Updated: June 9, 2021 8:03:30 pm
Written by Seona James
The Covid pandemic has been trying times not only for humans but also for our furry four-legged companions. Many pet dogs were left abandoned due to the death or illness of their pet parents, misconceptions about the virus and financial constraints.
In April, local pet startup Wiggles.in opened the doors of its boarding called Petsville to dogs who lost their owners. It is a residential area for dogs, spread over 22,000 square feet of lush green plot located on Sus-Nande Road.
Petsville has 60 in-house experts including veterinarians, groomers, trainers, nutritionists, para-vets, canine behaviourists and pet handlers. The team aided more than 15 dogs whose pet parents were affected by Covid-19 during the second wave as well as attended to requests from their online pet community.
The team at Petsville followed a standard operating procedure to ensure that pets were picked up from their homes in sanitized vans with well-equipped PPE suits and masks. The process for boarding pets was completely online and social contact minimised.
“Along with picking up pets from the doorsteps of the owners, our team ensured that the pets were given a bath and were further sent for a vet check-up once they reached the facility. The pet’s diet, health and wellbeing was taken care of by them,” explained Dr. Dillip Sonune, director of veterinary services at Wiggles.in.
“When pets boarded in Petsville, they were handled with extra care by our experienced pet handlers. We encouraged positive social interactions and our veterinarians kept a strict vigilance on the health of the pets,” added Dr. Anand Deshpande, head of veterinary services and canine behaviourist at Wiggles.in.
Special care was also provided for dogs who had lost their pet parents to the virus. “Pets, especially dogs, are very intuitive and attuned to their pet parent’s emotions. In fact, most pets will use their senses and understand that their pet parent is no more. Grief renders them helpless and makes pets pace around searching for their loved ones,” said Dr. Deshpande.
Dr. Deshpande added that the aim was to provide comfort and solace to the dogs by petting them, caressing them around their shoulders, patting their head and giving all the emotional support by just being there for them. “They will continue to look for their pet parents all over the house 10 to 15 days after the incident. It is best to engage them in some mental and physical activity to help them overcome the loss. It usually takes a month or two for them to adapt themselves to the new situation.”
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