For Rajat Sharma, a resident of Vasant Kunj, feeding stray dogs came with disdain from his neighbours. “They said that it would make it a habit for the dog to come everyday and that I’d be responsible if the dog bit their child,” says Rajat. In colonies, some residents are either scared or disgusted of the strays and often threaten or harass the ones who feed the dogs. Not anymore! The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has put up boards in some residential colonies marking areas that are ‘Stray Dogs Feeding Sites.’ We saw one such board in a corner of a parking lot in Vasant Kunj.
These will be public areas where stray dogs can be fed to avoid conflict with other local residents not comfortable with dogs. Some residents even threaten to poison the dog if seen around their house. Marking such sites comes as a huge relief for the dog lovers. “I’ve always fed the dogs in my colony. But with the board put up, I can do it freely without the daily fights,” says Diya Das, a resident of the same sector.
Not just feeding, the purpose behind these boards is a bigger one. Activists say befriending stray dogs is a rabies control measure. “Feeding dogs makes them friendly and easier to handle, in turn helping in their vaccination, sterilisation and population control,” says Dr RT Sharma, a vet.
“Some years ago, a stray bit me for no reason. I’m too scared now and discourage feeding strays. But with the site in place,
I hope feeding would be restricted to that corner,” says Pallavi Verma, 19, a resident of the same sector. Not just here, such boards are up in other colonies as well — Defence Colony, Kalkaji, Nangloi, Saket and Geeta Colony. The process began 8-9 months ago and “it has gone a long way in resolving conflict between dog lovers and the ones who object to feeding stray dogs,” says Sonia Ghosh, the founder of the non-governmental organisation Citizens for Welfare and Protection of Animals.
If you want to install a similar board in your colony, contact: Anjali Sharma, Advocate AWBI Tel: 9810011235