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Updated: January 9, 2014 14:51 IST

Jobless, civic body’s dogcatcher turns vendor

S. R. Praveen
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Satheesan is now a vendor of fancy items at temple festival venues. Photo: S. Gopakumar
The Hindu
Satheesan is now a vendor of fancy items at temple festival venues. Photo: S. Gopakumar

Satheesan says he still gets distress calls from residents

Satheesan last caught a stray dog almost two months ago. Now he has switched careers and travels from one temple festival venue to another, selling fancy items and other knick knacks.

At a time when the Corporation authorities are thinking of ways to tackle criticism from various quarters over stray dog attacks, including a particularly gruesome one on a schoolgirl at Poonthura, Satheesan, who used to be the civic body’s lone dogcatcher, has shifted out of the city to Varkala to find ways to survive.

He had lost his job in November, after a YouTube clip of him killing some rabid dogs was brought to the notice of the Animal Welfare Board officials. He still maintains that he acted according to instructions from Corporation authorities and was made a scapegoat. The local body still owes him Rs.25,000, he says.

“I did not choose this new career for myself. I was forced to do it as I do not know any other work. For the past 30 years, catching dogs is all I have done. Suddenly I found myself jobless, with no way to feed my family of four. Some of my good-hearted friends and acquaintances pooled in some money for me to buy all this stock of rings, chains and other fancy items,” says Mr. Satheesan. He set shop in Sivagiri during the pilgrimage the past week and is now chalking out plans for the next festival venue. He still gets distress calls from city residents on his ‘official’ mobile number about stray dogs in their localities. “I tell them that I am helpless though I have half a mind to rush to that place,” he says. The Corporation has now appointed two dogcatchers to tackle the stray dog menace. “ If they do not want my services, I plan to set up a small petty shop somewhere,” he says.

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