HOW TO TACKLE THE STRAY DOG MENACE?
stray dogs in India
The city of Bangalore is known as India’s Hi-Tech city or the Garden city or the more familiar term, the ‘Silicon Valley of India’. But lately its residence dared to rename it as the city of stray dogs, when its newspapers started reporting at least two cases of stray dog bites and deaths each day. On an average 12 people are bitten by stray dogs per MINUTE somewhere in Bangalore.
From the reports of the stray dog menace, it is sad to observe that kids are the main victims. The slum kids are more prone to these sorts of attacks. Also, kids enjoy playing out in the evenings or at dark and thus are left to the fury of the stray mongrels. In a shocking incident at Chandra Layout, a little girl was mauled to death by a pack of nine dogs. In another case, a school girl was attacked by a pack of dogs because she was carrying a Tiffin box.
They also pose a lot threat to road commuters, especially to cyclists and two wheelers, traveling at dusk. They chase these travelers, in most cases, cross frenziedly across the streets unexpected. The result is obvious, the travelers hurt and left to bleed on the roadside and in some cruel cases, attacked by these ruthless packs. With their bites, men are at the risk of contracting Rabies.
Rabies is transmitted to humans with the bite of a rabid dog. Their saliva carries the virus, which enters the human body through the wounds. This virus affects our Central Nervous System, causing the inflammation of the brain. In the early stages of this disease, the symptoms are malaise, fever and headache; while in the later stages huge pain, violent movements, uncontrolled excitements, depressions and inability to swallow water (hydrophobia) accompanies. Coma and eventually death due to respiratory insufficiency is certain.
Rabies vaccine should be given to the victim of a dog bite in or near the area of the bite.
India is reported having the world’s highest rate of human rabies because of stay dogs.
These incidents seem to happen not only in Bangalore but in other cities of India. Why is this happening only in India and how can we tackle these issues?
The main reason behind such a menace is that we fail to check the increasing population of stray dogs. The city municipalities have there after successfully captured many stray dogs with the help of expect dog catchers, but were criticized for their cruel treatment and killing of the captive dogs by PETA and other animal rights activists. In the land of Ahimsa, we need not resort to brutal killing of these abandoned dogs, but surely must prevent stay dog menace effectively and scientifically.
In Western Europe, there are lot of associations for the welfare of abandoned pets and stray dogs. There are also centers for pet adoption. We hardly get to see any stray dogs or cats on the street there. We need to set up such welfare organizations and adoption centers for dogs in India too.
Also, we need to sterilize and vaccinate these stray dogs to counter-check their increasing number and to prevent the spread of rabies. The dog owners should be made to obtain license and regularly immunize their pets.
In many municipal heath centers, there is severe shortage of rabies vaccine. We need to have adequate supply of the vaccine.
It is seen that the stray dog menace happens mostly in the areas where there are street meat and fish markets and hotels. To discard or litter the waste along the road sides should be penalized and the door to door collection of food wastes by the municipal authorities should be encouraged instead of the road side bins.
The stray dog menace is in fact a grave problem in India and the authorities should act immediately to tackle this issue seriously and effectively. Dogs are man’s best friends for ever, if we care for them!