Street-dog menace

It has been very worrying to read one news item after another for the last 1.5 months about the street-dog menace on the streets of Chandra Layout in Bangalore attacking children and adults alike. The worst was this news where a pack of street dogs mauled to death an 8 year old girl! Chilling! What is appalling is, there have been several such news items appearing in the newspapers for the last 1.5 months and it doesn’t look like the situation has improved much. Please look at the links below.

Dog bites 20 people
Dogs maul an 8 yr old girl to death
Dogs attack a 7 yr old girl
Dogs continue to attack

Dogs have always been on the Indian roads. However, I have mostly known the street dogs as being fairly docile. So, reading news about dog attacks has come as a total shock. Apparently, there are lots of illegal meat shops in Chandra layout that dump old meat on street corners, empty sites etc! The stray dogs there having got used to the meat, are becoming vicious is what the Bengalooru Mahanagara Palike is telling. Coming up with a solution to this problem is going to be tricky. What with the animal rights activists and the local residents not seeing eye-to-eye on this subject matter.

The typical problems faced because of the street dogs:

  • The dogs are fairly territorial and kind of have their boundaries. When a newer dog steps into a street that other dogs have their “claim” on, there ensues a very noisy barking altercation. Lots of such noisy incidents happen at nights too and disturb the residents.
  • Driving on 2-wheelers in the darker hours is also very difficult, cause the dogs chase the fast moving bike, and the riders an lose balance and meet with accidents. The dogs can also easily reach out for the riders’ legs for a bite!

March 13th – Update: On March 1st, we had the misfortune of losing another child to dog attacks. It was very unfortunate. I was extremely upset by all the incidents. However, in this case, it was apparent that the boy was playing in a place that had knee-deep of garbage! Where were his parents? How can anyone allow a child so young to be outside with no one apparently there? If not for dogs, mustn’t we at least keep an eye on the traffic for the child if he is out on his own?! He was 4! I was shocked that anybody could have let kids play by themselves in such a filthy place. In this day and age, we have traffic, pedophiles, kidnappers, etc on the roads. How can we possibly assume an innocent child’s safety? It is such a pity!

It is also reported that there are lots of illegal meat shops that were dumping old/waste meat in the neighborhood vacant lots. This had encouraged the unsterilized dogs to develop a pack and become aggressive, way more than a regular docile stray dog. And with all these news reports, there is mass hysteria and a lot of people want all the stray dogs taken away, away from anywhere near their sight. The government reacting to the mass-anger, has started catching any and every dog that comes their way. And since it is so much easier to catch the docile ones that don’t have human fear to begin with, we have been losing the friendly dogs from all neighborhoods in Bangalore. More info here. All this is SUCH a knee jerk reaction! Apparently, many of these dogs have been stoned, clubbed, crushed to death!! I am devastated. People, if you are reading this, and want to help, pl go here.

Yes, I was very upset with all the news reports and wanted the government to take action – meaning to sit down with experts in the field and decide on a course of action that was long term. Instead, when they chose a route that was short-sighted and diplorable like killing the stray dogs, I was speechless. I can never support indiscriminate culling. I have no objections to people taking away the aggresive ones, as long as they are not culled! If the diseased ones are put to sleep humanely, that is not too bad.

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