Gunda, four years old, is one of the 156 beagles rescued from a laboratory conducting animal testing in May. The rescue of these 156 beagles, born and bred in captivity and seeing only the insides of their cages brought much cheer to the animal rights activists involved. However barely a month after Gunda found freedom, he has gone missing from his adoptive home.
He went missing on Monday at around 12pm and what’s more, isn’t the first beagle from this batch who has tried to run away.
“It’s actually quite common for all beagles to follow their noses out of curiosity, as they are scent hounds,” says Chinthana Gopinath, CUPA volunteer and head of the rehoming and rehab program for the beagles.
“But this is even more particular for laboratory beagles as they have no concept of home. They also tend to run out of panic as there are many triggers in the new environment which can make them feel unsafe,” she adds.
Chinthana maintains that this is why they make it a point to counsel families and ask them to be vigilant at all times.
“Apart from Gunda, there have been 6-7 other such cases out of the 105 who have been adopted,” says Chinthana. “However, most of the families were able to get the dogs back home before they went too far. In one case though a beagle ran far, because the family informed uswithin 20 minutes, we could relocate the dog within four hours,” she recalls.
Chinthana claims that Gunda’s adoptive family is the one to blame here as they were not only negligent, but also delayed informing CUPA about his disappearance for more than 8 hours after he went missing. “Apparently, the lady of the house had left the main door open and thinking that Gunda is sleeping inside, gone to speak to a neighbor. It was during this time that he ran out,” she says.
Initially, the family claimed that Gunda had run off around 4.30 in the evening, informs Chinthana. However, after talking to people around, she says that they had confirmed sightings of the dog till about 6 PM. After a few more questions, the family confessed that Gunda had been missing since around 12 noon.
“We lost out on crucial time because of their utter callousness and negligence,” says Chinthana angrily. She adds that the family has been least interested to recover him since. “Even when our volunteers conducted a search early morning on Tuesday, not one person from the family showed up. They have completely washed their hands off any responsibility,” she adds.
While Chinthana and her group of volunteers have some solid leads to find Gunda, they also have conflicting reports from Tuesday. While some have sighted the beagle running across the ring road to Esteem Mall in Hebbal, a cobbler sitting under the Hebbal bridge told them that he saw someone put a chain on Gunda and take him away.
“The problem is that because these dogs have been bred in captivity, they don’t respond like normal dogs. They won’t come to you like other dogs when you make kissing sounds,” explains Chinthana. “That’s why you need to inform us because they have to be handled and held in a certain way. We are trained to do that.”
However, Chinthana seems determined that they will find him soon. “We are going to find a smashing home for him this time. No way is he going back to those callous, negligent people,” she says.
You can reach Chinthana on the numbers mentioned in the picture below if you spot Gunda. A person who finds and returns the missing dog would also be rewarded Rs 20,000.