Specially-fabricated vans to transport street dogs to animal birth control centres have been launched in all Corporations (except Chennai) and many Municipalities in the State. The vans will replace the hitherto-used lorries and have specially designed cages made from stainless steel to ensure a safe and injury-free journey. 60 such dog transportation vans were launched by K.P. Munusamy, Local Administration Minister recently.
Until now, the dogs were transported in modified mini-lorries and once trapped, thrown into the cargo container and locked up. Many animals were injured as they became aggressive due to stress and fear and ended up attacking each other. The new vehicles — Tata Ace mini trucks — have been fabricated to provide six individual cages. “The cages are made from non-corrosive stainless steel material and have adequate ventilation. No more than six dogs will be transported in each van at a time,” Chandrakant B. Kamble, Commissioner of Municipal Administration said.
He said the cages were mounted on the vehicles at a height of just 2 feet from the ground and the doors could be opened as well as lifted up for the easy entry and exit of the dogs. There were separate cabins for dog catchers and the vehicle could be cleaned easily, staff at Tambaram Municipality said. An official note said that in the first phase, all Corporations except Chennai and many of the 126 municipalities received the vans.
In the subsequent phase, the rest of the municipalities will receive them. A sum of Rs. 5.4 crore was sanctioned by the State government for construction of dog shelters, where birth control surgeries are performed and also for purchase of these vans, each of which costs Rs. 6.5 lakh.
In Tambaram, over 2,200 birth control surgeries were performed in the past two years. A senior official of the Department of Municipal Administration and Water Supply said that in local bodies that did not employ qualified professionals, veterinarians were hired and paid Rs. 445 per surgery. Staff members were confident that dogs would be treated more kindly and dog catchers would be safer with the launch of these vans.