Surat Dog Places Third in PETA’s ‘Cutest Indian Dog Alive’ Contest

For Immediate Release:
29 September 2014

Sachin Bangera; [email protected]
Shambhavi Tiwari; [email protected]

Group Names Cujo the Second Runner-Up

Surat – After hundreds of votes and careful deliberation by judges from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, Cujo, whose guardian is Delhi Public School Tapi teacher Sanjukta Sivakumar of Surat, has been named the second runner-up of PETA’s Cutest Indian Dog Alive contest. Cujo had earlier edged out hundreds of other lovable “community dogs” to become one of the top 10 finalists. PETA created the contest to show that the kindest thing that a prospective guardian can do is to adopt a lovable Indian dog from the streets or an animal shelter. The winner of the contest is Santa Claus, whose guardian is Ankita Saini of Lucknow, and the second-place winner is Maggie, whose guardian is Piyush Chopawar of Nagpur.

“Cujo proves that adopting a dog from the streets or an animal shelter can fill your life with a joy and love that words can’t express”, says PETA CEO Poorva Joshipura. “Although only one dog could win PETA’s contest, all rescued dogs are winners because they have found loving homes.”

Sivakumar rescued Cujo and gives him all the love he deserves. “His two siblings were killed soon after birth. One was run over by a bus and the other mauled by an adult male dog. The students begged me to save and look after Cujo, who became our school mascot”, says Sivakumar, who takes the dog to meet her students.

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

Cujo will receive a second runner-up certificate and a “100% Desi Dog” doggie T-shirt.

For more information about Cujo and the other two winners, please visit

The winners were selected by PETA based on several factors, including vote count.