In places like India, where there are far more stray dogs than companion ones, people’s attitudes towards these homeless animals are wide-ranging. There are people who realize that these dogs have just fallen into unfortunate circumstances out of their control and still deserve as much love as any other creature. These types of people will see stray dogs on the street and perhaps stop to give them a bit of water or food, or if they’re injured, save them! Sadly, there are others who see these helpless animals and look the other way, deeming them unclean or a pest or, worse, as a way to release their pent up aggression. Since these stray dogs form a family of sorts, sometimes they will attack and bite humans, surely as a way to assert their dominance after years of living on dangerous streets.
Violent stray dogs in India are definitely a problem, especially since, according to the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, India accounts for 35 percent of total rabies deaths, more than any other country in the world. However, not all of the stray dogs of India are on the attack. In fact, many of them are docile, kind, and loving. In an effort to shed more light on the unique personalities of India’s street dogs and prove that not all of them are violent, a new Facebook and Instagram group has been set up under the title “Mongrels of India.”
The group was inspired by the extremely popular project “Humans of New York,” and decided to format their posts similarly featuring a touching photo and a description that gives you a peek into the life of the photo’s subject(s).
The idea is clever. And considering there are millions of stray animals in India, there are plenty of subjects.
The collection of photos is a mix of photos captured on the streets by the founder, Arpita Rao, as well as user submitted photos, particularly people who have adopted stray pups.
Just look at this photo recently shared that described how these two pups stick together, lick each other’s wounds, and comfort each other. It’s almost impossible to look at these cuties and not smile.
This user submitted photo shows a tender moment on the beach. It’s clear that stray animals like this one, are really just craving affection.
Being able to get up close to these creatures and see the evident anxiety in their eyes is also very powerful.
Alternatively, seeing the playful nature of these dogs demonstrates how similar they are to domesticated pups.
After all, what do puppies enjoy more than playing out in the sun? Probably nothing.
People will even submit pictures showing how easy it is to rescue one of these animals. “If you can’t keep them, give them a chance to be safe,” the caption reads.
This group demonstrates how just one loving touch, one hug, one kiss, can make a huge difference for the wellbeing of these animals. A little compassion goes a long way.
The community has only started posting photos on September 20th but has already gathered over 700 followers on Facebook. It’s clear that people do not just want to hear the scary stories about stray dogs, but the uplifting ones. “Yes, some dogs can be dangerous, but that’s when they’re brought up in a hostile environment and treated aggressively,” Rao said in an email to Quartz. “My aim is to educate and inspire (people). Show them the million ways in which mongrels can be their source of happiness (and) protection.” What an honorable mission. We look forward to seeing many more beautiful captured moments!
In-text images source: Mongrels of India/Instagram
Lead image source: Mongrels of India/Facebook