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Updated: February 22, 2014 10:06 IST

MCC Student dies of rabies three months after bite from pup

    K. Manikandan
    T. Madhavan
Comment (13)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Alan Joash Samuel.
The Hindu Alan Joash Samuel.

24-year-old MCC student was petting the dog when it bit him

A 24-year-old postgraduate student of social work died around midnight on Thursday in Vellore, three months after he was bitten by a pup at Madras Christian College in East Tambaram.

Alan Joash Samuel was petting a couple of pups that had strayed into the campus in the second week of November when one of them bit him. A classmate accompanying him was also bitten.

Both students were taken to the medical centre on the campus and administered tetanus shots. Alan’s classmate subsequently underwent a complete anti-rabies vaccination course, while Alan did not, authorities told The Hindu.

On Wednesday, Alan developed high fever and began displaying symptoms of hydrophobia. He was taken to a private hospital in the city and then to Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. From there, he was shifted to the Intensive Care Unit of Christian Medical College in Vellore.

He failed to respond to treatment and died around midnight, Michael Samuel, his father, said. “We were not aware that it was serious. He had only told us that it was a minor bite from a pup,” Mr. Samuel said.

Alan’s death left his relatives, friends and teachers devastated. “He loved pets, especially the Labrador they had at home,” said Jemima Paul, his aunt. The family had given away the dog last year after his mother Helena Michael fell while taking the Labrador for a walk

Alan, an engineering graduate, worked in the software industry for two years but his heart was set on social work and he joined the college in 2013, his friends said.

“It is really shocking. This is the first such incident in the college and we will take steps to put an end to this problem,” said principal R.W. Alexander Jesudasan. He said that walls had been built around most of the college compound, except for a small stretch and noted that dogs were a threat to the deer on campus too.

The college is spread over more than 360 acres and large parts are covered with thick vegetation. Attempts made with the cooperation of the Tambaram Municipality to trap stray dogs are not always successful as they hide amidst the vegetation, faculty said.

With an increase in the number of complaints related to stray dogs from residents, the municipality is looking to expand its animal birth control project.

To identify sterilised dogs, a small cut is made on the ear after surgery.

The dogs are vaccinated for rabies and are released after their surgical wounds are healed, staff said.

A senior official of the Department of Municipal Administration and Water Supply said, “We have to follow certain rules in handling stray dogs and abide by guidelines as laid down by Animal Welfare Board of India.”

Animal rights activists noted that while precautionary measures were necessary, there should be no large-scale culling of dogs.

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Stray dogs have been a perpetual menace all over India. As a teenager
I used to avoid getting off at Talaiyuthu Railway Station early
mornings and instead get off at Tirunelveli Jn and take a bus back to
Talaiyuthu. When I was pursuing Engineering in 1986 got bitten by
stray dog in Panagal Park. Thanks to timely advice from my cousin's
friend a MBBS student got the rabies vaccine even though it was my
semester exams in Coimbatore. I saved the vaccines in the fridge of a
college professor and everyday used to take it to the doctor for
injection. Very sad to see such a young life end and too due to lack
of awareness.

from:  V. Sambasivan
Posted on: Feb 25, 2014 at 00:03 IST

I agree completely with one of the previous comment- if people love dogs
so much,they should keep them in their homes,and not let them free on
the roads and become a menace.Sometimes these dogs find barking at
somebody ,very amusing and a group of such dogs get together and create
a DIN,and also harrass the poeplpe on the roads.

from:  JAmes
Posted on: Feb 24, 2014 at 13:42 IST

honest to god when i heard the name alan joash samuel, i thought he was a european. now only i realise that he is a tamil with a european name.

from:  s shivalingham
Posted on: Feb 24, 2014 at 00:53 IST

It is really a very sad news. Stray dogs are a menace and they roam
freely in all parts of Chennai. When one returns home either by walk or
a two wheeler late in the night, there is a great chance that he or she
may be approached menacingly or attacked by a pack of stray dogs.
Thanks to the animal right activists and the laws enacted to prevent
culling of stray dogs, India accounts for almost one third of the death
due to rabies in the entire World. I read an article in the Bangalore
edition of your newspaper dated 8th December 2012, that the Honourable
High Court of Karnataka had ruled that that all dogs, which are a
menace or cause nuisance, irrespective of whether they have or not
attacked anybody, could be exterminated in a humane manner — even if
they are vaccinated, sterilised and free from diseases — as per the
provisions of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations (KMC) Act 1976. Is
it possible to get a similar ruling from Chennai High Court? Legal
practitioners may kindly advise.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Feb 24, 2014 at 00:25 IST

