“At the end of 2011, I had to come back to India from the UK, my grandpa was ill. I started out my career again in Bangalore in 2012 and I’ve been here since then. The first month into my new job here and that’s when the rescue business started. Though my first rescue was in 7th grade and my mom had lost her dog a couple of years before that and she swore that she will never bring home another dog because the heartbreak was too much for her, but I sneaked an indie and he only passed away 5 years ago. He was like a brother to me.”

“For me, there are 2 things that I see when I help a rescued dog to their ‘supposed’ parents. One is that the gut feeling I get when I meet and talk to those parents. The way they interact with the dog, says a lot like, if they used ‘it’ instead of he/she, then it puts me off. Maybe they are great pet parents, but you can’t treat a living being as ‘it’ and the dogs know inherently what feeling the parents have when they meet them, they reciprocate and connect. That’s how it’s easier for me to decide.”

Adopt, don’t shop

“Everybody wants a puppy. I am not sure where or how people get the idea of ‘BUYING’ a pet from a breeder or a home litter. People don’t understand the essence of adoption. In a country where animals are treated as objects or commodities, this is hardly surprising. But there are days where a good adoption happens. I recently re-homed a rot and after 2 days, I get a call from the parent that he has adjusted beautifully, and they will not give him back, no matter what. Even if I’ve had a miserable day, when I hear such things, it fills up my heart.”

“I don’t think I can imagine a life without doing this, because more than anything, it’s consumed most of my time since 2012. The things that matter to me is around animal welfare, the friends that I’ve made over the years (some of them I call family) are because of this. My life revolves around these 2, everything I am and everything I do is because of them. They dictate where I live, where I work, what car I should buy and who I should be friends with because if they don’t like somebody, I am very wary of that person. It’s very cliché right, to tell that, I can’t think of a life without them but I just genuinely can’t. I am Mandy Vasudevan.”