ask Deebalana whether the dogs have any separation anxiety because of past trauma, she informs us that the senior dogs that are up for adoption at The Market do not have any behavioural disorders.
Georgina Coelho, who runs Georgina’s Kitchen, which provides home cooked meals for dogs, and Aditi Nanda’s platform Pet Social, enabled Deebalana to organise this adoption campaign for older dogs in need of loving families.
Do contact Deebalana on 9845473102 or Vani Shankar on 9886391987 to know more about the event or to bring home a precious senior dog.