At 6 a.m. on Monday, some parts of the city were buzzing with an unusual activity. A team of veterinarians and trained dog catchers was busy looking out for stray dogs to administer anti-rabies vaccine as part of ‘Mission Rabies’ project.

The mass campaign was launched in eight wards in Madurai Corporation with the support of UK-based World Veterinary Service (WVS), which has deployed its experts for monitoring the project.

The field staff were jubilant as they could administer free anti-rabies vaccination to 762 dogs on the first day of the campaign, which will continue till September 13, covering all the 100 wards.

“This is a pilot project taken up only in select places in the country. Our focus is now on Madurai. This campaign has evoked very good public response, and I could see it in the places I visited,” said Dr.Appupillai Murugan, senior veterinary coordinator, Mission Rabies–WVS.

Four teams were formed to vaccinate dogs in four zones of the Corporation. Mr.Murugan said he had briefed the District Collector and the Corporation Commissioner about the action plan.

Authorities are planning to cover at least 8,000 stray dogs and pet dogs under this mission.

R.Nanthagopal, Corporation Commissioner, inspected the vaccination drive in Santhi Nagar, Koodal Nagar, Thiruppalai, Kannanenthal, Swami Sannathi, Ismailpuram, Sourashtra School area, Madakulam and Palanganatham.

Officials said steps had been taken to ensure that the dogs suffered no pain and they were not subjected to cruelty, officials said.

Those who want to complain about stray dogs and rabies vaccination can contact sanitary inspector and Animal Birth Control Programme Coordinator S.Murugan at mobile number 93446-05443.

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