Creating a Better World for street and owned pets


A recent global survey has said that 80 million cats and dogs are estimated to be homeless in India.Recently, instances of animal cruelty in India witnessed a surge. The same has ushered the debate around animal rights and the extent of legal protection that the current laws provide them. The issue is that most such crimes go unreported or are met with an underwhelming legal response.

Recently, MARS Petcare, the world’s leading pet food company, brought together animal welfare stakeholders such as government officials, academicians, veterinarians, NGO representatives, and individual activists on its Mars Petcare Thought Leadership Seminar platform.

The seminar is one of its kind gathering that underscored the need to design better cities for pets and create a wanted, welcome and cared-for environment for street and owned pets. A panel on the dog and cat welfare that brought together experts from India and the globe, shed light on animal nutrition, health, and healthcare.


Professor Utpal S. Tatu from Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru (IISC) who was one of the speakers  said, “My work focus is on human-animal conflict, understanding how infectious diseases jump from animal to humans and spread among humans and then go back into animals. Today experts in the industry and academia have gotten together to discuss how to deal with this problem that focuses on animals,and animals that are not cared for. As a scientist we are trying to do a lot of work in trying to improve life of these animals by monitoring their health statuses, trying to understand if they carry infections and then together with doctors trying to cure them of the disease.”


Nitin Jain, Sales Director of MARS Petcare India, said: “At Mars Petcare, we have an ambition to End Pet Homelessness. It’s at the heart of our Purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS. We want to make a better world for all pets, not just the ones we serve. Several initiatives have been undertaken – such as adoption drives, pet health camps, dog and cat shows, and stray feeding activities along with the first-ever State of Pet Homeless Index – to make sure all pets are wanted, cared for and welcome. Through our Thought Leadership Seminar Series, we seek to create a platform where all stakeholders come together, spark conversations and identify opportunities for public-private partnerships to determine the actions needed to address the plight of our voiceless companions. In addition, we also seek to create a better life for owned pets through sensitization programs for pet parents about optimum health and nutrition, and advocacy for pet-friendly spaces in India’s cities.”


Ms. Cecilia Villaverde,Co-chair of the WSAVA Global Nutrition Committee, added, “The relationship between nutrition and health in companion animals is twofold. Firstly, inadequate nutrition can cause disease due to deficiencies, toxicities, or inadequate choice of diet for the patient. Secondly, some metabolic disorders/diseases can be attenuated and/or managed with diet (together with other therapies), which contributes to the quality and quantity of life. It is therefore very important that veterinarians are educated in nutrition to implement the best preventative medicine care and to manage clinical cases to improve the lives of companion animals.”


Mr. Kingshuk Pramanik, Chairman, State Animal Welfare Board, Kolkata  was the chief guest.“Pets are an important part of our lives, they give us emotional support in uncertain times. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to do the same for them. The helpless strays wandering our streets need homes where they are loved and appreciated. We thank MARS Petcare for taking the lead through such initiatives, which will improve the lives of pets and stray animals,” he said.


Dr. Chinny Krishna, Founder of Blue Cross of India, has been a great support for us for this initiative and he added, “Through the Thought Leadership Seminar, MARS Petcare succeeded in creating conversations and awareness to address concerns regarding homeless animals. I am delighted to be part of the initiative, a driving force for creating a better place for our furry companions.”


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