!http://photos14.flickr.com/18922490_93932e2ada_m.jpg! I’d heard a lot about the pet shows organized by the Dawn Group of Newspapers as part of the yearly All about Lifestyles exhibition; but I’d never managed to see them. This year, as I was one of the people manning the PAWS table, I got to see both events, the Pet Show and the Cat Show.
I was expecting a great deal of exotic animals to be shown at the Pet Show, and while the animals shown were mostly turtles and tortoises, chicks, hamsters, a sole hawk and parrots (a whole menagerie thanks to a pet shop owner and a parrot breeder who were also present), it was truly refreshing to see children so devoted to taking care of their pets. In a country where human life is undervalued, and the life of an animal is considered peanuts, I truly felt hope that the younger generation would grow up valuing animals and being considerate of their welfare.
Of course, the highlight of the evening was when the brother of the girl (and her turtle or tortoise, I’m not too sure) who won first prize, said seconds before they received the prize, “But we weren’t supposed to win!”
The cat show, on the other hand, lacked proper co-ordination and organization. However, the variety of cats shown, and the standard of their upkeep was visible from their condition, and it was truly a delight to see such beautiful felines. However, a cat show should really not have been organized in this stifling weather, and many a cat was seen panting and irritated.
While I think it is commendable that pet shows are being organized in Karachi, I feel that there is a lot more that the organizers can do. Similarly, visitors to such events need to realize that thronging around animals is not the correct way to view them at animal shows, because a pet is unused to such a congested environment. They may become agitated and hostile.
!http://photos15.flickr.com/19654084_fc17dea7bf_m.jpg! The PAWS table was inundated by a flood of visitors on both days. It was surprising to see how many people were interested in hearing the alternate solution we presented. Most people agreed that the Nazimâ€™s plan was cruel and inhumane, even though they were extremely bothered by the huge stray dog population in the city. The WSPA (World Society for Protection of Animals) also had a table at the Lifestyles exhibition. The WSPA has been working in Pakistan for five years now, and they raised awareness about bear baiting in Pakistan at the exhibition. Karachiites also shared their concerns with PAWS volunteers over the ill-treatment of animals like monkeys, horses and donkeys that they witness on a daily basis. A number of people talked about how stray dog management plans have been conducted before, and one womanâ€™s story truly broke my heart, who said her pet cat died by eating something off the street.
It only goes on to show, that if the people of this country were made aware of issues, and possible solutions that are humane, safe and efficient, local governments would never be able to suggest plans like â€˜Kill a Dog, Bring its Tail, Get a Rewardâ€™ or â€˜Kill Dogs by Poisoning Themâ€™, because it was evident that most Karachiites found the Nazimâ€™s plan inhumane and easier said than done.
The best placard in the show:
by *Saba Imtiaz*