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Street Dogs in India – Is Culling the Answer?

Disclaimer: This piece may be all over the place as I’m a bit emotional. Dogs do that to me – always; humans – sometimes 😛

A friend shared a petition on my Facebook stream today and the title got me interested.

Mayor, BBMP: Stop considering culling of street dogs in Bangalore

So I went to take a look and here are my thoughts on street dogs and culling.

This topic came up in our last building meeting too. Residents wanted the dogs removed from the colony. Really! How in the world do you remove street dogs from the streets of India? You could but they’ll come back: always – others if not the same ones!

We have to understand how dogs work in our environment. They are territorial just like us. We have plots of land all demarcated and registered so we can claim it as OURS. Well, they do the same, just without all the paperwork. Removing them just opens up an unclaimed piece of land that then gets grabbed by someone else.

The dogs got here first. If you ask around you realize that the first guy to buy land in your area saw dogs there when he bought it. They were there first and we claim the land is ours and they need to be removed?

Ok apart from the emotional stuff. Culling isn’t the answer to the street dog menace. Please note I don’t see them as a menace at all. They are helpful in a lot of ways, but the most important – they keep the area they live in free of crime.

I don’t think culling will help at all. The numbers will drop for a bit and then just bounce back. It would be better for people to get more proactive and get the present dogs neutered. That way the numbers can be controlled and watched.

No point in constantly blaming the govt. either. We need to take action, if we don’t do anything how can we expect anything of the govt. It’s like blaming the govt. when you didn’t even take the time to vote.

I have neighbors who have unvaccinated pets at home. These are parents who vaccinated their kids but see no reason to do the same for their cats and dogs. Forget about how it will keep the dog/cat healthy, they don’t even understand the risk they are putting their own kids into by having unvaccinated pets.

I also have seen people in my building go out of their way to kick the dogs. Kids obviously emulate their parents and chase the dogs with sticks into a corner. Then the parents complain that the dogs are a potential threat to their kids. Really? Are the dogs the threat? And all because the poor cornered dog had no other option since there was nowhere to run. Its sad to see how people treat dogs who are really sweet and friendly.

Che and I have spent time getting to know the dogs in our street. With help from another resident we got them neutered. We were sick of seeing dead/dying puppies and are so glad now to see NO puppies and healthier dogs. The number of dogs is in control – to some extent.

Recently there has been some rearrangement of dogs in our street. The aforementioned residents have been beating and chasing the dogs. That has led the pack to move away and new dogs have started to come in. The old pack found more peaceful human neighbours further up the street. It means a new round of neutering soon and more risk until then to aforementioned residents 😛

Remember our constitution – by the people, for the people. BY comes first because WE can and should take action first. It isn’t difficult. Take responsibility. We feed and watch the dogs in our area. Street dogs are friendly by nature. They instinctually know that they need to co-exist with us (even if we don’t). I’m not saying go give them a big hug but you could start by treating them nicely and maybe feeding them regularly. Dogs that eat well tend to stay healthy and healthy dogs are less likely to pick up infections like mange, etc. When the dogs trust you it will be easier to catch them and neuter them. It costs about Rs.300 or less to vaccinate a dog for the year. It’s worth the investment.

Culling isn’t the answer but taking a little time to get to know the dogs in our area and taking care of them may just solve our problems.

If you feel strongly against culling street dogs please stop by and sign the petition. 🙂 Leave your thoughts about my thought too please 😀

August 3, 2012   7 Comments

Who came first?

We humans take over every patch of earth we can find as if it belonged to us in the first place and when we mark areas as reserve forests and the like we see it as a favour we are doing to animals but is it so?

Ok, disclaimer – Im really pissed at my neighbour and need to vent…

Heres the story – Weve adopted six dogs on the street outside our apartment. Theyve all been neutered and are fed regularly. In the last few months we have seen a change in our area, the dogs are healthier, they are harassed less by the kids and they in turn are friendlier with people.

It was a bit of work – getting the dogs to trust us so we could get them neutered and getting the apartment kids to see the dogs as more than targets and trouble. But this was the easy part, the adults are a different matter and an ongoing challenge.

People seem to go out of their way to trouble the dogs. On bikes they veer on purpose towards the dogs to scare them, kick them as they go past or beat the poor things up just cause they came close to the apartment gate. The latest is the lady in the house next to our apartment taking offence to our feeding the dogs. (She called us dirty people for lack of other words in English).

The dogs arent asking for food or affection. They just want to be left alone and if we did that they would leave us alone. But no, we must go out of our way to make their lives difficult. And then we blame them for snapping and reacting adversely to us.

Why is it that we cant be tolerant towards lives that arent human? Why does that piece of land or area belong to us even though the dogs were there long before we came along to build and stay? Why cant we be nice to them? Why cant we live and let live?

February 10, 2012   1 Comment