For every citizen, animal and non-animal lover alike, the dream is to have a stray free city. While various sterilization programmes have been put into place in order to monitor and control the stray dog population, this is not the absolute solution. Realising this, people like Niharika Gandhi have brought their local community together to co-adopt and take care of stray dogs.
Niharika Gandhi, a certified Canine Behaviourist helped bring about co-adoption of stray dogs in Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, Mumbai. She takes care of 120 dogs with the help of her community members and various supportive NGOs. The dogs are fed every day, vaccinated, sterilized and very well looked after.
In her years of serving stray animals, Niharika was made aware of the situation at the Bombay Presidency Golf Club, Chembur. Dogs would get injured by making sudden appearances during a game of golf, or dig out holes on the expensive golf turf. There was also the problem of the dogs being fed all over the place and of course, an ever-growing population.
She approached the committee members who willingly came together to create a “Dog Hut” within the club’s premises.
Now, a 1000sq ft area has been dedicated to the canines. Food is provided only in these huts twice a day and water bowls are provided at all times. The dogs are drawn into this comfort zone and dog-loving members often share quality time with their favourite dogs in these huts. Moreover, vaccination and sterilisations have become easier. Niharika says, “It’s a win-win. The population of dogs can be monitored and contained. All with just a little love and effort”
Co-adoption is a viable solution to control the stray dog population as well as ensure that these dogs are not neglected. It is not just economical but brings with it several advantages for community members as well. We hope that Niharika’s story inspires you to initiate co-adoption in your apartment complex/building.