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Residents in the grip of stray dog menace

Staff Reporter
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Most people hesitate a lot to venture into the streets after dark

Spreading terror:Stray dog menace has increased at BP Agraharam in Erode.—PHOTO: M. GOVARTHAN
Spreading terror:Stray dog menace has increased at BP Agraharam in Erode.—PHOTO: M. GOVARTHAN

Most people in BP Agraharam, one of the thickly populated residential area in Erode town, hesitate a lot to venture into the streets after dark as the stray dog menace in the area has reached alarming proportions.

Packs of strays lurk in alleyways, streets, vacant plots and parks, spreading terror in the neighbourhood. A few days ago, S. Kathir, a school student in the area, was returning home after attending his evening tuitions, when a pack of stray dogs chased him. “The dogs started chasing me the moment they spotted me entering into the street. Fortunately, I was near my home and managed to escape from them,” he said. Many students, parents, office-goers and aged persons in the area have a similar frightening story to recall. The population of the stray dogs has gone up in BP Agraharam and most parts of Erode down. Things have become so bad that many residents in BP Agraharam now avoid going out after dark.

“At least 20 to 30 dogs can be found in every corner of the street, feasting on the rotting garbage and spreading terror. Many of my friends have even stopped going for an evening walk,” S. Gopalakrishnan, a senior citizen in the area said.

People in the area, like others, reported this issue to the Erode Corporation on several occasions urging the authorities to sort out the problem. “The authorities repeat the same answer they have been giving for the past several years. They claim that they are not in a position to help. They cannot remove the stray dogs from the streets because of the pressure from the animal welfare activists,” R. Rajan, another resident in the town, said. The civic body, which is caught between animal rights activists and angry residents, has almost given up its efforts to find a feasible solution. “The animal welfare activists want the stray dogs to be left in the streets after the sterilisation. People say the sterilisation does not mean that the dogs won’t bite, which, of course, is true. We cannot remove the dogs from the streets as it is a violation of animal welfare rules,” an official in the civic body said.

Civic officials, however, said that the situation would improve due to the implementation of animal birth control programme.

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