Gujarat Dog is Finalist in PETA’s Cutest Indian Dog Alive Contest

For Immediate Release:
4 September 2012

Chani Singh; [email protected]
Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]

The Vote Is on to Name the Country’s Top Rescued Pooch

Ahmedabad Gujarat – After sifting through hundreds of photographs of lovable Indian community dogs, as well as their rescue stories, the judges have selected Poochi, whose guardian is Poonam Pandya of Ahmedabad, as a finalist in PETA’s first-ever Cutest Indian Dog Alive contest. Poonam and her husband rescued Poochi in December 2010. She had been injured while sleeping under a car, so they took her to a veterinarian for treatment. Now, Poochi is an integral part of the family and loves playing with Poonam’s 2-year-old daughter. Says Poonam of Poochi, “She is my best buddy”. PETA believes that it’s time to champion the Indian dog, so the contest makes the point that the kindest thing that a prospective guardian can do is rescue a dog from the streets or an animal shelter. Now, it’s time to vote to help PETA decide who it should choose as India’s top (rescued!).

“Poochi is a lucky dog, indeed, and she has returned the favour of being rescued by bringing tonnes of love and joy into the lives of Poonam and her family”, says PETA India Campaign Coordinator Chani Singh. “All rescued dogs are already winners because their lives were saved by people who love them for who they are.”

The lucky pup who is named the Cutest Indian Dog Alive will receive a “100% Desi Dog” doggie T-shirt, and his or her guardian will receive a “My Dog Is a Rescue” T-shirt as well as an autographed copy of PETA India founder Ingrid E Newkirk’s book Let’s Have a Dog Party! The second- and third-place winners will also receive prizes, and all three top placers will appear in an upcoming issue of Animal Times, PETA India’s magazine for members.

PETA urges prospective guardians to adopt an Indian community animal rather than buying puppies (or kittens) sold in pet stores. Because pedigree dogs are bred for certain exaggerated physical traits, such as long ears and drooping backs, many foreign breeds of dogs suffer from various issues that range from breathing problems, cancer and heart disease to bleeding disorders, skeletal malformation and eye problems. In contrast, Indian community dogs are healthier and more robust than their purebred cousins are.

To read all the finalists’ rescue stories and to vote, please visit