After sifting through hundreds of photographs of lovable community dogs and reading their rescue stories, the judges for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India’s seventh annual ‘Cutest Indian Dog Alive’ contest have selected two dogs from Pune as finalists — Chuchu and Hazel, whose guardians are Tavneet Walia and Winnifred Fonseca, respectively.
When Walia found Chuchu, she had been hit by a car, leaving her with a broken femur bone and a dangling hind leg. Fonseca found Hazel limping and covered with fleas, ticks, and muck and decided to give her a home.
“Chuchu is … the most pampered, loved, and spoilt kid in the family!” Walia told PETA India. “She’s cute and quiet, but also naughty and stubborn! She’s so expressive, and she tells us everything she wants! Chuchu has changed our lives in miraculous ways,” she added.
“Hazel was found on a rainy day, limping and covered with fleas, ticks, and muck,” Fonseca said. “Despite all that, … what struck us most about her were her fearless and trust-filled eyes. We then got her leg amputated due to an irreversible nerve paralysis, and she already runs fast enough to run a marathon!” exclaimed Fonseca.
“Chuchu and Hazel are lucky dogs, and they have returned the favour of being rescued by bringing much love and joy into their guardians’ lives,” said PETA CEO Dr Manilal Valliyate adding, “All rescued dogs are already winners because their lives were saved by people who love them for who they are.”
The lucky pup, who is named the Cutest Indian Dog Alive, will receive a certificate and a 100 Per Cent Desi Dog doggie t-shirt, and his or her guardian will receive a My Dog Is a Rescue Dog T-shirt as well as a copy of PETA India founder Ingrid Newkirk’s book Let’s Have a Dog Party! 20 Tail-Wagging Celebrations to Share With Your Best Friend. The second-and third-place winners will each receive a certificate and a 100 Per Cent Desi Dog doggie T-shirt, and the second-place winner’s guardian will receive a My Dog is a Rescue Dog T-shirt. All three winners will be featured in an upcoming issue of Animal Times, PETA India’s magazine for members. PETA India urges prospective guardians to adopt a community dog from the streets or an animal shelter, rather than buy puppies from pet shops.