Digital marketeers Nishant Muralidharan and Kamna Gupta met in 2016 at their workplace and connected instantly for their common love for dogs. This passion for dogs became the starting point of their journey to explore the world of animals.
Soon, they became pet parents of countless strays and swore to learn everything about the world and life of abandoned dogs as well as community or stray dogs.
It was when working on the ground with stray dogs, the duo encountered several misconceptions people had about dogs. It was with great difficulty that the young couple tried to reduce their hostility towards stray dogs. It was around that time Nishant and Kamna took personal responsibility for 10 stray dogs near their society in Delhi. They took care of the vaccination, food, general well-being, as well as emergency medical care during road accidents of these community dogs – out of their own money. They do not accept donations or want to open an NGO.
In a few weeks, they saw a change in the attitude of the people towards them and also about the stray dogs they worked with.
In addition to this responsibility, they adopted five dogs that are living with them – all of them rescued, possibly mostly abandoned by their former families.
The situation became worse when the pandemic hit, 50% of pets, adopted or brought home pre-pandemic, were those that were abandoned. Rumours of dogs can be carriers of the covid virus, made things worse.
“It’s unimaginable to understand the long-term repercussions of abandonment” in fact, this motivated us to create apawfive, a digital channel, to help, bring a positive change and encourage people to know these pets better. Our planet Earth is home to billions of other living beings too, that we often forget,” Nishant, CO-creator, apawfive says.
We thought we could use YouTube and Instagram to resolve, tackling a wide array of topics, to better and to develop the bond between people and animals, a very little that we can contribute towards betterment of people and animal living”, he adds.
“In our digital channel, we are trying to explore and discuss topics such as healthcare in dogs, healthy food, keeping general hygiene with pets, stray dogs care, travel with dogs, the legal and constitutional rights of dog parents in India, rescue missions, adoptions, and much more, along with some Instagram reels of a lighter moment with our fifteen dogs and sometimes cows, crows and even squirrels, to entertain the viewers, Kamna Gupta, also Co-Creator, apawfive said.
Nishant and Kamna, come with an experience of more than five years in rescuing, adopting, and raising dogs. “We aren’t an NGO, nor do we have any urge to start one, we help these dogs with our own earned money as this gives us immense satisfaction,” the duo said.
What happens when their savings and money run out? “We will pick up more digital marketing assignments, to pay for our passion,” Nishant said, for himself and his partner.
Dogged by challenges, people like Nishant and Kamna use digital platforms to create awareness about the importance of adoption for these abandoned four-legged.
“We see an increasing Gen Z and millennials turning to become pet parents, making the pet market segment interesting,” Nishant said. He visualised a growth in the pet products attributing it to a considerable rise in dog adoption in the future as a result of changing lifestyles and growing knowledge of the benefits of dog companionship. Some smart investors are eyeing this segment keenly.