The Chennai Corporation has requested the Blue Cross of India to catch and sterilise stray cats. “We get regular complaints from Mylapore and R.A.Puram areas. The cat menace is quite high in these areas. The organisation has experience in sterilisation of cats,” a senior official of the civic body said.

As far as community dogs are concerned, residents say many chase and scare motorists at night. Those in Adyar, T.Nagar, Velachery, Villivakkam and Mylapore recall nightmarish experiences of being chased by dogs. “Luckily, I travel by car and so am not attacked by the dogs,” said a resident of Adyar. Not just those residing in the city but also suburbs Pallavaram, Kottivakkam, Madipakkam, Nanganallaur, Medavakkam, Ambattur and Tiruvottiyur encounter dog menace.

K.V. Sivaswamy, a resident of Bhuvaneswari Nagar in Pallavaram Municipality, said 10-12 dogs roam around Hastinapuram and Chromepet terrorising passers-by. “If there are one or two dogs, we can drive them away. But they come in packs with puppies tagging alone. We can only urge the local authorities to catch the dogs and sterilise them as is being done in the city,” said the senior citizen.

In a bid to keep the dog population under control, the Chennai Corporation has performed 80,000 Animal Birth Control (ABC) operations so far. “We have three air-conditioned operation theatres, of which one is being used by our veterinary surgeons to perform ABC. The two other theatres are being used by non-governmental organisations that perform the procedure on our behalf,” said Corporation Commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni.

For 2009- 10, until December the civic body had caught 16,887 dogs. In 2008-09 it caught 20,983, and in 2007-08, 18,897. Though a small number is returned to owners, others that are caught are also vaccinated at a cost of Rs.150 each. Last year, around 1,000 dogs were euthanised after being certified by veterinarians that they were terminally ill, aged or senile.

Among the community dogs, some are lucky enough to be fed and taken care of by the kind hearted. Chief Electoral Officer Naresh Gupta and his wife Chaya Gupta have been taking care of abandoned puppies and cats for over 10 years now. “Otherwise they may be run over by vehicles. We feed them rice and bread. Squirrels and crows also come to the window sill and have rice and dosa,” he said. Cattle too are a menace on city roads, including in Jai Nagar, Koyambedu, Chintradripet and Triplicane. There are around 15 cattle yards. The civic body does not permit breeding of cattle in the city.

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