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Adopt, Don't Shop: Stories From Delhi's Animal Shelters

Aditya posted on 08 June

We at LBB highly encourage potential pet owners to adopt, not shop, for their future best friend. You won’t regret it; there is nothing else on earth like the loyalty and love of a rescue {trust us, we’ve experienced it}. To help you, we headed over to a selection of Delhi’s most trustworthy and hard working animal shelters, armed with HTC One’s new A9 camera phone to bring you images and stories from these four shelters- you know a picture is worth a thousand words.

Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre

Founded in 1980, the Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre {SGACC} is one of Delhi’s oldest animal hospitals. They offer a range of free services including birth control treatment, medical treatment, dental and training.

Rocky and Tipsy, a pair of two-month old pups, are seen frolicking at the SGACC grounds. One is being held by a woman. She explains how she found the puppies – being swung around in polythene bags by some kids – in an alleyway. After chasing away the tormentors she brought them in, found them infested with stomach bugs and beyond exhaustion. She laughs as she recalls the story now, and Rocky woofs quietly as Tipsy squirms in her arms.

A volunteer also told us a story about finding thoroughbred puppies lying in their own filth, starving and alone. She relayed realities about the large scale illegal breeding circles in India, and how even pure bred dogs can be abandoned, pointing sadly to a Cocker Spaniel who had recently been left on their doorstep.

Pet Care

Shivaji Enclave, Shivaji College Road, Raja Garden, New Delhi

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One of our city’s best known shelter and rescue services is Friendicoes. What started as a small clinic for rescued cats and dogs has, over the years, helped rehabilitate innumerable pets left alone on Delhi’s streets.

When we first arrived, a tiny little dog perched on the table, by the roster, caught our eye. Presiding over her kingdom like an all-powerful matriarch sat Kajal. Three years old, white furred, scruffy, full of verve and affection; an abandoned dog. She sits, pleased with herself, while the volunteers explain she’d been left at the door of the shelter, weak and alone. Kajal is the face of everything wrong with abandoning, and not adopting, of pets.

The volunteer then explains how these shelters, set up to take care of street dogs, have now become become centres for discarded family pets, so high is the number of abandoned dogs in the city.

A black Labrador, almost completely blind, stumbles about at our feet, with a silly dog-grin on her face. Oblivious, happy, and just glad to have some attention. It breaks our heart, and we give her a quick scratch.

Pet Care

271 & 273, Near Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Defence Colony, New Delhi

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Paarijaat Trust Animal Shelter

The Paarijaat Trust opened their animal shelter in 2011, to counter the plight of the stray dogs they found all around them. The open space of the shelter has three kennels, an on-call veterinarian and four general care staff.

We walk around, watching the dogs watching us, and a staff member with us stops to pet a dog. The dog is Badshah, and he was found in Hauz Khas with shattered limbs {a car ran over him}. The staff member tells us how he was stuffed with injections, taken for heavy rehabilitation and can now, after much effort and money, walk again. He smiles with a little pride.

He points to another dog, who has no name, and is about three years old, and tells us he was found by a volunteer in the forest, tied to a tree and left to die. He tells us about how most shelters now solve their problems by putting down the dogs they find, and we feel like we can’t hear anymore.

Pet Care

353, Block L-1A, Near Global Scholar's Academy, Sangam Vihar, New Delhi

Sonadi Animal Care Centre

This animal hospital and welfare organisation provides shelter, birthing services, adoption and animal pick up and rescue. Run almost entirely on personal donations, Sonadi Animal Care Centre was set up in 2001. The shelter has a massive live-in population of over 250 animals.

From dogs to donkeys and peacocks, they welcome all animals with open arms. We strolled around with a staff member, who told us about the pair of donkeys and how they were both brought in sick. One of them was at the stage of being put down, but the good folks at Sonadi nurtured him back to good health and now the two are quite the pair.

We also met her pet, Choti, a little white ball of energy that she found tied outside her gate {she lives on the premises} covered in blood, around Diwali last year. She took her in and treated her and gave her a home. We left with the stories playing out in our minds, bittersweet in feeling.


We learnt two things from this expedition. The first was that the level of neglect and disregard for animals in our city is infinitely higher than we thought, and the other was that we could use the A9 to truly do justice to each story visually.

As you can imagine, excitable animals do not make the best models, and the focus and lighting of the camera was put to a real test. Luckily for us, and for you reader, it passed perfectly.

This story is in partnership with HTC.