Every day instances of stray dog menace have pushed the Chennai Corporation to step up animal birth-control programme in all 15 zones.
According to estimates, the city has about 1.5 lakh stray dogs in the newly expanded areas, where proper animal birth-control measures have not been implemented yet.
“We have supplied additional dog-catching vehicles exclusively to the newly-expanded areas. We have asked the health department to catch more dogs under the birth-control programme so their numbers on the road do not multiply rapidly,” said an official.
K. Vasan, a resident of Ambattur, said stray dog menace was a major issue at night.
“When I return home after night duty, packs of dogs chase my two-wheeler. Going home has turned into an ordeal. It is scarier when one hears of dog-biting incidents like the recent one involving a four-year-old girl in Guduvanchery,” he said.
G. Murugan, a resident of Thoraipakkam, complained of dogs chasing him when he goes to ATMs in the night after work.
“They are more ferocious if a dog is nursing or if it’s mating season. And when they move in large packs, it is difficult to even walk on the road if you are alone. The Corporation must take steps to catch more dogs,” he said.
In 2012, the civic body performed sterilisation on about 19,000 dogs. The number stood at about 14,000 in 2011. “We follow up on complaints received on the Chennai Corporation helpline 1913. In February, around 40 calls were received,” an official said.
However, despite an abundance of funds and increasing number of vehicles for the programme, there is a paucity of dog catchers.
“Not many people are interested in the job. This, despite the fact that we have doubled the rate per dog caught to Rs. 50. We are prepared to hire people on a contract basis but it is a specialised job,” the official said.