Even as the city, and its civic body, is struggling to deal with the problem of stray dogs, chilling reports of these dogs landing two-wheeler riders in accidents are emerging.
A. Sokkan (41) was riding a two-wheeler near Chettipalayam when a dog chased him. He lost control of the vehicle. And when it fell on its side, his right leg got stuck between the wheels.
This resulted in a fracture, with the bone piercing through the skin.
“This kind of fracture increases the risk of infection manifold,” says Chairman of Orthopaedics and Spine Surgery at Ganga Hospital S. Rajasekaran. Sokkan is one of the three latest victims who met with accidents because of stray dogs this past Sunday.
While the dog scampered off to safety, Sokkan, a resident of Sundarapuram, required emergency surgeries. Though out of danger now, he will, however, be bedridden for quite some time.
The locals, who rescued him, said he was the third such victim at the spot in the last one week.
For S. Rajagopal, a 59-year-old caterer, it was just another of the numerous two-wheeler trips he had undertaken to Kerala for offering prayers at a temple. The resident of Kavundampalayam in the city was not quite blessed when he was returning home, what with danger lurking in the form of stray dogs that chased two-wheeler riders.
A dog that rushed at him got caught between the two wheels and he was thrown off the vehicle on a highway.
He was lucky that there was no vehicle close behind. Dr. Rajasekaran says stray dog-induced accidents have been increasing of late.
In the third instance, a 24-year-old man on a two-wheeler ran into a tree when a dog crossed the road in front of him. He, too, sustained fracture of the right knee and required an emergency surgery.
Dr. Rajasekaran says, “When a motorist suddenly spots a dog, his/her instinct would be to accelerate and veer away, which almost inevitably causes an accident. Such accidents can be fatal as many motorists do not wear helmets.”
He also recalls another accident when a motorist driving with two children hit a school student standing on the roadside, while trying to avoid a dog.
He says some immediate measures must be initiated to deal with this problem on the roads. This issue forms part of a public interest litigation filed by the doctor in the Supreme Court.
He has also urged the Coimbatore Corporation to identify places where there is a high concentration of dogs and accord priority to solving the problem in those areas.
When this issue was raised with the Coimbatore Corporation, officials in the civic body said on Wednesday that in the next 15 days it would start a second animal birth control centre at Ukkadam and engage People For Animals Unit II for carrying out the birth control operations.
With the start of the second unit, the number of operations performed in a month will exceed 500. At present, the Humane Animal Society was engaged in catching and operating upon street dogs at the Corporation's facility in Seeranaickenpalayam.
(With inputs from Karthik Madhavan)