Be Humane, IT Firms -have a policy to include pet transfer when relocating employee
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Thousands of pets are abandoned or surrendered to shelters , when software and other working professionals are transferred by their company overseas. Many large IT firms may not know that they are inadvertently contributing to the tragedy of abandoned pets, funneling helpless pets to unethical breeders & puppy mills, financially & emotionally burdening shelters & fosters and even - pet euthanasia. You may not have known earlier how your act of omission impacted, but now you do, and we know you will do the right thing.
Pets are family. A lovely 3 year old Indie left by a returning expat with his security was left locked in the house, and died of starvation, desperately waiting for his owner. Recently a person who had adopted a lovely Pom-Lab mix returned her after 2 years as he had to leave in a hurry and as his company, one of the largest Indian IT Services firms , would neither deviate from cheapest airline option nor pay for pet relocation when transferring him to Europe . Indifference is certainly the first reason but company policy was also a major factor in abandoning the dog with the shelter. He was surprised that the process and cost was so manageable, but since he had limited time, he abandoned her anyway.
Pet Relocation is manageable with proper planning. By most countries' standards, all a pet usually needs is a rabies titre test, microchipping, and a 1-3 month period before the pet is taken overseas, and the cost is normally as accompanied baggage. A lot of myths and horror stories about pets dying in transit, most countries banning pets or having impossibly long quarantine periods float around, and except for countries like Australia who do have a long quarantine, most countries are welcoming & pet friendly, provided animal is healthy & virus free.
Globally most companies do include pet relocations within limits. Doing this is simply in line with the global standard. Look at SHRM policy for USA . "The transportation and boarding of small domestic pets, dogs, cats, etc. is permitted and [Company Name] will reimburse costs associated with movement and boarding of such pets for a period not to exceed 30 days."
Abandoning a pet is illegal as per the Indian Prevention of Cruelty Act . Doing this for any reason can land the pet owner in prison for up to three months. Section 11(1)(i) and Section 11(1)(j), PCA Act, 1960. No company would want its personnel to break such laws because of gaps in policy. Many people may be unaware of the laws compassionate lawmakers have passed to safeguard animals.
So what does a company have to do? Simply, be aware of this issue, add the pet relocation option within your relocation clause in HR Policy, incorporate this as soon as transfer comes up, train Admin & HR to be more empathetic to the issue, involve pet relocation services FAQ's or their free advisory at time of transfer ( as it does take time) , be flexible to pet friendly airlines on the transfer and we promise you that your employee, client and stakeholders will love you for your empathy. Put that on your company website, and share that you really are an inclusive, empathetic and conscious employer. On the other hand, do you want to be known as those greedy companies who just don’t care about how things are done, just making money?
What about cost? Don’t worry - while costs vary based on country, pet relocation is often just effectively the cost of a ticket, if its done in a timely manner. By this small gesture, and by introducing pet relocation services to your Admin Team , the executive is much is better informed and make a proper decision . Many have been given horror stories on pet survival during travel and transfer ( time , cost, quarantine) and this access and crowdsourcing helps preserve calm and families . Sometimes temporary boarding can address the issue. NGO's and animal welfare organizations would be happy to assist in implementation and support. And info and advice is free. So what is there to lose?
Facilitate your employees to follow the law & do the right thing. How would you judge someone who dumps family when they relocate on company stint? Certainly not the responsible, committed person that you hired! Nasscom & other Foundations clearly show that this educated group has its heart & conscience in the right place. Company CSR policies or governance is on paper but real empathy is shown by responding positively when an act of omission like this can result in so much of grief, and it has . The pets may not have a voice, but now you are listening. By this small addition - whether it's information access or financial assistance, you would have made the world a better place.
So please Business & HR –add a line for a Pet Policy with links on relocation support, relocation information & shelter connect. IT firms who send legions of software workers on assignment overseas, please do help. Confirm compassion, family and the right thing to do.
Yes, it is a small thing but critical. You did not know earlier. You do now.
Please just do it. THANK you .
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