A sad end to a nature loving person.My son was also in the same
college and he too was kind to all stray dogs&cats.I had seen pics of
dogs in MCC in his phone.My son too was bitten by a dog (not in MCC)
AND I TOO WAS TO take it lightly.Thank God for the immediate medical
advice that made us put him on an anti rabies course.Why didn't the
doc who gave Alan an ATT shot insist on anti-rabies course? Shame!
Each of us must create awareness among people about anti-rabies
course.If we can't prevent dog/animal bites lets at least help prevent
unwanted death by cautioning others.There are many dogs in MCC
campus,the principal must act immediately taking help from
NGO's&BlueCross to get the dogs on campus vaccinated &spayed. May God
give the parents of Alan the strength required to deal with this
unfortunate period of darkness.The fact that it was all preventable
makes the sadness,anger& anguish more.Many bikers in the streets of
Chennai face this danger,dogs chase moving vehicles,BUT who cares

from:  Badhrinarayanan
Posted on: Feb 23, 2014 at 20:31 IST

This is a shocking news to all people in India.A young boy dies due
some bad circumstance which we create in our locality without concern
of the future and after all we and authorities opine that it could
have be avoided provided we had taken preventive measures from the
menace from stray dogs.This is our culture that we are following for
years.This is a high time to re-think about our system that responding
to bad happenings after it happens without taking any pre measures to
overcome them.

We can not condemn any one but we all are responsible for a shocking
event.I pray for this not happen in future.This is a good saying that
act according to the need of society.

from:  Muhammed Yusaf E
Posted on: Feb 22, 2014 at 21:28 IST

Every district Municipality should take a necessary action to control
the stray dogs.

from:  Mohamed Siddiq
Posted on: Feb 22, 2014 at 15:51 IST

I reside in Gowrivakkam near Selaiyur, a few kilometers away from East
Tambaram. Stray dogs live in large numbers in these localities. This
has grown to be a menace because many people here, especially pet
lovers, offer large quantities of food to these stray dogs regularly.
I think if people love dogs, they should domesticate them and groom
them, instead of offering food to stray dogs. Also local bodies must
ensure that garbage disposal is done systematically and people should
avoid trash being thrown out in the streets. Because of these problems
these stray dogs multiply and become a menace. Avoiding these would
ensure mutual benefit for people and dogs.

from:  Arun Kumar
Posted on: Feb 22, 2014 at 15:16 IST

It is really very sad and shocking to see the death of precious
students, when they love dogs and trying to take care and protect
them, love should have reason as well,while the another in the similar
bite survived with immediate medical attention, negligence should not
lead to such a huge tragedy! While we pray for the strength and
comfort of the family, we should sensitize and caution all students
about the result of carelessness in such situations.All institutions,
schools and colleges should be equipped with facilities for medical
emergencies 24x7,loving and caring all innocent students under their
care! <

from:  Prof.S.Prince Arockia Doss
Posted on: Feb 22, 2014 at 10:09 IST

Can the Management wash their hands of this tragic incident when
it is their primary responsibility to look after the security and
needs of the students who enroll in MCC and put in their care by
the parents. The college authorities didn't find it necessary or
important to secure the perimeter wall of the college, even after
knowing that dogs are a threat to the deer in the campus and as in
the present case, a threat to the student community. Can we fault
the student about his love for dogs? i am sure most of us would
want to pet a pup, as they are small and generally not perceived
to be a threat. it is really sad to see the Management waking up
from slumber, after the death of a student. Really sad. Once MCC
known for its quality and standard, is now coming in the news for
all the wrong reasons. Does any one care?

from:  Thomas
Posted on: Feb 22, 2014 at 09:44 IST

This is so unfortunate an event. A young life lost due to ill-fated course of events. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members. Also, as the administration has resolved to step up its efforts in this direction, one can hope that such instances would not recur in the future.

from:  Murtuza
Posted on: Feb 22, 2014 at 08:44 IST

The number of stray dogs is on the rise and is becoming a threat. The
Animal Welfare Board of India should seriously consider revisiting its
guidelines and provide a way out to curb the population of street dogs.
Possibly, in addition to birth control, all the street dogs shall also
be administered anti-rabies shots.

from:  Kannan Subbiah
Posted on: Feb 22, 2014 at 06:49 IST

Heartfelt condolences, but it also shows that many are still not aware
of the danger of rabbis that lurk in street dogs.It is very sad that
young Alan Joash Samuel had to lose his life to rabbis.

from:  R.S.Hari
Posted on: Feb 22, 2014 at 05:54 IST

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