Can a Siberian Husky survive in India

Street dogs are a common sight in India. Her life is marked by beatings, fleas and the search for something to eat. Only adoptions abroad can still help the animals.

New Delhi - For Bambi, the 5000 kilometers between India and Finland meant more than the seven-hour flight that she covered. The little mixed breed dog comes from the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains in India, where she lived on the streets. In the Finnish city of Rovaniemi she has now found a real home with her new owner Sonja Kallio.

Bambi isn't the only one. Margie traveled to the Netherlands, Tiny and Sheru to the USA and for cricket the trip should go to Canada.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of “Desi Dogs” have now found foster families across Europe and North America. This is what activists like Premlata Choudhary call the Indian street dogs for which they are looking for a new home. Choudhary is actually a veterinarian in New Delhi, but with her organization "Dog Adoption Worldwide" has already sent more than 300 dogs all over the world.

"Many find the stories of these dogs inspiring," says Robin Singh, who founded Peepal Farm, a home for injured and abandoned animals in the foothills of the Indian Himalayan mountains. "They survived even though so much was against them."

Less prone to disease

Despite the often wild mix of different breeds, many Indian street dogs still carry the genes of an ancient dog breed. A little like today's greyhounds, they lived around the first agricultural settlements in South Asia more than 10,000 years ago. So says Tom Moureau, a retired aviation expert from the US state of Illinois.

Moureau began engaging with Indian street dogs after adopting two of them himself many years ago. A total of seven of them found a home with him and his family over the years. “They are smarter and more independent than other domestic dogs,” he says. Activist Choudhary agrees: "Desi dogs are very tough, active, easy to train, less susceptible to disease and generally have a long life."

While Moureau chose most of his dogs online, the Finn Kallio found her dog Bambi personally. In 2015 she was working as a volunteer at "Peepal Farm" when she noticed the animal, which was only seven months old. "I wanted to ignore them at first, but we had that connection," she says.

Nevertheless, she could not simply take the young dog with her. The EU rules for importing pets are strict. Bambi had to be vaccinated and tested for rabies. It wasn't until months later that all the necessary papers were there. Then a volunteer was needed to bring Bambi to Finland on the plane.

Costs are between 1000 and 2000 euros

Finding a new home for a Desi Dog is tedious and expensive. As a rule, the local Indian organization will take care of the dog as long as it is looking for a new owner. She shares his photos and a short profile with various international partner organizations.

“Potential adopters have to fill out an application and are interviewed on the phone,” says Dawn Trimmel, founder of the “International Street Dog Foundation”, one of the partner organizations in the USA. “We try to find a family that matches the dog's temperament. Even after the adoption, we call from time to time to see how the dog is developing. "

How expensive an adoption will be depends on the size of the dog, where it is going to travel and what vaccinations are required. Usually the costs are between 1000 and 2000 euros. Most of this is paid for by the aid organizations with the help of donations. The adopters usually pay a contribution of 300 to 400 euros. The transport is usually carried out by volunteers who take the dog with them as extra baggage on a flight they are already taking.

“Street dogs can make great pets if they find an owner at a young age and are trained well,” says Trimmel. "They are usually very loyal and quickly connect with people."