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On a mission to help animals

Anushree Thammanna
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Anushree Thammanna

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Meet Anushree Thammanna a dog lover who runs small businesses to help animals. She has been raising funds for their welfare through her business. For...

Meet Anushree Thammanna a dog lover who runs small businesses to help animals. She has been raising funds for their welfare through her business. For Anushree animals are more than just pets; she firmly believes in 'Adopt, don't shop'.

Speaking to The Young Hans Anushree said "It started when I was about four or five years old, I think. We weren't allowed to have dogs at home so I used to look after them in our layout. Street dogs have been my best teachers; I learnt everything I know about dogs through them. I was always keen to work with animals, especially dogs, but apart from becoming a vet, options were very limited back then."

"Now I'm studying to become a Canine Behaviourist and I wish I had this option when I was in college. I work with abandoned and traumatised dogs, and foster, rehabilitate, and re-home them. Over the years, I've seen more than a hundred dogs pass through our hands and home, and I'm still amazed at how good dogs are at convincing us that they need us. When actually, you know, we need them.

Over the last few years, the focus has been on raising awareness about the dangers of obsessing over breeds, why you shouldn't be buying, why you should choose to adopt, how to care for dogs, and the perks of adopting adult and senior dogs, especially since they house a plethora of deformities and genetic illness.

We have five adopted dogs and are currently fostering two; all of them were adopted at different times, from different backgrounds, and at different ages.

Bella, a pug, was given up as a pup because she had an enlarged heart.

She is now seven years old and has been instrumental in leading me down this path of focusing on raising awareness about brachycephalic breeds and the difficulties they live life with. Poppy is another pug. She was found on the highway, running with a rope around her neck. She is old and blind, and initially came to us as a foster but stayed on.

Luna is an indie; she too came as a foster and was paralysed from the neck down due to trauma to the spine. After two months of daily physio, hydro and laser therapies, she stood up and gradually started walking again. From there it's been a great journey for her, and she is one of my key foster-mommas who takes the dogs under her wing.

Sid is a senior pug who was abandoned – we got to know that she had an enlarged heart, fluid in the chest and lungs, and since she needed critical care, we kept her with us.

Snow is our most recently adopted dog. We actually saw him being given up, and it was one of the most heartbreaking stories I've come across. All our dogs come with a history, just like humans, and our aim is to give them the security and reassurance to work through it." she explains

Tell us about 'Crazy Dog Lady Projects'- "Crazy Dog Lady Projects is pure passion. It was never intended to become anything other than a hobby and started on a whim because I wanted to make matching items for my dogs and myself, before going on a road trip.

Soon, friends started ordering for their dogs, and I started teaching myself more about sewing and started exploring more options and extending the catalogue to make household items and items for humans as well.

For me, the choice of fabrics and the finishing quality were key – I wanted to make stuff I would use, and that's how it gradually gained a bigger following. I soon started using whatever money came in towards our rescue efforts.

Currently, I make and sell storage products, masks, all kinds of bags – totes, pouches, and wallets, bandanas, bows, and collars for dogs, although all the collars we make are not meant for walking but for the name tag and keeping dogs safe. We also take on personalisation and customisation of products whenever it's possible to do so." she adds

There are no sponsors or donations for Crazy Dog Lady Projects (CDL), but when we do get any funds for rescues, it goes directly towards the treatment and is not housed via CDL Projects. I also work closely with local shelters and as well as with independent rescuers, whenever required.

Starting CDL Projects was scary for me, because I did not know how it would be accepted. There are many talented artists making such wonderful products but I've learnt that there's room for everyone and I've made a lovely community among like-minded artists.

To continue to fund rescues through CDL Projects and maybe grow to include more than just one person and to also continue to raise awareness about treating animals with respect, about the adoption of older dogs, about the need to get over this breed obsession. she concludes

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