Everyday 30 to 50 cases of dog bites are reported
Coimbatore: Sterilisation may seem a slow process, but it is the only viable solution to deal with stray dog menace.
Soundari Sridhar is greeted by a battalion of dogs everyday when she goes for a walk in Sai Baba Colony. "In the dark you could stamp on them," she says.
Over 50, 000 stray dogs prowl the city, chase children, feed on garbage and even cause accidents.
"Everyday 30 to 50 cases of dog bite are reported here," says T.P. Kalaniti, Dean, Coimbatore Medical College, where the anti-rabies vaccine that costs Rs. 200 is given free.
Following the Supreme Court verdict that prohibits killing of stray dogs, the Corporation has adopted the Animal Birth Control programme (ABC) to tackle the menace.
"The programme involves catching dogs, surgery, post operative care and relocation," says S. Thirukumaran, Zoo director-cum-Corporation Veterinary Officer.
Since the sterilisation costs Rs. 450 per dog, the Corporation has joined hands with voluntary organisations such as the People for Animals (PFA) and Help for Underprivileged Man and Animal (HUMAN).
"Out of the Rs. 450 spent on a dog, Rs. 170 is given by the Corporation. The rest comes from PFA," says S. Jayalakshmi, Chairperson, Corporation Council Health Committee.
Till now, 124 dogs have been caught and sterilised. The programme that began in January is expected to be complete in a year and half.
"The PFA members visit the site and supply food, while Rs. 4,000 is kept for the catchers," says Nalini Shanmugham, secretary, PFA. Sponsorship is a problem faced by the organisations as Rs 5,000 is spent every week on the feeding the dogs caught for sterilisation.
But apart from helping in the Corporation initiative, the PFA has its limitations when it comes to rehabilitation, since their shelter on private land, can house only 15 animals.