Encourage an ethical approach to pet adoption

Members of the PAT team. PHOTOS: SHANTO LAWRENCE COSTA

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Members of the PAT team. PHOTOS: SHANTO LAWRENCE COSTA

In 2017, Orni Hasan found a disheveled kitten around Lake Dhanmondi, deciding to keep him. Before the decision, she looked for safe adoption options, but found none. It was then that the grim reality of a dearth of safe, formal and ethical adoption options caught his attention. Stumbling over unbearable stories of cruelty inflicted on adopted and street animals, she launched Paws And Tails (PAT) in September 2019. Her guiding principle was to remove vulnerable cats and dogs from the streets and provide them with a safe home.

PAT is an online adoption platform that helps pets find homes and facilitates safe and easy adoptions. If a person finds a helpless cat or dog, they notify the page and fill out a form. Then PAT posts articles about the animal on all of its social media platforms and reaches out to interested clients. An in-depth interview ensues, which confirms a client’s eligibility.

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Once a client is approved, they are required to sign a contract that makes it difficult for people to abuse or abandon the animals they adopt. “The main goal of PAT is to eliminate the need to buy or sell animals, which sustains the highly unethical breeding industry and often puts them at risk of neglect,” said Orni.

Once the PAT was operational, the initial response seemed overwhelmingly positive, which encouraged her to speed up the process of consolidating the details of how the organization operates and the procedures to be followed to ensure safe homes for the animals. However, despite the encouraging comments, PAT has faced challenges since its inception.

PAT members have adopted pets and also look after stray animals in their neighborhood. PHOTOS: SHANTO LAWRENCE COSTA

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PAT members have adopted pets and also look after stray animals in their neighborhood. PHOTOS: SHANTO LAWRENCE COSTA

A persistent obstacle is that some people do not respond very well to the rigorous questioning that PAT employs to fully confirm animal safety. “Sometimes people wonder why we go so far for the local stray cats and dogs,” says Orni. One of PAT’s tenets is the abolition of the pervasive discrimination between local cats and foreign-bred cats.

In the past, weakening some clients’ commitments also posed challenges for PAT because when they returned animals, not having taken care of them, it took a mental toll for the animals to be transferred to a facility. other home.

“Sometimes people don’t take the legitimacy of the PAT seriously. They think they can do whatever they want with adopted animals even if the contract they sign with us is legally enforceable,” Orni says about customers whose commitments fall flat. “In addition, our policy is to sterilize and vaccinate animals annually on the client side, as this process has been scientifically proven to be safe and well suited for domestic cats and dogs. But sometimes the individuals didn’t keep their word, and we had to take the pets back. Some even refuse to pay a service charge of BDT 250, which we use to support ourselves.

Orni adds that PAT is currently in the process of “company registration” and plans to expand across Bangladesh soon. They have already started their expansion process in Chattogram.

“In the near future, I want PAT to expand to a comprehensive space that deals not only with safe and effective adoptions, but also things like having vets, pet supplies, and foster families,” Orni said.

To date, PAT has facilitated over 260 adoptions. “Without the directors of PAT, Mahin Inan, Tanvirul Islam, Nikita Rahman and Oittri Hasan and our hard-working team members, it would not be possible to go this far,” concludes Orni.

The author is an undergraduate student of international relations at the Bangladesh Professionals University. Write to him at [email protected]


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