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To feed or not to feed

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By Suniti Nanavatty

Who is a genuine dog lover? Someone who gives a stray a home or one who merely feeds her or him? The answer is a no brainer!
By feeding a stray, one is merely appeasing one’s conscience. It makes the giver feel good. However, providing nourishment, without giving the stray a safe, secure and loving home, is simply not enough.

The Dog Hospital & Sterilisation Centre in our neighbourhood has written – on one of the walls of its reception area – that if 1 out of every 50 Indians were to adopt a stray, there would be no strays left on the streets of India.

I speak from experience when I say that – except for looks – strays have a distinct edge over pedigreed dogs. Strays are hardy, have stronger instincts, are excellent guard dogs, are extremely intelligent and quick to learn, and their hearts are bursting with unrequited love.

Dog shelter homes are bulging at the seams. Not many are prepared to adopt a rescued dog. The truth is – owning a dog has become a status symbol. They think – the more money you pay for the dog, the higher your status! Dog owners vie with each other to buy and own a rare breed, without taking into account whether that breed is suitable to keep in their home as a pet and member of the family or not.

Not many are aware of the cruel practices that dog breeders adopt. Many use a bitch solely as a puppy producing factory, with scant regard for her health and well being. What could be more cruel?

So, if you are really and truly a dog lover, please give a homeless dog a place in your heart and your home. You will not regret it!