In India, stray dogs rarely find homes although they are best suited to resist and thrive in tropical climates. Purebred dogs have been seen and marketed as status symbols for far too long and people often buy dogs without realizing it. they are the product of a cruel breeding industry. In addition, many people bring them home on impulse, regardless of the time, effort, and money it will take to raise them. When reality hits them, many end up abandoning their pets.
DogWithBlog is an online platform that raises awareness of their plight and takes a community approach to free dog adoptions. They are using the power of the internet to broadcast calls to roaming people looking for housing and expand their reach. They not only help rehabilitate abandoned dogs but also use the newsletters, social networks and blog to share animal care tips, dog adoption guides, etc. to educate future pet parents about what they’re getting into.
Abhishek Joshi founded DogWithBlog, along with his sister Abhilasha, to encourage the adoption of independent and stray dogs
How it all began
Abhishek and his sister Abhilasha have loved animals since their childhood. Coming from a family of dog lovers, they were exposed to books and movies that promoted compassion for dogs and helped them see rescued dogs and adoptions in a better light. They started by taking care of the homeless in their neighborhood. DogWithBlog began with the goal of expanding its reach beyond its locality.
“Our first pet, Rusty, was rescued from a garage. During the PG days, we created a blog to share and celebrate the stories of the dogs around us – the stray, abandoned and homeless puppies. Over time, we’ve seen our content raise awareness about adoptions rather than buying a pedigree from a luxury breeding store.”Abhishek told Social Story.
The power of the community
The community is at the heart of this initiative. What started out as a small team of three – Abhishek (founder), Abhilasha (co-founder) and a member helping them with the tech side, now has a base of 130k + dog lovers all rooted for #adoptdontshop. They have successfully conducted over 900 dog adoptions. DogWithBlog integrates active communities thus connecting foster and rescue dogs with those seeking to adopt them. They use social media platforms and adoption newsletters to publicize rescued dogs in search of homes. The blog shares tips for potential and current pet parents to take the best care of their companions.
“Our approach is community driven and we are not looking for grants / funds from people. We bear the costs ourselves. In the past, we’ve worked with brands like Himalaya Pet care to help adoption heroes who adopt stray dogs with pet care products. said Abhishek. The 130k + and growing community helps them reach large numbers of people without spending on marketing. Along the way, they met amazing people – lawyers, media figures, etc. who lend their voice to adoptions.
“Twitter and Facebook played a vital role in our trip. Many notable people like Mohit Chauhan, Tehsin Poonawala and Nidhi Razdan have always helped us by retweeting and sharing our calls. he added.
Choose suitable houses
All adoption leads and requests are reviewed using a pre-adoption checklist. Factors such as location, type of accommodation, consent of family members, accessibility to a veterinarian are all taken into account. These are validated by the network and the respective adoption coordinator for the case. There are also city-centric adoption resources where readers can find up-to-date information on NGOs, shelters, and adoption requests. One can also sign up for the adoption newsletter to receive updates on dogs that need loving homes.
Challenges along the way
“The main challenge has been the state of mind and prejudices towards mixed breeds, mutts and desi dogs. Most inquiries are for purebred dogs, but over time adoption rates improve for desi dogs as well. We celebrate happy adoption stories and talks with families who have chosen to bring home a desi dog and we see the perception of outcast dogs gradually changing. shared Abhishek.
Neglect of desi dogs can be daunting, but being able to change the world for a dog, giving them a second chance at life is what keeps them going. During the pandemic, they came across a case of cruelty where a dog was dragged behind a two-wheeler. Although they could not find the culprit, with medical attention and support, they were able to resuscitate him and find him a loving home.
Impact of the pandemic
In the aftermath of the pandemic, DogWithBlog saw an increase in the number of adoption requests. The isolation induced by the pandemic led to an increase in the number of requests during the first wave of COVID-19.
The task was to screen the requests, and they gave those interested a detailed account to make sure they knew what bringing home a pet is and its implications after the pandemic. Having said that, Abhishek confirms that 2020 has been one of the best years in terms of successful dog adoptions.
DogWithBlog is currently working on a book to celebrate desi dogs and adoptions.
They would explore content partnerships with like-minded brands, revamp the website UX, and increase the frequency of posts.