Bombat Dawgz: Giving voice to animals through people

17 Jun 2013 | by | Posted in: Wag News

The zeal of a woman (Sindhoor Pangal) not only helped an animal to have a better life but she has managed to bring together like minded people. Bombat Dawgz started as a small group of pet lovers and owners discussing common issues. Today after just 10 months of its initiation, it boasts of over 800 members from all facets of life. The simple criteria is ‘love for dogs’. We bring to you am exclusive interview from Sindhoor Pangal, whose determination to do something for her canine friends helped her to start this organization. 
Sindhur's Pet Adoption StoryDogSpot : Tell us the story behind your organization (how it came into existence etc.)?
Sindhoor Pangal: Bombat Dawgz is unique in that it’s not an organization. It is a community of dog lovers and pet parents. It started off as a group of friends who all cared deeply for their dogs coming together to share the knowledge in the group to help improve lives of pets and dogs. At the time it started knowledge on several issues were very sparse – about Indian dogs, training dogs, the best food for dogs, the genetic disorders in dogs etc. Each pet parent faced different challenges and studied different areas for the benefit of their dog and we felt that sharing this information would benefit the canine community at large. But the group grew at an astounding rate, adding close to 100 members a month in the initial months. As of now, the community is just about 10 months old but has close to 800 members. The community includes members ranging from dog lovers, pet parents, vets, ethical breeders, canine caterers, canine bakers, groomer, pet shop owners etc. But the underlying theme is that every one of them has a deep appreciation for dogs, appreciate how they enrich our lives and we are all committed to the betterment of dogs, be it our own or community dogs.
DogSpot: Throw some light on the various reasons animals get abandoned.
Sindhoor Pangal: Dogs are at the receiving end of some unfortunate human traits. The most unfortunate of them is ignorance. People get pets without doing sufficient research. The result is that they get a pet that has a predilection to genetic disorder or pets that tend to outgrow their owners expectations. These owners are under prepared for the expenses, time and care the dog needs. The result is a sad pet that gets abandoned. The unfortunate truth here is that these pets are not fit to survive on the streets. They result in being very confused, unable to fend for themselves and end up aggressive or just perish, if not found and rehabilitated quickly. Another reason is pets that are not spayed and neutered. Such pets either escape or this results in puppies being abandoned or are born on the streets, resulting in several homeless dogs that need to be homed.
DogSpot: What is the kind of care that abandoned pets require - How do you support your organization?
Sindhoor Pangal: Abandoned and homeless pets, particularly pedigree dogs are highly unfit for life on the streets. Hence, the only option is to find them quickly and rehabilitate them to loving homes. Pets get very attached to owners and abandoned pets suffer severe trauma. So the families those take them in need to be loving and knowledgeable to deal with such dogs. They need to have a lot of patience to care for their new pet and allow them to regain trust in humans at their own pace. They need understanding, space and plenty of love and sometimes even professional help. 
pet  adoption StoryOurs is a community of dog lovers spread across the city. As soon as any of us spot a homeless pet, we first take the pet to the nearest vet to get the immediate medical attention most of these pets need. They are frequently malnourished and are ridden with diseases. Once they recover, we try to find a foster home within our community and then reach out to our network to rehabilitate them in a loving environment.
DogSpot: What do you think can be done to promote pet adoption and spread awareness against animal abuse?
Sindhoor Pangal: Existing pet owners and dog lovers play a crucial role in awareness. Dog lovers are usually the primary source of information in their own social circles and hence have the responsibility to educate potential pet owners on the needs of a pet. An unprepared pet owner needs to be discouraged from getting a pet in the first place. Other pet owners need to be well educated on what to expect, so that they are not caught off guard and this reduces the risk of abandoning pets. 
Dog lovers can also set an example by adopting dogs and talking about their adopted dogs to their peer circles. This is one of the best ways to create awareness. Inviting friends to bond with their adopted pet increases awareness on how loving an adopted pet can be. Talking about the needs of these pets and how rampant the problem of abandoned pets is can shed light on the need of the hour.
DogSpot: What is the process of adopting a pet?
Sindhoor Pangal: Adopting a pet from an AWO or NGO will require a specific vetting process by the AWO or NGO. Since ours is a community effort, there is no specific process. The finder of the dog will evaluate the potential family and determine if that is the right family for the dog. Several interactions between the pet and the potential family ensure that the dog will be happy. 
DogSpot: Do you take volunteers? If yes then how can they contribute?
Sindhoor Pangal: No. Bombat Dawgz is an open community and everyone is open to join. Once they are in the community, they can join several of the community initiatives – be it volunteering at an AWO or helping foster a pet or pick up an injured dog from a location and transport the dog to a vet or pay for the medical expenses of a dog.
DogSpot: What is the message that you would like to share with the world?
Sindhoor Pangal: Pets are not commodities. Dogs are sensitive beings that have evolved around humans and tend to get very attached to humans. It is known that several dogs suffer so much at the loss of an owner that they even lose the will to continue living. So the primary message would be to do the necessary research before getting a pet. A pet is not a birthday gift. A pet is more like having a baby– a lifelong commitment. One needs to be prepared for it. Spend time with your friends’ dogs. Talk to dog owners and understand what it entails before deciding to bring home one for yourself.
The message of Bombat Dawgz is simple. They plead people to consider before adopting a dog. Again, a pet is not a “branded product”, where some brands are better than others. The effort of one women has helped to bring the plight of the animals to the forefront. If each of us go forward with this zeal, the day is not far when each home will have a dog and each dog a caring and loving dog.

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