Shahrukh — the blind and brain damaged spaniel from MYSORE
Do you ever wonder where all these foreign breed dogs come from? Maybe you know but then how often do you think about how to stop the craze for foreign breed dogs? There is demand from people for Labradors, Alsatians, Huskies, etc and there are unscrupulous breeders ready to satisfy that demand. Pups are sold like cattle and they suffer and die. It is a high commercial venture in India and a multi crore industry. Animal lovers bemoan the lack of laws, but do you know we already have laws in place to control illegal breeding and sale of dogs? There are excellent provisions spelled out in the Pet Shop Rules, 2018
, and the Dog Breeding and Marketing Rules, 2017
, under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act but very few states have bothered to implement these.
When you buy a breed dog in India – you buy a piece of hell where dogs are repeatedly bred using rape stands, kept in filthy condition with little or no food and water, no medicines or care and no human interaction. The pups come with genetic and behavioural conditions and are a gold mine for unscrupulous doctors too who mint money in treating such dogs. Many pedigree dogs are abandoned when owners find out that the dog has a serious medical condition.
It was a normal day at the OPD of a dog shelter in Mysore where a few such pet dogs where being treated. A breeder came in with a Cocker Spaniel puppy. He asked the vet to euthanize the pup as the pup was born blind. A blind pup will bring in no money for the breeder. He could have thrown the pup somewhere on the streets, but this guy brought the pup to a vet to put him down. The vets agreed to the procedure but meanwhile a young vet there found out about this and decided to keep the pup. He asked the breeder to leave the pup with them. That good doctor wanted to give the baby a chance at a good life. He tried his best to get the pup adopted while keeping him in the shelter. When all efforts for adoption failed, he reached out to VOSD to surrender the dog.
VOSD will always have space for blind dogs.
That is how this little guy now called Shahrukh came to VOSD. When he arrived, we were horrified to discover that he had many ticks and a quick blood test revealed that he had tick fever. Shahrukh was immediately started on medicines to help him recover from tick fever. We soon realised that he was not just blind, he had almost no motor control. He would fall here and there. A sign of possible brain damage.
Shahrukh guards his food
Shahrukh is blind and has poor motor control. So, we pick him up and hand feed him, but we noticed that when we put him down he stumbles to a random bowl and then guards that bowl not because he’s hungry but because that’s his instinct. So now after he is fed, we make him stand up and give him a little chicken. That bowl is the envy of many ravenous Indian dogs, Labs, Goldens, Rottweilers and Mastiffs. But nobody can get to it. And he guards the bowl till he is exhausted. Then sleeps.
Shahrukh has a friend – Fighter from Pune who also suffers from brain damage. Both get along well though the little Shahrukh cannot run as fast and prance around like Fighter. But they both sense and understand each other’s presence and have formed a special bond. All the big dogs in the house stay away from these babies. They know dogs like Shahrukh, Fighter, Dancing are Papa’s (Rakesh Shukla) favourites and they cannot mess with them.