Paws for a Cause – A Touch Heart Music Initiative

Comprised entirely of college students, Touch Heart Music networks among people and provides an ‘information-exchange’ platform on Facebook for adopting stray puppies, dogs, kittens and cats to people who are interested in nurturing them as their companions.
I chatted with Shantanu Naidu, one of the founding members of the group, to know more about the initiative.
What got you to start an initiative like Paws for A Cause? 
I have always been the sort who would rescue puppies from the street and take them home. Being around dogs and taking care of them is almost like a family value. My parents always told me that dogs are lovable creatures and they aren’t something that you must be afraid of.  A few of us came together to find loving homes for stray dogs. As we are all dog lovers, our involvement in the cause is stronger. That’s how we started Paws for a Cause last December.
What is the ideology of this initiative?
Paws for a Cause is a nationwide campaign which aims to promote the adoption of strays, stop breed-ism, sensitisation of society toward strays and provide immediate official action against any form of cruelty that is reported in association with PFA, PIFA and other animal welfare initiatives.
Tell me about your work in detail…
Adoption of stray dogs is a complex issue that needs intervention by municipal authorities. But on our level we have formed a network of passionate dog lovers who are dedicated to find good homes for stray puppies. The number of stray dogs in our city is growing and people complain about their presence in their areas but nobody makes an effort to adopt a helpless canine.
Our Facebook page is updated with photos of various canines and felines that are up for adoption – all non-breed specific, nonetheless endearing. Respective phone numbers are put up and they are adopted by interested people browsing the page. We do background checks of adoptive families; visit their homes to check if they are genuinely prepared to welcome a puppy in their lives. Also, if some families realise that they cannot keep the dog in their homes, the dog should be given back to us. Till the dog is not adopted again, our group members foster the dog on a rotation basis.
How do you raise awareness about adopting stray dogs?
Music touches the human heart and is the best way to spread social messages. It is also the fastest growing media as of now. We at Touch Heart Music, use the medium to spread awareness about the causes we feel strongly about. This time, we have created a music video with a real stray puppy ‘Johnny,’ who is in search of a shelter for himself and wants to appeal to people to provide it.
Tell me more about this video.
The video follows the life of Johnny as he encounters the usual kicking, shooting and dangers of city life in his quest to find a home for himself. This is a group effort in a hope to sensitise people to the condition of stray dogs. For this video we teamed up with many animal welfare NGOs to propagate the idea of stray dogs’ adoption.
What’s next?
We pick up a social cause every year and prepare a soulful music video for the same. The content for the video is written, composed, played and shot by us so that we can create a spark of change. Currently, we are working for tigers’ conservation and in the process of figuring out governmental permissions required to undertake a music video on it.