It's International Dog Day on August 26 and dog parents across the globe plan to celebrate this special day. Actress Farnaz Shetty, who has two pet dogs, too sounds excited. The actor talks about the ways an individual can actively contribute to the welfare of dogs and more.
“I have a deep affection for dogs and I have two dogs at home, but I've cared for countless others throughout my life. Dogs have been a part of my world since childhood, and their number has been too many to tally. This affinity runs in the family as my mother is an animal activist, and I've embraced this role as well,” she says.
Caring for dogs has been a significant part of Farnaz’s life. “I've taken on responsibilities such as rescuing dogs, finding them suitable homes, and ensuring they're well-fed daily. In fact, my mother feeds 40 to 50 stray dogs each day. She has also been proactive in neutering female dogs to ensure their well-being by preventing pregnancies and subsequent suffering. This approach reflects her compassionate mindset, recognizing that local authorities can't adequately attend to every dog's needs. I strongly believe that individual efforts can bring about substantial societal change,” she adds.
The bond between dogs and humans is unparalleled in its affection and loyalty, according to the actor. Having experienced this connection, she is driven to make a positive impact.
She says, “Among the numerous dogs I've aided, one memory stands out. Once while I was driving, I encountered a dog displaying signs of distress. It was clear that this dog differed from the usual strays. Observing him repeatedly crossing the road within a short span, I felt he was anxiously awaiting someone. His physical condition was dire, with patches of fur missing and evident illness. It seemed as though he was yearning for help and company. Although unfamiliar with this particular dog, I stopped and offered him some biscuits. Gradually, he approached and consumed the offered treats.”
Farnaz reached out to a friend who's also involved in animal activism, and it so happened that this friend was familiar with the dog's story. “As it turned out, he was a terrier who had been abandoned on the road. This marked the beginning of a dedicated effort to rescue and rehabilitate him. Late in the evening, around 10:30, I discovered him, and it took nearly 1 hour and 30 minutes to coordinate assistance from nearby sources. Ultimately, I managed to bring him into my car, and for several days, I provided temporary care as I worked on his skin condition for a few months. All the while, I sought a suitable forever home. Finally, a fitting home was found, and this once troubled terrier transformed into a vibrant, furry companion. He was quite young, likely around a year old, when he settled into his new loving home. Witnessing his recovery and happiness brought me an indescribable sense of contentment. This experience highlighted the power of compassion and effort in transforming lives, and it's a memory that will forever hold a special place in my heart,” she ends.