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Pets scamper for cover amid noise

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Noise trouble: Pet dogs convey their unhappiness whining sulkily to register their protest.
Noise trouble: Pet dogs convey their unhappiness whining sulkily to register their protest.

Yogendra Kalavalapalli

Several calls from various corners of the city report abuse of stray animals

Whenever there is a cracker explosion, animals and birds, caught off guard, scurry to safer places

Veterinary doctors attend to calls from owners of “traumatised pets” for days that follow the festival

HYDERABAD: Come Deepavali and a carnival like atmosphere envelops the city as it celebrates ‘the festival of lights’ with scintillating fireworks dazzling the sky amidst the deafening boom of bombs and whishing of rockets. As the celebrations go on unabated, the winged and the four-legged beings that inhabit the city scamper for cover dreading the freaky, unnatural flashes of light and the ear-splitting noises.

Veterinary doctors in the city report about attending to calls from owners of “traumatised pets” not just on the festival day but also for a few days that follow. “Animals are very sensitive to sound and light,” says Chief Veterinary Officer of GHMC Dr. P. Venkateshwar Reddy. “An ordinary fire-cracker for them is similar to what a bomb is for us,” he explains.

Birds are the most vulnerable as they are very sensitive to sound and therefore it is 100 per cent harmful for them, Mahesh Aggarwal general secretary of Sahayog, an animal and human welfare organisation says. According to him there are several instances every year of birds being hit by oncoming vehicles or dropping dead.

Whenever there is a cracker explosion, animals and birds, caught off guard, scurry to safer places.

“An element of fear is created and they will try to rush away. But owing to deafening sounds and bright lights their sense don’t work properly leaving them confused and in a daze,” Mr. Aggarwal explains the panicky moments.

Pet dogs, on the other hand, convey their unhappiness rather dramatically.

While they tuck (or is it escape?!) themselves under cots whining sulkily to register their protest, all of a sudden they come out and bark incessantly not just at the Deepavali revellers but also at their owners.

On the other hand stray animals, usually, have no one to tend to. “Every year we receive several calls from various corners of the city reporting about abuse to stray animals,” Mr. Aggarwal says. Last year Sahayog attended to a distress call where a dog’s tail was badly burnt in East Marredpally after its tail caught fire when revellers abused it with a fire cracker. Even a donkey was abused, adds Mr. Aggarwal.

As you light the 200 walas let the thought - Deepavali is also about ‘daya’ apart from ‘decibel’ and ‘diya’ - hover in the back of your minds. Happy Deepavali.


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