Two Pune Dogs are Finalists in PETA India’s 2018 ‘Cutest Indian Dog Alive’ Contest

For Immediate Release:

24 August 2018


Garima Jain; [email protected]

The Search Is on to Find the Country’s Top Rescued Pup

Pune – After sifting through hundreds of photographs of lovable community dogs and reading their rescue stories, the judges for PETA India’s seventh annual Cutest Indian Dog Alive contest have selected two dogs from Pune as finalists: Chuchu and Hazel, whose guardians are Tavneet Walia and Winnifred Fonseca, respectively. Chuchu had been hit by a car, leaving her with a broken femur bone and a dangling hind leg, when Walia found her, while Fonseca found Hazel limping and covered with fleas, ticks, and muck and decided to give her a home.

“Chuchu is … the most pampered, loved, and spoilt kid in the family!” Walia told PETA India. “She’s cute and quiet, but also naughty and stubborn! She’s so expressive, [and] she tells us everything she wants! Chuchu has changed our lives in miraculous ways.”

“Hazel was found on a rainy day, limping [and] covered [with] fleas, ticks, and muck,” Fonseca said. “Despite all that, … [what] struck us [most] about her were her fearless and trust-filled eyes. We then got her leg amputated due to an irreversible nerve paralysis, and she already runs fast enough to run a marathon!”

“Chuchu and Hazel are lucky dogs, and they have returned the favour of being rescued by bringing much love and joy into their guardians’ lives,” says PETA CEO Dr Manilal Valliyate. “All rescued dogs are already winners because their lives were saved by people who love them for who they are.”

PETA India urges prospective guardians to adopt a community dog from the streets or an animal shelter, rather than buying puppies from 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 – they’re prone to health issues, including difficulty breathing, cancer, heart disease, bleeding disorders, skeletal malformations, and eye problems. Indian community dogs are generally healthier and more robust than their purebred counterparts.

The lucky pup who is named the “Cutest Indian Dog Alive” will receive a certificate and a “100 Per Cent Desi Dog” doggie T-shirt, and his or her guardian will receive a “My Dog Is a Rescue Dog” T-shirt as well as a copy of PETA India founder Ingrid Newkirk’s book Let’s Have a Dog Party! 20 Tail-Wagging Celebrations to Share With Your Best Friend. The second- and third-place winners will each receive a certificate and a “100 Per Cent Desi Dog” doggie T-shirt, and the second-place winner’s guardian will receive a “My Dog Is a Rescue Dog” T-shirt. All three winners will be featured in an upcoming issue of Animal Times, PETA India’s magazine for members.

To read all the finalists’ rescue stories and vote for your favourite, please visit PETA India will select the winners based on several factors, including vote count. The winners will be announced on 29 August 2018. See the full contest details here.