Street dogs will no longer trouble the public. Instead, they will now be trained to be part of a security squad to assist people and detect threats in crowded market places.
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), in a special initiative, will train street dogs picked from various corners of the city. They will first be vaccinated and instead of leaving them back on the streets, they will be sent to dog training centres.
“Our trucks pick up hundreds of dogs ever day only to leave them back on the streets. We thought an adoption programme will help us provide security to people and also reduce the dog menace,” said Jalaj Srivastava, chairman, NDMC.
The council will seek the help of Delhi Police to train these street dogs. Trainers from the department’s dog squad will train street dogs to assist people in crowded places like markets and parks.
“We do not expect street dogs to perform high-end security activities like the Delhi Police’s trained dogs do. The idea, however, is to control them so that instead of running after litter on streets, they can be a friendly guide to market users,” added Srivastava.
The NDMC’s security force named as the ‘May I Help You Force’ will comprise a team of security officials who will manage the dogs in areas around Connaught Place, Lodi Garden and Nehru Park initially. The security force that consists of employees from the council have already started their training in first-aid and route guidance and walky-talky usage.
Though around 40 of these officials have already been deployed in civil clothes at Nehru Park for the safety of night walkers, the official force will be spotted in CP on August 15, Independence Day.
The dogs will undergo a seven-month training by experts from the police and they may be seen officially with this security force from March next year.
Animal rights activists said the move will save street dogs from starvation and deaths. “Hundreds of dogs die every day and their bodies decay on the roads. This will engage the street dogs with the society and will also benefit people,” said Radha Unnikrishnan, an animal rights activist.