Scrubbed clean, vaccinated and perfectly accessorised, 150 healthy little pups and kittens are hoping to get a new home this weekend. Organised annually by NGO World For All (WFA), this year’s adoption marathon is the biggest the city’s seen till date. “Four years ago, at the time of the first Adopt-a-thon, it was a task to convince people about why it is essential to adopt stray animals rather than buy pedigreed pets.
By now there’s a large community of people who’d like to adopt, but don’t know how to,” believes Ruchi Nadkarni, who founded WFA in 2009 along with Taronish Bulsara to bridge the gap between pet lovers and homeless animals.
Although Nadkarni and her team deal with abandoned pedigreed dogs, their primary goal is to provide a home to stray puppies and kittens. “The animals at the Adopt-a-thon are no more than six months old. The strays, who currently live in foster homes provided by volunteers, have been vaccinated and examined thoroughly by our vets,” assures Nadkarni, who believes that most people are paranoid about hygiene and the safety of their children. “This is what keeps most animal lovers from rescuing animals from the street,” she adds.
Apart from a team of veterinarians and adoption counsellors offering advice, the Adopt-a-thon will also host 15 stalls selling products for pets. In the evening, a 45-minute celebrity panel, including Imran Khan, Sonali Bendre, Poonam Mahajan, Harish Iyer and Nisha Rawal, will discuss the need for adoption of strays.
“People need to be more compassionate about stray animals — they have nowhere to go. It is part of our responsibility to provide them a nurturing environment to grow in,” asserts Nadkarni, who is striving to spread the word against buying pedigreed animals. “If you can’t have a child of your own, would you buy a child or adopt one,” she asks, urging people to make a trip to the Adopt-a-thon. This way maybe every dog (and cat) can have his day, after all.