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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Scoobies Pet Services: Transporting Hyderabad’s stray animals via cabs

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Scoobies Pet Cab Services founder Panneru Teja talks about the origins of the organisation, the solution to India’s stray issues, and its pet taxi service.

Mahatma Gandhi very famously said: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” The relationship between animals and human beings has transformed throughout the centuries. It has taken up many forms; animals have been used for transportation, for farming and kept as pets. In 2018, there were around 470 million dogs and 370 million cats kept as pets worldwide. This astounding number is a reflection of the compassion and bond we have created with the animals we share this planet with.

This increasing number of pets has transformed the pet service industry. To meet the needs of pets and their owners, many veterinary clinics and organisations have emerged in India. One such organisation is Scoobies Pet Services, which is based in the city of Hyderabad.

Scoobies was started by two brothers, Panneru Teja and Panneru Prithvi, who are animal rights activists. This organisation offers an array of services that cater to the wellbeing of the pets in the city. It provides pet clinics, grooming, and training services. Its services are also designed to help pet owners during this pandemic. It offers pet boarding, which allows pet owners to drop their pets at the Scoobies pet home, and it also boards pets from families that have been affected by the coronavirus.

India is a country with a startling stray animal issue. There are about 17.13 million stray dogs and 5.28 million stray cattle in the country. Moreover, the stray animal population is increasing exponentially in Hyderabad. According to the Deccan Chronicle, the stray dog population in the city has increased from 0.5 million to 0.84 million since 2014, making it almost impossible for the government to control and care for these animals.

pet cabThat is where organisations like Scoobies Pet Service come in. Along with its services, this organisation actively takes part in stray animal welfare programs. It conducts animal rescue operations and spreads initiatives and general awareness for pet owners.

The organisation recently added a pet cab service. Teja and Prithvi added this service for animals to provide comfortable and hassle-free transportation for the pet owners who don’t have access to vehicles. Teja notes that the goal behind starting the pet service was ultimately to be able to provide a service for pet owners and their pets at a very low cost.

It is often difficult to find public transportation, taxis and rickshaw drivers who will accommodate the transport of your pets in India. This difficulty proves deadly for pets in need of dire medical care. It’s to combat these issues that Scoobies offers a pet taxi service. “We provide pet food, clinic, taxi, grooming, training and boarding services at present,” says Teja. The organisation also sells pet food.

The taxi provides transportation services for stray animals. You can have your pet travel up to 30 kilometres, which makes it an option for emergency and occasional stray rescue operations.

Teja suggests a few solutions that may help mitigate the stray animal issue in India. He believes that sterilising stray animals can lower the reproduction of stray animals, reducing their numbers. He also feels that promoting animal adoption to increase interest in it can effectively decrease the number of stray animals as well as the crimes committed against them.

He adds that spreading awareness about stray animals, highlighting the difficulties they experience and promoting kindness to them may help people be kinder towards them, accept them and nurture them.

The animal activist mentions that most of Scoobies’ volunteers stay in different places. Therefore, if an emergency does occur, it can be challenging to get to the location on time if the responding party does not have the right information or knowledge of the town or area, and this may have tragic results. The pet cab service is helpful in these kinds of situations in helping severely injured or diseased dogs and cats by getting them in a cab safely for further assistance and treatment.

“No life should go in vain,” emphasies Teja. The hope is ultimately for the service to enable more people to help a larger number of animals in need. “It’s been a colourful success so far,” he says. But his aim for the moment is to raise awareness about the service, so more people can reach out.