Did you know, out of every 10 only 2 animals are blessed with permanent home? This figure has been calculated when dogs and cats are the most loved domestic animals. To beat this disheartening statistical figure, a Facebook group “ADOPT A PET” has manifested the adoration for animals in a way of offering shelters to the homeless.
Inspired by Tandrali Kuli from Friendicoes and Mudita Chandra who works at Sai Ashram in Delhi, Fiza Irwin started off with this group in 2007 with a modest beginning to help the dogs in Delhi. For few years, the group was was just about trying to raise money and funds and get animals adopted.
Having seen the meteoric growth of group in the past few years, it was interesting to know what founder Fiza Irwin thought in the initial days and told Gabdig that,
“I explored many options to do this including starting a small company called ‘Mutt In The City‘, around this time I got seriously involved with Friendicoes and helped them design some merchandise as well. For several years the group gained popularity and blossomed in size, but got an extra boost when in 2014, I enlisted the help of Alysha Lobo and made her the groups primary Admin. I met Alysha by chance on an adoption case, and since then we have not looked back. As the groups size has grown we have included the assistance of Pooja Rampal, Poonam Chopra and Dipti Lalwani. We could not be doing what we are without the help of each member involved. and we will never forget our modest beginnings just trying to help the dogs in Delhi.”
The group Adopt A Pet began with only 10 members and they cross 33,333 members today, becoming the largest pet group on Facebook in India. Selection of a social network for a charitable purpose wasn’t much challenging.
Alysha Lobo, (Admin) talks about her experiences with Gabdig and says “Social media has the most powerful reach today and with Facebook gaining so much more popularity in a country like India, this was the best platform to collate and coordinate adoption and rescue efforts.”
“The only thing I want to tell people is to put themselves in the shoes of the animal when dealing with one: would you like to be tied to a post all day, would you like to be left alone on the balcony all day, if you were injured would you want people to stop and help, if you were wandering away from your mum for 5 minutes would your ‘rescue’ to be taken to a cold shelter be a real rescue or a kidnapping… People need to educate themselves and think as if they were the animal. At least in terms of comfort and compassion.”
Currently, she has moved to Qatar and is working with an animal rescue groups there too. The main aim with Adopt A Pet right now is to make it more of an education platform. She says, “We are figuring ways to achieve this, it’s hard because it is a purely volunteer based group and we are tied up with day through day rescue cases. I hope to fund merchandise soon as well, so maybe t-shirts and tote bags, which will be for sale in the merchandise section of the group, to help us raise money for the smaller organizations in smaller cities in the country that are doing great work without the adequate funds.”
The members of the group share a special bond even without meeting in person. People coming out in numbers to help with donations and assistance in every form is heart warming and it has also regained the faith in humanity.