By Shashidhar Menon
Of late there have been very sad instances of stray dogs being killed. It is good to try and stop all this against the poor dumb animals; however we need to be realistic also at the same time.
If you are a late night traveller especially on a two wheeler, your fears are of being chased by these crazy mongrels. If you are walking into a street, you could suddenly face 15-20 dog packs trying to attack you. These dogs are wild and most definitely be having rabies.
With the city growing at a rapid pace, there are huge numbers of construction works happening all over the city; the stray dogs are welcome in such communities as they help as a security warning system. The dogs are there till such time there is work, which could be 2-3 years. Once the job is done, the dogs are abandoned; they are homeless hungry and mostly attacked by other street dogs, as they are very territory conscious like wild animals. Due to this, most of them are highly stressed and in panic situations, they run aimlessly, sometimes run over by trucks, cars etc. They also cause fatal accidents on the highways or main roads in the city. The worst is if the dog attacks a two wheeler rider which could lead to fatal accidents. This I have witnessed not once but twice in the heart of Kilpauk.
Recently I read that in one of Chennai’s new suburbs the stray dogs would attack anyone that crosses their path. They mostly attack kids and older people.
I do hope awareness groups along with the police, veterinary experts, voluntary groups, Blue Cross etc., can find the necessary solutions. The fear is that if action is not taken right now, this problem is bound to get out of hand and it could lead to serious problems.
Another commonly found practice followed by the rich and well-to-do families are, that they throw their old or sick dogs on the streets. There are a few cases where, to show off how much they love dogs they get the most expensive ones from kennels, paying fancy rates. Some of the breeds do not adjust to our climate or food. This either means the dog dies or falls sick. I have heard of a very rich lady who has 20 dogs at home. The poor lady now has a bad bout of fur allergy and had to part with her expensive pets.
I request every citizen who reads this note to comment on this article, and give the administration an idea as to how they could stop this menace, as young kids and unsuspecting citizens are attacked.