Due to covid-19 many people could not go out on the streets to feed the dogs and when our dog loving team realised that dogs cant take care for themselves we decided to do something and change this whole scenario. We wanted dogs to be self dependant & how wonderful could it be if we could provide jobs to dogs. Upon researching we saw that dogs are used in many professions which included THERAPY! So we decided to reach out to some special dog shelters which help dog owners to train their dogs become therapy dogs.
What it does
Problem 1: Mental Health cases are rising all over the country and due to the lockdown therapies have also become ineffective. With the rising economy of the country, the stress levels are increasing at an alarming rate. This stress, if not treated, may even cause clinical depression in certain cases.
Problem 2: India has more than 30 million stray dogs with more than 20,000 dogs came dying of rabies every year. Also, there is a huge surge in animal abuse cases involving street dogs. These dogs are usually not kept in a good environment and are ill-treated even in dog shelters and MCD dog-houses. Unfortunately, we see street dogs as a nuisance and are now seeking eradication using inhumane methods such as beating and euthanising.
How we made it?
We seeked out mentorship from the President of "ANIMAL ANGELS FOUNDATION" who have been a veteran in the animal shelter space since 2003 to validate our idea which is to Adopt street dogs and train them to freelance as therapy dogs through our website!
Challenges we ran into
1)NOT EVERY STREET DOG CAN BE TRAINED As every street dog has its own traumatic experiences, it is very difficult to identify their trigger points which could lead to potential threats in the form of sudden mood swings. 2)WE CANT COLLECT RANDOM DOGS ON THE STREET Initially we decided to collect street dogs and rehabilitate them at our "HAPPY" centres, where they will be trained and then later work too, for when they'll be called on for appointments by the clients but this required a lot of screening, separation, rehabilitation & treatment for the new dogs which deviated us away from our main target "TO TRAIN DOGS AND HELP THEM EARN", we did not NEED dogs we needed SHELTERS who already picked up and screened out dogs for us to be trained at our centres which we call "HAPPY CENTRES".
Accomplishments that we're proud of
When miss Minal Kavishwar (President Animal Angels Foundation) told us that throughout her career several interns and college students approached her to work for dogs in a similar manner but all of them lacked a plan of action, which was not in our case, the fact that we approached her with a full fledged plan not only to help the dogs get off from the street(as more demand for therapy dogs will lead to to more adoption of of the dogs from the street) but also allowing dogs to earn for themselves through the appointments our customers will book for them seemed great!
What we learned
We realized that whatever project we plan in life on PAPER, no matter how perfect the plan looks no matter how much market research you do, the actual practicality and working of the project that a veteran as a mentor in the space can provide you is more valuable than the entire self-research one can do. We learned that seeking mentorship in any aspect in life is really important so that the direction you focus your energy does not go in vain
What's next for TheraDog
1) We aim to open as many "HAPPY CENTRES" AS WE CAN THROUGHOUT INDIA!!! 2) Our REVOLUTIONISING BUSINESS MODEL will aim to collaborate with as many dog shelters as we can to help them earn revenue rather than to ask for it as donations. 3)Ultimately we aim to carry out all the processes from dog pick-up to dog appointments. 4)We aim to inculcate different types of animals for therapy like injured/rescued birds for bird therapy etc.