Street dogs give sleepless nights to Madurai residents

The list of stray dogs-infested areas in the city is long. The stray dogs chase vehicles that pass by, mostly at night, even pounce at pedestrians and morning-walkers and scare off elders and children.

Worse is when they keep barking late into the night and when they fight among themselves. “I can’t sleep at night with the constant barking of the street dogs. I even got chased by a stray once at night. It’s mostly mother dogs who do it out of defense mechanism, I guess,” said a 14-year-old boy who used to play in front of his house at New L.I.G. Colony in K.K.Nagar.

Another teenage boy said, “There are about eight dogs roaming in our area. Last week, Corporation workers had come, but the dogs went into hiding somewhere or other and emerged only after they left.”

“Such dogs, when caught, are shifted to dog shelters and checked for rabies infection first. More often, the aggressiveness is toned down after being sterlised. It is followed by isolation which works as behaviour therapy. The dogs will be left at the same place,” said a veterinary officer with the Corporation.

While on the brighter side, many localities have community dogs, who are semi-owned by local residents who feed them regularly.

“People must learn to coexist with stray dogs. Inclusion of animal welfare topics in school syllabus helps develop compassion for stray dogs among the childen from an young age,” said Sai Mayur Hassija, an animal rights activist in the city.

According to him, it is important to create more awareness amongst the public to minimise human-dog conflict.

Speaking of laws, under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, people can get away with a fine of ₹50. Animal rights activists have been demanding an increase in penalty to suit the present times,” he said.

According to Animal Birth Control (Dog) Rules-2001, Animal Welfare Board prevents culling of animals and does not allow picking up pregnant or nursing mother dogs, he added.

He also called for an effective functioning of the Madurai chapter of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) which was revived in June 2021 under the chairmanship of Collector S. Aneesh Sekhar.

First aid

“In case of dog bite, the first aid is - the place where it was bitten should be thoroughly washed with a detergent soap in running water for 10 minutes,” said A. Mohammed Imran Khan, Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon at Burns Centre, Grace Kennett Foundation.

“Getting an anti-rabies vaccination at a government hospital or primary health centre within 24 hours of getting bitten is vital. Seeking immediate advice from a veterinarian or physician is crucial as dog bites should not be taken lightly,” said S.S. Senthil Kumar, consultant veterinarian.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 12:00:05 pm |