The pet project

Animal lovers found the two-day Pet Fed carnival a place to hook up with their favourite cats and dogs

DOG-GED: As many as 1,000 dogs were present at the Pet Fed

For many Delhiites, as in other metro cities, keeping a pet at home is dependent on the whims of neighbours and family.

Avinash, a 28-year-old Delhiite, has been unfortunate on that count. Despite being fond of animals, he is unable to keep pets at home due to objections from family and neighbours.

He, however, found a way out to mix with pets.

He attended Pet Fed, a carnival for pet and animal lovers held last week after a gap of three years, at the Okhla NSIC ground. It comprised a variety of activities, workshops and stalls.

“I love to roam around here in this fair. I am also a pet lover, though I don’t have any pets because of [the objection raised by] my family and neighbours. They’re not pet-friendly but when I come here, I feel that vibe which I usually miss at home,” said Avinash.

In its inaugural year in 2014, the fair attracted only 200-300 visitors. But since then, it has grown in popularity. Nowadays, the two-day fair [in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru] draws more than 20,000 visitors.

“It is popular with Delhiites. We come here every year, my pet Nono loves the vibe and so do I,” said Muskan, a 28-year-old visitor.

The fair, which was held on December 17 and 18, held hygiene masterclasses for people having pets, pet fashion shows as well as food stalls.

A black, furry cat awaits adoption from a parent

“Pet Fed also serves as a resource for pets and their owners. It’s also a platform that connects pet parents with the latest innovations in the pet industry,” said Akshay Gupta, founder of Pet Fed.

“I am confident that this year will be huge because we have so many new pet owners. We are delighted to see India progressing towards becoming a pet-friendly and inclusive country,” added Gupta.

As Gupta pointed out there are many new pet parents this year. The fair served as a platform for them to learn something new about pet parenting.

“There’s a lot to learn about pets in this show, but our country needs more pet-friendly spaces. Yes, dogs are a comfort to those looking for unconditional love,” said Aastha Gautam, 32, who is a new pet parent.

Ashlesha, who is 23, said she enjoyed being among pets more than she did at any event solely for humans.

“This year’s Pet Fed was the most healing experience of my entire life till now. I’ve never felt so elated in any of the events related to human beings, as I have felt at Pet Fed. I want to visit the festival again and again,” she said.

Highlights of the event:

Limca World Record Holder – Pet Fed is the ‘Biggest Dog Carnival’ in India as per the Limca Book of Records. This largest pet socialisation carnival occurs every year across Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai, with over 1000 dogs and 20,000 visitors over two days.

Dedicated Play Areas & Agility Ring – There are separate play zones for cats and dogs, with one play zone and one separate ‘Agility Ring’ for dogs, and a special indoor cat zone with a ‘Kitty Playpen’ for cats. Pets and parents can enjoy the various swings, balls, pools, slides and mazes.

Adoption Camps – With #AdoptDontShop as one of our major initiatives, Pet Fed raised awareness about adoption as an ideal way to bring home a pet instead of buying. This was in collaboration with various NGOs such as World For All, CUPA, PFA, and others.

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