A pair of giant condoms walking on the road caught the attention of motorists and pedestrians on Tuesday. Animal welfare activists adopted the unique style to create awareness on the importance of sterilising cats and dogs.

‘Sterilise dogs. They can’t use condoms’ read the placards held aloft by the two volunteers of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) standing outside Semmozhi Poonga on Cathedral Road.

“Millions of dogs and cats suffer on the streets or languish in severely-crowded animal shelters. We urge the sterilisation of animals on the streets,” said Chani Singh, PETA India campaign coordinator.

According to an activist at PETA, a female dog and her offspring can give birth to 67,000 pups in six years while a cat and its offspring can give birth to 4.2 lakh kittens in seven years.

Abandoned stray dogs and cats struggle to survive and in many cases, get hit by vehicles or abused by people. Killing the dogs and leaving them on the outskirts of the city is not an alternative, said Ms. Singh.

An autorickshaw driver who stopped to catch a glimpse of the promotion said, “The government must take measures to handle stray dog menace. After 10 p.m., we are not able walk freely on the roads fearing the dogs.”

After sterilisation, the dogs and cats are returned to their areas as these animals are territory-oriented.

PETA along with Blue Cross Society has written to the Mayor seeking remedial measure for the problem. When asked about the steps undertaken by PETA in Chennai for sterilisation, Ms. Singh said the organisation lacked resources like veterinary vans. Hence, they support other organisations involved in sterilisation of these animals.

S.B.S Vasan, a businessman from Bangalore, said he was fascinated by the promotion.

“Rarely does one come across a campaign targeted towards sterilisation of dogs and cats. Sometime back, a friend of mine adopted a sterilised dog,” he said.

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