"These dogs turn aggressive only when they are stoned at"
TIRUCHI: Recent instances of poisoning of stray dogs in Gandhi Nagar, R.S. Puram and Thendral Nagar in the city have caused disgust among volunteers involved with the Animal Birth Control and Rabies Elimination Project of the International Animal Rescue, a voluntary organisation.
The impunity with which a misguided section of the public indulges in such acts with scant regard to Animal Welfare Laws has caused bitterness among the volunteers.
2,400 dogs sterilised
They have sought cooperation from the public to their efforts to keep the population of street dogs and spread of rabies under check. Over the past few years, the volunteers have sterilised as many as 2,400 dogs in the city.
They have readied 10,000 dog-bite prevention leaflets for mass distribution.
The onus is on the public to prevent dog-bites. Many, for instance, are not aware that they should get their pets vaccinated against rabies, said K.K. Nagar-based Deike Schacht, a German Animal Rights Activist and Veterinary Surgeon, who runs the Project.
"People lose sight of basic facts that dogs should not be disturbed while sleeping and eating."
It should also be realised that stray dogs turn aggressive only when they are stoned at.
Though people must be safeguarded from dog bites, it is a misconception that only street dogs are the cause for the spread of rabies. In fact, among the people who are given anti-rabies vaccine at the Government Hospital, 75 percent of the cases account for those who are bitten by their own pets owing to mishandling, she said.
Also, pet dogs of local breed that are left astray by their owners are mistaken for wandering ones.
The need for administering anti-rabies vaccine on people on a large scale could be obviated if the dogs are injected in the first place. According to her, improper disposal of waste is the reason behind proliferation of the dog population.
Whenever there is a complaint, the volunteers act on information and separate the aggressive among the street and community dogs for sterilisation. Their help could be sought at phone number 3299273 or 93451 01504.
Dr. Schacht sees a positive development in the State Government's Animal Welfare Board's move to undertake Animal Birth Control programmes through municipalities.
She is keen to lend her support for implementation of the programme.