This refers to your thought-provoking article Dog Menace by Menaka Gandhi (KO- June 10). The increase in stray dog population dramatically is becoming a threat to humans in cities. To control it becomes incumbent for Municipal Corporation. It is necessary to sterilize and immunize street dog population with the participation of animal welfare organization, NGOs and private individuals by methods currently approved.
There are some people who seem to imagine that we have some sort of “right” to remove animals – take life, without any regard of our moral responsibilities towards creatures that share this planet with us. We are a nation that believes in Ahimsa and shuns cruelty. One must remember that the earth is not for humans alone. People cannot find spitting and urinating in public spaces as a menace but they find it hard to live with these harmless species.
Most stray dogs lead miserable lives, scavenging for rotten food. They starve and are affected by painful and debilitating diseases, some of which are communicable to humans. Many stray dogs chase and bark at the people and children sending jitters down the spine. Efforts should be made to ensure that the animal birth control and rabies vaccination programmes are run properly.
Municipal Corporation should clean up the streets to make them rubbish free. The Municipal authorities have successfully captured many stray dogs with the help of expert dog catchers, but were criticized for their cruel treatment and killing of the captive dogs by PETA and other animal rights activists. It is seen that the stray dog menace happens mostly in the areas where there is rubbish and wastage. To discard or litter the waste along the road sides should be penalized and the door to door collection of food wastes by the municipal authorities should be encouraged instead of the road side bins. The stray dog menace is in fact a grave problem in the city and the authorities should act immediately to tackle this issue seriously and effectively.
Stray dogs are very much part of many communities and teach valuable lessons in friendship, co-operation, and loyalty to children and adults alike. They are our all weather best friend and they give us unconditional love which humans lack so we must learn to love and respect them. We need to understand that dogs are a part of our urban environment and have to be tackled with a sense of humanity and compassion.
Dogs love us unconditionally and there are examples where they have given up their lives for their caretakers. Other creatures are not there for our selfishness. Let us learn co-existence with other creatures in nature and give a fistful of rice to the stray dogs and they will never harm you. Dogs have lived with humans for eternity and try to warn the neighbourhood where they live about intruders. We must show the spirit of a loving nation by dealing with this problem in peaceful and humane manner. Dogs are mans best friends for ever, if we care for them.
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