In UP’s Moradabad district, stray dogs and monkeys are as commonly sighted as humans. Coexistence is a term that the district residents have come to full terms with.
The administratives have taken up the responsibility to catch these unsettling elements for a long time now.
But despite the initiative, the number of residents bitten keeps accelerating. This month started on the wrong footing for the residents of the Moradabad district of UP wherein 160, including 85 new patients have been injected with rabies vaccine at the district hospital.
What’s more shocking is the blatant unmanageable condition proven by the admission of 85 patients within 2 days. Furthermore, even the hospital premises were not devoid of stray dogs and monkeys.
The children of the localities have been equally affected and hunted, if not more, than the adults. Additionally, Dr. Nischal Bhatnagar, a doctor at the hospital said, “these patients include patients bitten by dogs (majorly), monkeys, rats, and cats.”
“But Dogs Are So Loving, They Don’t Bite Unless Aggravated”
Dog lovers lament the threat non-dog-lovers pose to the poor, helpless strays. But the fact remains that strays need to be trained and taught the basics, lest they go biting and nipping at passersby.
Strays too, deserve an equal amount of love, affection, and care as any other pet. Although this needs to be done with some regard to the safety and well-being of the residents.
One can’t just simply feed and shelter strays anywhere and everywhere within a locality where children and other vulnerable residents reside.
Some people are not comfortable around strays and not wanting them roaming freely in public spaces is something that should be respected. Keeping pets or feeding strays is not blasphemy, it is an act of utmost humanity, but within the limits of being a social entity.
The maximum that can be done is, where there is a conflict, through consensus a particular place in the colony can be designated for dog feeding.
Dealing With Stray Dog Menace In A Locality
Now before the harsh, impractical, and inhumane elements of the society strike, I would like to clear that culling is neither an answer nor an option. Moving on, an animal birth control center seems acceptable to an extent. Nor can the dogs be “removed”.
No one wants them sterilized; everyone asks for them to be removed. And that, as per the rules of the Animal Birth Control (Dog), is illegal. MCD or any NGO can take the dogs away for sterilization but then they have to be left where they were picked up from.
Another possible solution, albeit with a little extra love, affection, and patience, is to befriend these furry neighbours. Dogs have, time and again, proven to be the most loyal and caring friend a person could ever ask for. Why not use this for the betterment of the strays and the locality residents.
Holding sterilization camps, vaccination drives, keeping these dogs as allies to the locality guard, many viable options exist. The right amount of training and control needs to be implemented. But again, this should only commence after any and every resident of the locality gives their nod.
Proper measures need to be taken to watch over the strays in case they get needlessly teased or run over, thereby leading to them becoming aggressive and acting outrageously in response.
Alok Aggarwal, a veterinarian at the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (West Zone), says, “We get at least 35 calls daily, cases of biting or chasing people, and of overpopulation. That’s about 245 calls a week, so you can imagine kitne log pareshaan hain,” he says.
Only if the stray goes berserk and starts acting wacky or worse, biting random people, should strict action be taken at once. Most dogs who bite will not need to be euthanized, but each situation is different and the decision is made on a case-by-case basis.
If you’ve noticed signs of aggression, that very moment is the time to take action and report the dog to give you the best chance of avoiding a tragic incident and for the dog to be saved in due time.
All being said, stay calm. Stay attentive. Look after yourself and your local strays. Be humane enough to act civilly.
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