Saving our strays, one collar at a time

 

I have been blessed with parents kind enough to have sensitized me towards animals at a very young age. Although my mom did not let me adopt the first 15 or so puppies that I used to pick up and bring home, clean, feed and make them presentable to my mom so she’d let me keep one, it was probably the 20th one or so that she finally let me keep. Ever since then I’ve been very conscious about animal welfare.

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When I used to ride to my first job, there were one or two carcasses every other day on the road, being run over and over. It was clear that awareness though important, was not going to solve this issue. So I chose to use something that will not require human sensitivity right away- science.

Primary research showed that 90% of the people who have had an encounter with a stray while driving was because of either low or sudden visibility. We just had to make them visible, and from a good distance.

After a couple of prototypes, we had the street durable design that on a clear night will help identify the dog from a distance of 400-450 feet. We knew the volume of dogs was huge, and so to make it easy on our student pockets but be street durable at the same time, we chose denims- a resource every home has to give away.

Before we knew it we were registered across 11 cities, and today Motopaws works not just independently, but with opinion leaders with accumulated experience that help us evolve the product and get it in the right places. Mr. Ratan Tata helped us get off the ground with an initial investment, and today we have a best friend and guide too.

The journey for Motopaws however does not end with collars. We have started diversifying our operations to enter anti rabies vaccination and sustainable food donation. The “Like a dog” leg of our operations started by our Kolkata lead Reshmi will soon be active in all cities.

It’s a long way for animal welfare, and every minute spent idle costs several more lives. That is not how I was brought up. Our amazing teams across the country will keep working, evolving, and bringing home puppies and make them presentable to our moms, this generation and the next.

– Shantanu Naidu

 

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