Despite preparing plans for a dog shelter two years ago, the Kozhikode Corporation has not been able to bring it to fruition due to non-availability of a suitable land.
Besides, the civic body is anticipating a public protest if a place is identified for the project, considering the mass protest at Poolakkadavu before the launch of the Animal Birth Control (ABC) Centre there.
A survey in 2016 had identified around 13,000 stray dogs in Kozhikode city, which, the authorities estimate, may have crossed 30,000 now. With increasing incidents of stray dog attacks, pressure is mounting on the Corporation to find a solution to the issue even though no one wants a shelter in their neighbourhood.
“We have people and voluntary organisations ready to run the shelters, if we could provide land. But when we are struggling to find land even for housing projects, it is even harder to find land for a dog shelter,” said S. Jayasree, Health Standing Committee chairperson of the Corporation.
Attempts by the civic body to expand the ABC Centre to accommodate a dog shelter failed due to protests by local residents. Similar is the case with the proposed animal crematorium which was planned years ago. “We have land near the existing graveyards. But the public does not approve of burying or cremating animals close to where humans are buried,” Ms. Jayasree said.
Supreme Court case
Meanwhile, the Corporation on Monday decided to join as party in the petition in the Supreme Court demanding a solution to stray dog menace. A meeting chaired by Mayor Beena Philip on Tuesday decided to launch an anti-rabies vaccination drive for street dogs . The first camp will be held at Govindavilasam School at Naduvattam, and later in hotspots such as Beypore, Arakkinar, beach, and Govindapuram-Eravathukunnu. Camps will also be held at the ward level later.
The Corporation plans to rope in experts from animal welfare associations to catch dogs, besides selecting ABC assistants for better results.
Special camps will be organised to issue licences to pet dog owners. “We are planning to set a cut-off date for licensing, so that pet owners take matters seriously,” Ms. Jayasree said. There are also plans to revive the ‘Bow Bow Fest’, the stray puppy adoption camp, as the two camps held a year ago had been a huge success.