Animal lovers flay ill-treatment of strays

Pranita Roy
Monday, 3 June 2019

Rashi Rathi, a professional soapmaker residing in the area, said, “Not many in this area feed the stray dogs or are friendly towards them. That is fine. But often residents beat them up with brooms or slippers. They don’t allow the stray dogs to sit in the shade in or around the society premises.”

Pune: While stray animals are often shooed away, animal lovers, who feed them, are also criticised. 

Animal lovers in the city have raised their voices against how they are being harassed by others in the neighbourhood.
Even though stray animals like dogs and cats are sterilised and vaccinated, many locals have been known to harm and ill-treat them.

Recently, a dog was badly beaten up by the residents of Tingre Nagar.

Rashi Rathi, a professional soapmaker residing in the area, said, “Not many in this area feed the stray dogs or are friendly towards them. That is fine. But often residents beat them up with brooms or slippers. They don’t allow the stray dogs to sit in the shade in or around the society premises.”

Objection by others
“Residents also object if anyone feeds or helps these stray dogs. There are few children who come along with me to feed and give them water, especially during this summer season. Recently, a female dog had high fever but the residents refused to provide any kind of healthcare to her, she said.

Another dog lover, Tina Malkani from Kharadi, said that the management of her society has given her a special spot to feed the strays, but residents still complain.

“The members of my society often criticise me for feeding these dogs,” she said, adding that they feel the dogs poop in the society because they get food here. 

Feed one, more come
A resident of Wanowrie, irked by the stray dog menace, stated on condition of anonymity that children are afraid of going to the parks because of the increase in the number of strays.

“Because few of the resident members feed these dogs, more keep coming and now the number has increased in our area. They don’t chase anybody but bark and dog bite cases have also been reported in the past,” he said.

Vaccination and sterilisation
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) will soon launch an application, which will have the database of stray animals that have been sterilised and vaccinated. The civic body has already tied bands around the dogs to keep track of the duration when these animals are sterilised and vaccinated.

“Rabies is an incurable disease but it can be prevented and controlled by vaccination and sterilisation. If a dog is suspected of rabies, citizens should immediately contact NGOs,” said Dr Suhas Bhokare, a senior veterinarian at Karma Foundation. 

He shared that citizens can save themselves in case of a dog attack by standing firm and preventing the attack on the upper body.

“ In a scientific case study, if a dog bites on the legs, there is a less chance of contamination with rabies,” said Bhokare.

“Stray dogs become friendly once anybody starts feeding them. It is easier for the feeder to get them operated. Dogs produce children every six months and cats deliver in every three months. Therefore, it is necessary that all those who feed stray dogs and cats should compulsorily get them sterilised and vaccinated,” said  President of Karma Foundation Priya Kaliad.

Animal bite cases

  • In 2018: Pune recorded 9,134 stray dog bites, 850 cat bites and 146 monkey bites cases in the city. 
  • In 2019 (Jan to April): Pune recorded 3,608 dog bites, 323 cat bites and 38 monkey bites cases.

How is PMC helping

  • The PMC’s primary and most important role is to carry out sterilisation and vaccination of all stray animals. 
  • Not allowed to relocate the stray dogs or cats as per animal welfare board. So they are brought back from where they were picked.
  • Stray animals found sterilised and vaccinated already are not touched by the PMC.
  • Dogs against whom citizens have registered complaints of dog bites repeatedly are kept under strict observation by the PMC.
  • Even if sterilised or vaccinated, such dogs are taken to designated ponds and kept under observation. 
  • Those affected with rabies are handed over to NGOs like ‘Rescue’, which has the infrastructure to take care of them.

(As told by PMC Veterinary Superintendent  Dr Prakash Wagh.)

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