“Only for true dog-lovers, not breed-conscious people”, says Aparna Bhatt, when she looks for a home for her rescues. Aparna and her husband founded KARMA (Kulture for Animal Rehabilitation & Mass Awareness), a grassroots organisation that fosters homeless Indian puppies until a family adopts them. Her way of working is a stark contrast to that of the breeder community. Due to a demand for ‘pure’ breeds, pedigree females are treated like machinery, housed in cramped cages and made to reproduce repeatedly. Pugs often have to give birth through c-sections, risking the lives of both mother and pups. Breeders frequently mate those of the same family (known as inbreeding), resulting in serious genetic defects that reduce the animals’ health and life span.

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