HT Debate: Rid city of homeless canines

  • Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Apr 06, 2015 15:02 IST

With the city’s stray dog population burgeoning by the day and the authorities doing little about it, the problem has assumed alarming proportions. Many residents now think twice before stepping out of their homes after dusk, fearing they might be bitten. An estimated 20,000 people, including children, die every year in India of rabies infections, more than one-third of the global toll.

Compensation should be paid to dog-bite victims
Stray dogs roaming on city streets have become a major problem for residents and their population is burgeoning by the day. Besides biting people and dirtying the area they are also health hazard. At night packs of dogs chase vehicles, often leading to accidents. The MC as well as NGOs have utterly failed to check the growing menace. The root cause of the problem is lack of adequate measures to sterilize stray dogs and residents feeding them in front of their houses. Animal activists also add to the problem by campaigning against tough measures required to tackle the issue. The solution lies in making the civic body pay compensation to those bitten by stray dogs. Only then will it take action, including hiring adequate staff to sterilize dogs and eliminate those that are rabid and bite people. On their part, residents should stop feeding stray dogs.
COL RD SINGH (RETD), Ambala Cantt

Sterilisation of dogs must be speeded up, more dog pounds needed
The recent spurt in dog bites across the city, besides exposing deep chinks in the administration’s functioning, has generated a fear psychosis among residents who now dread to step out of their homes. If the administration deals with the problem in fits and starts, it will keep surfacing time and again. The administration instead needs to go the extra mile by putting in place preventive measures like accelerating the pace of sterilisation to keep the ever-burgeoning canine population in check and setting up more dog pounds. It needs to change its laidback approach when it comes to addressing the issue and can also consider roping in NGOs and resident welfare associations to help in curbing the menace.
RAMESH K DHIMAN , Chandigarh

Selective culling of stray dogs necessary for immediate relief
The role of NGOs in addressing the stray dog menace is questionable as it appears their only objective is to gain publicity as is apparent from the increasing number of stray dogs seen in every sector of the city. People have started using their cars even to travel short distances and children cannot play in the open due to the menace. Sterilisation of dogs takes at least ten years to show visible results. For immediate relief selective culling of stray dogs is necessary as was done with monkeys in Shimla.
SEEMA BAHGA , Chandigarh

Eliminating all stray dogs or not feeding them isn’t the remedy
Citizens have every right to be protected from stray dogs but the latter can still be dealt with mercy. Not all of the animals pose a danger to humans. Killing diseased and ferocious dogs is understandable, but eliminating all of them or not feeding them is not a permanent solution. Instead, first let us give the administration’s sterilization campaign another chance. In order to ensure it is effective there should be proper coordination among the authorities concerned, sufficient stocks of medicines, adequate funds and enough staff.

Sterilisation has proved to be impractical and expensive
Stray dogs can bite anytime, anywhere and anybody can become a victim. Besides, they create a nuisance by littering defecating in public places and causing road accidents, especially at night. According to a WHO report, the number of deaths due to rabies is the highest in India at 20,000 every year – 60% of total rabies fatalities in the world. The situation has become highly alarming and needs immediate attention. However, even after the Punjab & Haryana High Court’s directions, the Chandigarh municipal corporation has virtually failed to keep an effective check on stray dogs, resulting in frequent cases of people bitten by stray dogs. Sterilization has proved to be impractical and expensive and only prevents the dogs from breeding, not biting humans.
SK KHOSLA , Chandigarh

Civic body must ensure regular vaccination of stray dogs
Killing anybody, even a stray animal, is an act of savagery and certainly cannot be the ideal solution to rid the city of stray dogs but should be resorted to only in extreme cases. Another viable alternative is that those who can afford it should adopt one or two stray dogs. Regular vaccination of stray dogs and setting up dog shelters -- with adequate food and water are absolutely necessary on the part of the civic authorities.
VIJAY KUMAR SOI , Chandigarh

Sterilisation drive failed because it was not properly implemented
In the March 25 incident a stray dog that bit several people was a rabid dog, not a stray one. To use such incidents to promote culling of healthy stray dogs is absurd. Most of the dog bite cases reported in the city involve abused and frightened animals and not ferocious ones. To control their numbers sterilisation is the key. The MC’s sterilisation drive failed because it was never properly implemented, not because sterilisation is not an effective solution.

