The case of Ammu, a stray dog in Bengaluru, is strengthening the resolve of animal lovers across the country to get a stringent act in place to punish animal cruelty. For the past week, Ammu has been wandering around Krishnanagar, mourning the death of her eight puppies she gave birth to just 15 days before. The puppies were flung against a boulder by a woman and killed, locals reported.
Locals registered a case with Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (Cupa) on March 17, two days after the ghastly incident, accusing one Ponamma for the alleged violence. Residents said they were upset by the wails of the dog, who they had reportedly seen digging up the grave of the puppies to nurse them.
Following the complaint against Ponamma, police arrested the woman and later released her on bail. According to a news report, Peenya police inspector Aiyanna Reddy said they were investigating the matter and had recovered CCTV footage from the area.
Krishnanagar is fairly stray dog-friendly, with even domesticated pets getting along with strays, according to locals in the area.
News of Ammu quickly spread through social media, with people reacting sharply to the incident and calling for a more punitive law than the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, that imposes as little as Rs 10-50 as fine. A proposal to increase the penalty has been pending for over half a decade.
The incident follows a string of recent instances of animal cruelty – Shaktimaan, a police horse, was attacked with a lathi by an MLA in Dehradun which ultimately cost him a leg. Last week in Delhi, footage emerged of a man stabbing three stray dogs near the Green Park metro station. A puppy was also found dead close by.
Ponamma reportedly acted out at the dog because she was annoyed by the litter taking refuge in the drain under the entry gate to her house. After some attempts to the shoo them away, she allegedly took the drastic step to “teach the dog a lesson”.
Members of Cupa have approached the Centre through Animal Welfare Board of India to push for a stricter animal cruelty act and have Ammu’s case tried under it.