The #PatriotDogs campaign enters a new phase as top cricketers, leading stars from Hindi and Kannada cinema and TV, and other well-known celebrities come forward in its support. Through social media, dog-loving stars such as Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, Rahul Dravid, Venkatesh Prasad, Nana Patekar, Boman Irani, Soha Ali Khan, Ashwini Ponnappa, Prasad Bidapa, Sanjjanaa Galrani, Kitu Gidwani, Divya Seth Shah, and Nitin Sahrawat have asked their fans and followers to contribute to the ongoing #PatriotDogs campaign by The Voice of Stray Dogs (VOSD), the Bangalore-based rescue and rehab service for stray dogs. The campaign is also endorsed by leading football team, Bengaluru FC, and media giant, Reliance Entertainment.
For those who came in late, #PatriotDogs are the thousands of dogs that serve our country in Indian military, paramilitary, police and special forces. More than 100 of these dogs will join the 15 other #PatriotDogs from Kerala, Karnataka, Railway Police and military dogs already in VOSD’s care at the VOSD Dog Sanctuary in Bangalore. The VOSD Dog Sanctuary is unique because it has more than 750 rescued dogs from all over the country and has full medical and other facilities on location of its 3.5 acre campus. VOSD has the extensive experience of over 200,000+ medical treatments and 7,000+ rescues over the past 4 years, which has led to the 750+ dogs in its permanent care.
#PatriotDogs are trained in various specialties like explosive detection, tracking down insurgents or terrorists, and mounting massive search-and-rescues. From the tender age of just two months, they serve our country through the prime of their lives – usually 8-10 years. It’s a sad fact that till recently, they were euthanised at the end of their service till the Supreme Court put an end to the practice in 2015. VOSD is creating a purpose-built facility at the VOSD Dog Sanctuary for these dogs.
- Virat Kohli, Indian cricket captain, said, “Help VOSD bring home 100 #PatriotDogs! They spend their lives serving us, it’s time to do something for them.”
- Boman Irani, actor, said, “I’ve always been a dog lover, and I think this cause is extremely important. These #PatriotDogs serve our country all their lives, and deserve a happy retirement.”
- Chris Gayle, batting legend said, “They deserve to retire happily. Help VOSD make it happen.”
- Prasad Bidapa, fashion guru, said, “Rakesh Shukla is the definitive voice of stray and rescued dogs in this country! It is not possible to imagine the scope of his more than noble endeavour without visiting the facility that he has created at VOSD. It is beyond imagination to see a refuge for 750 dogs function so beautifully and efficiently.”
- Soha Ali Khan said “#patriotdogs deserve the best at retirement and VOSD Dog Sanctuary is a one of kind place”
- Ashwini Ponnappa, badminton ace, said, “#PatriotDogs don’t enlist in the military, paramilitary and police but they spend their whole lives serving our country. It’s really time we did something good for them in return. VOSD has over 750 rescued dogs and many retired #PatriotDogs. Please donate to this cause.”
- Bengaluru FC, India’s champion football club and partner of VOSD said “BFC Cares stands with VOSD who will shelter 100 more #PatriotDogs who have served with the country’s armed forces. Join us in this cause, donate and contribute.”
- Hitesh Acharya, VP in a Financial Services MNC, said, “Like humans, dogs too need infrastructure to support them in their old age. This campaign is aimed at doing just that in a very compassionate manner.“
- Sanjeev Nambudiri, co-founder of a private consultancy based in Pune, said “All of us have high regard for the people who sacrifice so much for us in the services or in the police forces but somehow most of us have never considered that the same regard should also extend to the dogs who serve.”
- Aadya Avinash, 21, student at the University of Manchester, said “Most people think animal rescuing in Bangalore is just saving strays and don’t know there’s so many other layers and levels to animal welfare. A campaign of this magnitude is, therefore, exactly what we needed for a cause like this.”
- Anil George, 41, Vice President in an IT MNC in Bangalore, said “I’ve witnessed first hand how the dogs employed in the defense and paramilitary forces serve and protect. Having seen how the animals are taken care of at the VOSD Sanctuary, I feel these retired service dogs will feel right at home there.”
The #PatriotDogs campaign in the media