Anybody who has wandered around Puducherry at night or early in the morning will be aware of the large number of community dogs in every area.

In many areas, they appear to roam around in packs and scavenge around the piles of garbage. Every so often, there are news reports of people getting bitten by these dogs.

According to officials in the Government Hospital, every day around five or six people come in for treatment of dog bites. A recent census conducted by the Local Area Development Department estimated that there were around 6000 dogs in the Puducherry Municipality and 8000 in the Oulgaret Municipality area.

The locals feel that the government is not doing enough to bring down the nuisance.

It is fairly evident that the Animal Birth Control operation performed on these dogs has not been successful, since there are a large number of puppies in every street, Velan who lives in the Boulevard area said.

Also, the Animal Welfare Board of India has written to the Puducherry officials condemning the functioning of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for not performing their duties adequately. The SPCA was earlier taking care of the ABC procedures for both the Oulgaret and the Pondicherry Municipality. Now, only the Oulgaret Municipality employs them.

Rescue Centre

Now, in order to combat the large number of community dogs, the Puducherry Municipality has set up a rescue centre for dogs with the aim of helping dogs that were involved in accidents as well as completing ABC for 60 per cent of the dog population in 6 months, an official from the municipality said.

The control room, which will be available 24 hours a day, has also employed five dog catchers who have been trained in catching dogs using a butterfly net and the municipality will be purchasing these nets soon.

Currently, they are using doctors on contract from the Animal Husbandry Department and the Veterinary College and any doctor who is willing to work at the rescue centre will also be considered, he said. The rescue centre can be reached at 9443535255. Alternately, the SPCA can be reached at 9443253238.

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