At around 4 pm, the gates at Fetch, a canine training school, are opened and a happy Labrador dog skips out and scampers onto the grass, never leaving her trainer, CV Franklin’s side. He holds out a biscuit, and, Jade, the four-year-old Labrador happily chomps on the treat.
When Franklin, a canine behaviourist, first met Jade, he knew there was something special about her. The roly-poly yellow lab had a sunny disposition and seemed friendly towards anyone she met. But like hundreds of dogs in Bengaluru, Jade had been abandoned by her owners and still showed signs of heartbreak and the burden of having been left behind by her family.
Abandoning pet dogs is a traumatic occurrence that happens far too often in cities like Bengaluru.
One of the reasons that dogs are abandoned is because people often aren’t aware that there are animal organisations which care for dogs. And even when dog owners are aware of these NGOs, there is often a cost associated with leaving the animal at a shelter, which can also be a deterrent for some. In other cases, people seek to avoid giving explanations to animal shelters, so their dogs are left loose to fend for themselves. These dogs are often dropped off in well-populated areas, like parks, in hopes that a concerned dog lover will notice the stranded animal.
Like humans, dogs also show signs of emotional stress associated with leaving their homes, facing a new environment and suddenly being surrounded by dozens of other dogs. That includes depression, loss of appetite, inactivity, weight gain, skittishness or a shattered sense of trust that makes the animal move away from people and other dogs.
The emotional stress that a dog feels when he or she is abandoned is very real, but with training and rehabilitation, dogs sometimes do overcome their issues of abandonment. However, it takes months of work, love and care to bring those dogs back to a state of happiness.
Watch the video to learn what abandoned dogs go through and what it takes to rehabilitate them: