One of the many (wrong) areas in which India stands first among all the countries in the world is cruelty towards stray dogs.
There is a very popular saying that “a lot can be said about a man by how he treats his dog.” I would take a minor liberty here to re-phrase this adage as, “a lot can be said about a man by how he treats any powerless, voiceless animal out on the streets.”
A specific incident I experienced a few days ago forced me to write about this increasingly serious issue.
Every morning while walking back home from the gym I am greeted by a jovial and super friendly canine. I can vouch for the fact that the stray dog would never attack anyone unless he senses a threat around him.
But suddenly one day when I saw that dog hurt and in need of medical assistance, it made me sad and shocked about how an “educated” human being can brutally injure an innocent animal without any reason just because he can.
This incident made me realize about how serious cruelty towards stray dogs is in our country.
Why Such An Enormous Stray Dog Population In India?
It is quite obvious that when we go abroad say America, there are hardly any stray dogs roaming around on the streets. But in a stark contrast, Indian streets are home to roughly around 30 million stray dogs (source: Washington Post).
Even after continuous efforts to curb stray population it only seems to follow the upward trend.
This is simply because Indian streets are apt breeding grounds for stray dogs. Open garbage bins and dumping of garbage directly on the streets is the reason why so many strays manage to survive despite not being served regular meals.
Until we do something about the reckless throwing of garbage on the streets by fellow Indians, stray dogs will keep thriving on the streets even if we resolve to a mass killing of these poor innocent souls.
How Do We Deal With The Issue Of Growing Stray Dog Population?
Ah, this is very simple.
Of course, we kill’ em all!
Why? Because we can and because these defenseless animals can’t do anything about it or voice their disapproval like we do.
Sadly, since time immemorial, the only solution that we end up adopting is practicing inhuman cruelty and violence on these innocent beings.
Their fault? Because they are born on the streets and no civilized family wants them.
In 2008, the Kashmir government passed an order for getting rid of its 100,000 stray population by poisoning them stating that “that is a humane way of killing them.” This order was passed in the wake of increasing dog bite and Rabies cases among the population.
In 2015, the Kerala Government also passed an order to carry out mass-killings of its strays because they were creating a menace by biting people.
And that’s not all.
The government is but a minor player here. Sometimes individuals take it upon themselves to rid the city of the “menacing strays” by becoming a serial killer and killing innocent puppies and dogs in the most gruesome way ever!
This includes throwing puppies off the roof and laughing about it. Stabbing strays without any reason and not feel sorry for it. Burning puppies alive and then videotaping the incident to show people how “brave” these sick morons are!
Now, I understand how serious the issue of dog attacks is.
But, please this is not the way to deal with the issue.
Mass-killing may avert the danger for some time but the problem will return if the cause is not uprooted once and for all.
What Is The Right Way To Deal With This Issue?
#1 Spaying and Neutering Stray Dogs: This is the best possible way to deal with this issue. Logically, if we sterilize stray dogs then obviously they will not multiply and slowly but surely, there will be no stray roaming around the streets.
This solution sounds perfect except there is an acute shortage of NGOs and Animal Welfare organizations that could catch these strays and sterilize them. This process needs a lot of resources and manpower. But if action is taken on a national level, incidents of rabies and dog bites will reduce drastically.
#2 Adopting Stray dogs: Now this solution seems like so weird because who adopts a stray? We all want exotic pet dogs like St. Bernards and Huskies which DON’T EVEN BELONG HERE!
Come on guys, a pet is a pet. Stray dogs have the same capacity to love you irrevocably just like a pedigree dog. In fact, I can guarantee that they will love you more because they are not used to affection and if they receive it from someone; they are the most loyal of them all.
#3 Sensitization of friends, family and co-workers: Mostly half the battle is almost won when awareness among the masses increase. Most of the people don’t know how severe our stray dog population issue is and more importantly, they aren’t aware of how to deal with the issue of rising stray population in your locality. They just run to kill these beings. However, sensitizing our friends, family members, and others we communicate with can go a long way in spreading information and guidance among people.
In the end, I just want to say that I feel pity for those inhuman people who don’t even hesitate in killing a stray pup and request my fellow citizens to be compassionate towards these powerless creatures.
Images Source: Google Images