For Immediate Release:
16 September 2014
Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]
Sachin Bangera; [email protected]
The Hunt is On to Find the Country’s Top Rescued Pooch
Lucknow – After sifting through hundreds of photographs of lovable Indian “community dogs” – as well as their rescue stories – the judges have selected Dodo, Santa Claus and Badshah, whose guardians are Shekhar Pandey, Ankita Saini and Abhishek Chaturvedi of Lucknow, as finalists in PETA’s third annual Cutest Indian Dog Alive contest.
After Dodo had been hit by a car, Shekhar found him unconscious in the street. Shekhar rushed him to a veterinarian, who told him the dog had very little chance of survival. But fortunately, “he survived and now he is my best friend”, says Shekhar. “I love him very much.”
Ankita gave Santa Claus his name after she rescued him on Christmas in 2013. Coming home after a morning walk, she saw the lonely, nearly 1-month-old black puppy wandering alone in the street, looking disturbed and lost. “I couldn’t find his mother or any other sibling”, says Ankita. “I just couldn’t resist myself, and I took him home.”
Badshah was rescued when Abhishek saw his college administrators trying to kill the dog with an iron rod. “I took objection to all this inhumanity, and I saved Badshah with my own effort”, says Abhishek.
“Dodo, Santa Claus and Badshah are lucky dogs, and they have returned the favour of being rescued by bringing much love and joy into the lives of Shekhar, Ankita and Abhishek”, says PETA CEO Poorva Joshipura. “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 certificate and a “My Dog Is a Rescue” T-shirt, as well as an autographed copy of PETA India founder Ingrid 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 receive certificates and appear in an upcoming issue of Animal Times, PETA India’s magazine for members.
PETA urges prospective guardians to adopt an Indian “community animal” from the streets or an animal shelter rather than buying puppies or kittens sold in pet shops. Breeders and pet shops often keep animals in dismal conditions, and 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, ranging from breathing problems, cancer and heart disease to bleeding disorders, skeletal malformation and eye problems. 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 PETAIndia.com. PETA will select the winner based on several factors, including vote count. The winner will be announced on 24 September. See full contest details here.