June 13, 2016

1 Small Step for our Furry Friends I

Meet Leo.IMG_6453

As a young pup, Leo was brought to his forever home with great enthusiasm. The Guptas had been looking to bring home a pet and after careful research they bought Leo, a Labrador, from a reliable breeder.

For the first few weeks their home was filled with the playful barks of a young pup. As Leo grew older, they began to notice subtle signs that told them something wasn’t right. Leo’s snout was a little longer and sharper than your average Lab, his tail was thinner, his coat was shorter and the colour wasn’t quite fawn.

A few neighbours suggested that maybe Leo wasn’t a Labrador at all. The Guptas were disappointed. They had been duped and cheated. They didn’t want a half breed in their home, as they steadfastly believed you couldn’t trust dogs without a pedigree.

One day, they took Leo on a trip. He climbed into their car with his trusting smile. When they reached a bus stop, Leo alighted the car with his characteristic eagerness. The family gently told Leo to wait for them as they headed back into the car and drove off.

A good obedient dog, Leo sat there patiently, waiting for his family.

Hungry and anxious, he waited…

And waited…

It was a few days before a kind person picked up little Leo and took him to a shelter. Leo was lost and kept looking at the door, waiting for his family to come take him home.

There was food in his tummy and he had a roof over his head but his eyes were filled with sadness as he kept vigil by the door… waiting.

Leo is still waiting at the shelter. Every day his hope dims just a little. Even though the Guptas don’t want him, we hope that Leo finds a warm and loving family.

Leo needs a forever home


Leo’s story isn’t unique. It’s a story that plays out on the streets of the city every day. Abandoned pets are par for the course. Helping these animals, who have no voice in this hurtling city are organisations like YODA (Youth Organisation in Defence of Animals), who step into the fray and offer animals a warm refuge.

This month as part of our #1SmallStep initiative, we reached out to YODA. Meet Ashar, the Hon. Animal Welfare Officer for the Government of Maharashtra was instrumental in forging this connection. Our youngest GZ Icon, we have known Meet since he gave a moving talk at Gozoop about how the city treats our four legged friends.

Meet Ashar with Dr. Ravinder Singhal
Meet Ashar with Dr. Ravinder Singhal

For the Media Spends team, that led this month’s initiative, choosing to help animals in need seemed like a natural choice. After long conversations with Meet and YODA, they zeroed in on a plan of action that would help the animals of Mumbai.

Leveraging the power of Social Media and an entire dedicated team of people who believe in changing the world 1 Small Step at a time takes careful thought and planning. The team decided to capitalise on our love of food and animals and hosted three distinct activities for the animals at YODA.

1 Small Step at the YODA Shelter
1 Small Step at the YODA Shelter

We weren’t prepared for the journey this initiative turned out to be. It led us down a path that changed us and gave us a new found perspective on life and unconditional love. Stay with us as we take you on this journey with us, one post at a time…

Read Part II

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