Stray dogs should be relocated
When stray dogs have become a danger for city residents and various methods of containing them have failed, the only remedy is to remove them from urban areas. If killing these stray animals appears inhuman to us, we can safely transport them to jungles.

Administration must take tough decisions, cull all stray dogs
Incidents of dog bite are on the rise in the tricity. For a poor country like India that cannot ensure food, medical care and shelter for its citizens, expecting the government to provide these to stray dogs a tall order. While the administration decided to cull innocent ducks at Sukhna Lake was taken in a jiffy, why is it dragging its feet on tackling the issue of stray dogs who are biting and attacking city residents with impunity? The solution is simple – cull the dogs and save city residents.

Killing all stray dogs is not the cure
Killing all stray dogs is not the solution for sure – how can anyone even think about it? The administration should set up more dog shelters, hire more veterinary doctors and other staff and more ambulances to deal with the problem. Also, volunteers as well as school and college students should be involved in the effort. One way is to organise ‘street dog shows’ to promote adoption of the homeless animals. Nobody has the right to kill stray dogs just because the authorities have failed to control their breeding.
SANDY SETIA , via email

City residents should be encouraged to adopt stray dogs
Killing stray dogs is certainly not the solution because humans cannot and should not indulge in inhuman acts. There are other humane ways of controlling the canine population with sterilization being the best alternative. The authorities should encourage people with some sort of incentives to adopt stray dogs. The practice of rearing and selling pedigree dogs should be discouraged, rather it should be banned.
AK SHARMA , Chandigarh

Admn, MC have failed to take effective measures
Every year the dog menace in the tricity is highlighted by the media after numerous dog bite cases are reported at government hospitals and dispensaries. However, this has failed to galvanise the Chandigarh administration and the municipal corporation into taking action to eradicate this menace. Forget killing of stray dogs, even “humane” methods like sterilization have failed to produce the desired results.
COL KD PATHAK (RETD) , Chandigarh

Tranquiliser guns should be used to capture stray dogs
The MC has completely failed to control the rising number of stray dogs, which has instead become a political issue that is endlessly debated by councilors belonging to various parties. Killing stray dogs is not necessary even though the sterilization drive has completely failed to control their rising numbers in the city’s residential areas and parks. There is a need to use tranquilizer guns to capture stray dogs so that the maximum number can be sterilized in a day. The authorities should also use the surgical procedure for animal birth control prescribed by the Animal Welfare Board of India. They should also catch rabid dogs and keep them in isolated wards until they die naturally. The civic body should set up dog ponds in different locations in the city.
SUKHPAL SINGH , Chandigarh

Stray dogs should be transported to jungles
Killing all stray dogs is not a solution to resolving the problem. Instead the canines should be transported to dense jungles in various states to fend for themselves. Some of the stray dogs can even be trained to do various jobs that are useful.
SHAM LAL KHERA , Chandigarh

Admn, civic body should take adequate measures
The dog bite menace in the city has increased manifold and our country holds the record of having the highest number of human fatalities due to rabies. It is time for the administration and the municipal corporation to take effective and adequate measures to check the problem by providing designated feeding points and setting up dog pounds. Besides, the administration should also consider adequate compensation for dog bite victims.

Residents must shoulder more responsibility
Stray dogs are homeless animals that need to be loved and taken care of. They will attack if they have been traumatised, which most of them have been. We need to step up and take responsibility by arranging for proper shelters for the canines rather than argue about the and eventually put them to death, which is the easy way out. Also residents, especially children, need to be taught not to attack these animals because they will hit back.

Becoming a growing threat to public
Every day thousands of innocent animals, birds and fish are slaughtered for human consumption or for sacrificial offerings to deities. We use pesticides and insecticides to kill insects and mice, but no one bats an eyelid. Stray dogs are a constant nuisance and a threat to the public and should not be allowed to roam around on the streets. City residents should be given the choice to adopt some of the stray dogs selectively but the rest should be simply finished off.

