A dog is like a baby, and just like a baby, a dog needs life long love and care" - quips the foster parents of Cyber City pups
24 Dec 2014
| by |
After a long, scorching summer this year, the weather has changed its course and it seems like winter is finally here. In one of the most busy and popular places in Gurgaon - Cyber City’s Cyber Hub, there is a hustle bustle of people. Friends catching up over a steaming cup of coffee, children fighting over their Happy Meal toys and of course, many deciding where to head off to after work to wind up after a hectic day. It is amidst this hustle that I notice three unusual residents - dogs! They were not bothered about the crowd but rather happy that the weather has finally cooled down. These dogs are no strangers to Cyber Hub, after all they are the Cyber Pups who have been brought up with utmost care and love by volunteers who work in Cybercity. We had the chance of catching up with Sakshi - a Business Development Manager with IHG, Vijaya - an employee with Orange, Purnadeep - a Manager with KPMG and Ishleen - a consultant with CEB, to understand about Cyber Pups and the role that they play in taking care of these pups.
Here are some excerpts from the chat:
DogSpot: Our readers would love to know about Cyber Pups and the idea behind this collaboration.
CyberPups : The group CyberPups started sometime in June 2014 when we noticed a new litter of puppies near the Building 10 C corridor. The mother of the puppies was nowhere to be seen and we felt that the mother of the puppies had either lost her life during childbirth or had abandoned the puppies. “I was really concerned that the puppies were alone and probably hungry, so I began the tedious task of arranging for injections to feed the pups”, says Sakshi. Purnadeep too heard of the abandoned puppies and arranged milk and water to feed the pups. “These puppies were very young and their eyes were not even open, probably they were born just the night before” says Vijaya.
“It was a huge relief when we saw the mother come back. She had probably gone to get some food for herself. Once she was back, we decided not to feed the puppies, as mother’s milk is most important for the puppies”. However, it was wonderful to see so many like minded compassionate people take time off their hectic work schedules and take care of the puppies. And then we decided, it will be a good idea to form a group so that we can effectively coordinate the roles and responsibilities with respect to the puppies.
Cyber pups now has about 10 volunteers with about 5 active members. “We feel like foster mums to these pups as we have seen them from the time they looked like piglets and not puppies, and that attachment will never go away” quips Sakshi.
DogSpot: What are the key roles and responsibilities of the Cyber Pups volunteers?
Cyber Pups: We have been looking after these puppies since June of 2014. There were three litters that belonged to three female indian dogs in the vicinity. In total, there were 13 puppies plus 3 mums who we looked after. As foster parents, one of our main role was to make sure that no one disturbed / hurt the mum or the puppies. We set up posters at various strategic places in cybercity informing people that the puppies are not stray but are being looked after by a group of people. Also, it was imperative to tell people that once the puppies are old enough and not dependent on their mother’s milk, they will be up for adoption.
We did get a few irrelevant calls, but it was wonderful to know that many were actually concerned about the well-being of the pups and asked if there was any way that they could volunteer and help with the care of the mum and the pups. The wonderful guards and housekeeping staff of Cybercity and Cyber Hub were a great help. It was so heartwarming to see them feed biscuits and bring milk and water for the pups and the mums.
Another key responsibility that we had was to vaccinate and then sterilize the dogs. We did not know if the parents had been vaccinated, so we sent the pups and the parents for vaccination. Once the mum had stopped the feeding and the puppies had weaned off the milk, we sent the mums for sterilisation along with the male dogs to make sure that there was no new litter and that the dogs stay healthy.
Last but not the least, we have been responsible for feeding and the adoption of the puppies. All of us have actively participated in the process of finding forever homes for the puppies.
DogSpot: How do you manage the financials involved in the care and upkeep of the mum and the pups?
Cyberpups: Financially, we have been taking care of the dogs with our own money. Since there are so many of us volunteers, the cost gets disseminated amongst us.
DogSpot: Have you collaborated with any NGO especially for the sterilisation and vaccination of the dogs and the pups?
Cyberpups: We have been working very closely with Frendicoes and they have been extremely helpful in the sterilisation and vaccination drive. Friendicoes also helped us understand the food requirements of the pups and the process of vaccination and sterilisation. Sterilisation costs are about INR 750 per dog while vaccination costs upto INR 450 depending on the type of vaccination.
DogSpot: Do you have pets at home? Our readers would love to know about your furry family.
Cyberpups : “ Apart from the ten indian dogs in my colony, I also have a cat and dog that I adopted” Says Sakshi. For Ishleen, looking after the indian dogs runs in the family, “I have two dogs at home who I believe are the most spoilt and pampered dogs in the whole world. My mum and I have been feeding and looking after dogs in Nirvana country, DLF Phase 1 & 3 and Cybercity. I also have 3 dogs who are now the residents of All Creatures Cadence, Faridabad.” Same holds true for Vijaya who, along with her family, has been looking after the dogs in DLF Phase 5 area. Vijaya also has 3 dogs of her own and by her own accord, they are “super spoilt and pampered”. Purnadeep has a 4 year old Labrador retriever and also looks after the dogs in Cedar Crest.
For Sakshi, she is happy to be a part of the Cyberpups community, as she now understands that one of the best ways to manage indian dogs is to get them sterilised. Post sterilisation they become healthy and the chances of aggression / reproduction are reduced.
Dogspot: How does the adoption process work? How do you keep a check on the pups post the adoption?
Cyberpups: The adoption process is a long and tedious one and requires a lot of patience. To begin with, we started with putting up posters to create awareness about the pups who were up for adoption. We added our numbers on the posters so that interested people could connect with us easily and enquire about the pups. We also posted pictures of the pups on Facebook Pages of India Animal Forum, Happy Tails and other forums.
Once we got inquiries from interested people, we conducted a general background check of the person and his/her family, just to make sure that the pups will be well looked after and will not be abandoned or neglected. Post the background check, we also carry out an extensive interview to understand the family where the pup will be heading off to. A house check is the third step in the adoption process. If all the criterias are met, we then give away the puppy to his / her new family.
Post adoption, we stay connected with the parents. Since all of us are on Whatsapp, the new parents regularly share pictures and videos, so we know that the pups are being looked after. We also call up and do surprise house checks for the pups just to make sure that they are being taken care of.
DogSpot: Tell us a little about the dogs who you look after now.
Cyberpups: Most people have a misconception that only the pedigree dogs are intelligent and that the Indian dogs are not. On the contrary, Indian dogs are very intelligent. For instance, these dogs will never follow us beyond the check-in gates. For Indian dogs, love and care is so much more important than anything else. These dogs understand when we tell them not to follow us / not to fight. We are also very proud of the fact they do not bark / growl at other people but rather mind their own business.
DogSpot: Last but not the least, there are so many pups being abandoned every day. What are your thoughts on the same?
Cyberpups: Getting a puppy is a huge responsibility. Just like when we plan a family, we think about the education, financials and upbringing of the baby, we should also do a similar analysis about the puppy. This is essential as the puppy, even when he / she grows up, will be totally dependent on you for food, walking, exercise, medical care and overall care.
Also, some people give an excuse that they did not know that the puppy will grow up so big. “I would suggest that people should spend atleast a month in a shelter and watch the puppies grow” says Sakshi. This will give them an idea about what the puppy will look like when you bring him / her home.
We at DogSpot wish Sakshi, Vijaya, Purnadeep, Ishleen and all the wonderful volunteers of Cyber City Pups good luck for their endeavours!