Staff, patients at receiving end as civic authorities admit helplessness

Packs of stray dogs have once again joined the doctors and paramedical personnel at the Erode Government Hospital in welcoming the patients and their relatives.

The stray dog menace on the hospital premises that remained under control for a few months, reared its ugly head again as the civic officials have failed to find a permanent solution.

More than 25 dogs could be found roaming the hospital premises all the time, creating fear in the minds of patients, their relatives, and hospital workers.

The dogs feed on the garbage dumped on the premises and chase people entering the hospital premises. Hospital authorities claimed that they were helpless.

“The workers often chase the dogs out of the premises. But they keep returning to the premises, attracted by the huge amount of the food items dumped by the people,” a doctor said.

The hospital provides healthcare services to a large number of people from the economically weaker sections of society in Erode and neighbouring Namakkal district.

It gets more than 2,000 outpatients in a day.

Authorities said that they had taken up the problem faced by stray dogs with civic authorities.

Civic officials, however, claimed that they could not do much to address the problem.

Rules

“According to the animal welfare rules, we can catch the dogs and perform sterilisation under birth control programme. After the sterilisation, we have to leave the dogs in the same area. The sterilisation process does not prevent the dogs from biting. So the menace continues,” a senior official in the civic body admitted.

Doctors said that the stray dogs posed serious health problems.

“Our hospital alone gets over 1,000 dog bite cases in month. The dogs should at least be shifted to remote places after the sterilisation process,” another doctor says.

More In: TAMIL NADU | NATIONAL