Tricity appears to have gone to the dogs
The municipal corporations of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula have utterly failed on all fronts in curbing the worsening stray dog menace. In fact, the Chandigarh MC had to face the ire of the fourth finance commission for spending amount of taxpayers money on fruitless “study” tours. The lackadaisical attitude of the authorities has resulted in the tricity going to the dogs.

Civic authorities should focus on rehabilitating stray dogs
If civic employees are unable to carry out the sterilization drive or relocate stray dogs, whatever is the reason, why should those innocent creatures suffer? And, in most cases of dog bites, it has been found the dog was either teased or stoned without any reason. Instead of killing stray dogs the authorities should focus on rehabilitating them.
SOMESH GUPTA , via email

Either kill all stray dogs or put them in pounds
The number of stray dogs in the tricity has increased alarmingly and this has become one of the biggest problems residents are facing these days. Much of this is due to people feeding stray dogs. Sterilisation of dogs is not going to solve the problem and the only solution is either to kill all stray dogs or round them up them and put them in dog pounds.
DP GAUTAM , via email

Leaving stray dogs on streets is not an option
If the administration cannot protect children from attacks by stray dogs, city residents should be permitted to eliminate them by poisoning them. And, if the administration doesn’t want to kill these dogs, they should be rounded up and transported to jungles. Leaving these predators roaming on the streets isn’t an option.

Admn should ensure threat is completely eliminated
When things go out of control, especially when it comes to public safety, the administration should ensure the threat is eliminated. Trapping every one of them and then sterilising them is an impossible task and the population of stray dogs will keep rising.
SAHIL MEHTA , Chandigarh

Setting up pounds only effective solution
Stray dogs have become a major problem for residents of the tricity. The recent incidents of dogs biting children in Panchkula and Chandigarh has brought to the fore the administration’s utter failure to check the menace. Killing canines or sterilizing them is not a viable solution. Besides, we cannot lay the entire blame for not taking effective action against stray dogs on the civil administration, municipal corporations and NGOs. Every individual is also responsible for checking this menace. The only effective solution to this problem is setting up stray animal pounds in the tricity.

Sterilisation of dogs is a far better option
Killing the stray dogs is definitely not the solution for curbing the stray dog menace in the tricity. Sterilisation of dogs is a far better option. The MC should step in and take measures to control dog bite cases in the city rather than killing the dogs. The dogs should not be kept in open and they should be provided with proper shelter and food so that they do not roam here and there. NGOs should take this matter seriously and try their level best to curb this menace in the city.
MANYA SARWAL , Panchkula

Stray dogs should be killed in a humane manner
Sterilization is one option for resolving the stray dog problem which has not proved to be ineffective. The only logical, practical and effective solution is killing the animals in a scientific manner without appearing inhuman. Remember a person bitten by a rabid dog won’t survive even after treatment.
DEVINDER GARG , via email

Authorities should encourage residents to adopt stray dogs
Killing stray dogs in order to curb their population is nothing but an absurd idea which is downright cruel and inhumane.All forms of life are precious and should be treated with respect. Instead the civic authorities should undertake a systematic sterilisation drive and also encourage residents to adopt stray dogs rather than buying expensive breeds.

Culling of stray dogs only effective solution
There is absolutely no practical or viable solution to check the burgeoning population of stray dogs and increasing cases of dog bite. Instead the administration should be allowed to undertake selective culling of dogs, wherever required. Despite a great deal of talk on sterilisation and setting up dog pounds nothing much has been done during all these years. Stray dogs are seen roaming in groups in sector lanes, posing a danger to residents, especially children and senior citizens. People have stopped going out at night due to fear of dogs. Culling of stray dogs now seems the only effective solution in sight.

Set up adoption centres for stray dogs
The population of stray dogs in the tricity has risen manifold and bite cases are also on the increase, with children being the main victims. These dogs need protection and a place to live and eat. Most of them survive by scrounging in garbage. The stray dogs also pose a threat to road commuters, especially cyclists, traveling after dusk. Those bitten are at risk of contracting rabies. We need to set up welfare organizations and adoption centres for dogs in the tricity. Also we need to sterilize and vaccinate them.

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