Saturday, January 16, 2010

Who let the dogs out...

Stray dog menace once again in city
The stray dog menace has once again surfaced in some parts of the city. The 'catch and cull' operation which was launched sometime ago by the Mysore City Corporation (MCC) to tackle the street dog menace has failed to work.
Special dog squads were formed by the MCC to catch and sterilise street dogs and even cull those dogs which had rabies or any incurable disease with a lethal injection. In spite of all this, the dog menace in a few layouts has not decreased becoming a nightmare for the residents of those localities.
When Star of Mysore made a survey in Sunnadakeri, Mahadevpura (H.D. Kote Road), Go-kulam, Kuvempunagar, Ramakrishnanagar, Ashokpuram, Bannimantap, Yadavagiri, JP Nagar, Shardadevinagar, Boti Bazar, Paduvarhalli and many other localities, the residents complained that street dogs continued to roam in packs of large numbers and that they are afraid of sending their children alone outside to play.
"I am a regular visitor to Kukkarahalli Lake. The stray dog operation initiated by the MCC should be continued regularly.
"The Corporation took up this operation only after four to five people were bitten by street dogs and complaints of many cases of dog chasing were brought to the notice of the Corporation.
"But immediately after this, they kept quiet and now with the dog menace once again on the rise, we have to search for the dog squad. MCC should undertake the operation throughout the year, at frequent inter-vals, maybe once in a month. They should regularly survey the areas and check with the residents about the stray dog menace. It should not be just a few days' affair," says Shubha, a resident of Kuvempunagar.
"I am afraid of dogs. In our locality, there are about three to four packs of street dogs with 5 to 7 dogs in each pack. They start chasing us the moment they see us carrying bags. For the fear of being attacked by these dogs, whenever I go out, I always ask my father to acc-ompany me till the main circle near our house," says Raju of Sunnadakeri.
"We are facing a lot of hardship due to these dogs. We are always afraid to send our child-ren out into the streets. Somebody has to accompany them. They chase four-wheelers too. There are about 15 to 18 dogs in our area alone, chasing the walkers all the time," says Meena, a resident of Mahadev-pura (H.D. Kote Road).
"Oh, my God, I can’t forget that day in my life. When I was casually walking on the road for my tuition, suddenly a stray dog attacked me. I ran madly as it continued to chase me. Somehow, I managed to reach home safely. Even today I am afraid to walk on that road. Now, I have changed my route to the tuition classes," recalled Yashwanth, a student in Yadavagiri.
"I am very much scared of these street dogs. So I carry a stick with me whenever I go out for a walk, as a precaution. In case they attack, I can beat them," says Asha of Gokulam. These dogs roam in the main road itself causing inconvenience for vehicles, she added.
Meat sellers throw away waste meat directly in the gutters. Street dogs which feed on the meat become ferocious. It was a good move by the Corporation to raid some of these mutton shops. But the officials concerned should keep up this drive as many of them still continue to throw such animal wastes in the gutters, urged the public in the localities where dog menace was high.
Similar complaints were heard from many other residents. Most of them were afraid of dogs which roam in packs. But, the good news is several residents in the city and surrounding areas lauded MCC and thanked the officials as they are free of dog menace, with hardly about 2 to 3 dogs to be seen. But if left like that, dogs may increase in these localities too, they feared.
According to MCC Health Officer Dr. T.S. Nagaraj, dogs would be caught and sterilised only after receiving complaint from the public. Sterilised dogs will be taken care of for the first 10 days after the operation. Every month, on an average 1,000 to 1,200 dogs are being caught and out of them ten percent are culled. "Nearly 50 per cent of dog population in the city has come down after we began this drive," he claimed.
"Only ferocious and rabid dogs caught by the Corporation dog squad are put to sleep through lethal injection. Sterilised dogs will be left on the outskirts of city, near H.D. Kote. It costs Rs. 430 to sterilise a dog,” disclosed Nagaraj.
"When dogs are sterilised and left on the outskirts of city, they become submissive," says Dr. S.C. Suresh, Assistant Director of Veterinary Services. "Some times, psychological factors also make people fear about dogs," he added.
The Department of Animal Husbandry, responsible for implementing the Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme, has three teams of doctors and other staff, which perform the sterilisation of dogs. The dogs are kept under observation for 2 days before undertaking sterilisation and for 5 days after sterilisation.
"Sterilisation is of two types: neutering for male dogs and spaying (removal of ovaries) for female dogs. Neutering refers to removing the testes of males. Neutering is best effective when performed on dogs which are eight months old and it takes about 10 minutes for the surgery. Spaying is performed on female dogs, where complete removal of the female reproductive tract — the ovaries and the uterus are done and it takes around 30 minutes,” informed Suresh.
As dogs are very intelligent, it’s difficult to catch them all in a single drive. If attempts are made to catch one, others will hide, added Suresh.
Lack of advanced
Our city's veterinary hospital lacks facilities for spaying. To sterilise a dog, they take around 30 minutes, but if Laparoscopic facility is provided it hardly takes 10 minutes to sterilise a female dog.
With the city expanding, the Corporation has to depute more doctors and introduce three or four more zones.
Inspection and licencing of mutton stalls and sterilisation should also be done regularly.
[Sunday 9th August 2009]

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