Residents of Govindpura colony have to think twice before venturing out of their homes these days. A stray dog, which has bitten more than 20 people in the locality within a span of just three days, has spread fear in this part of the city.
“My one-and-a-half-year-old niece was bitten on Wednesday morning. She was playing in front of the house where the black dog bit her. She sustained major injuries on her face and was rushed to the SMS Hospital,” said Damodar Sharma, a resident of the colony.
When the number of dog bite cases rose rapidly, the residents contacted the Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC). “I called the JMC control room on Wednesday and they sent a team to catch the dog. But even after trying for almost three hours, they couldn’t find the animal,” said Rakesh Kumar Sharma, another resident.
One reason behind the civic body’s failure to curb the menace is they have no dedicated system to catch stray dogs.
“We used to catch stray dogs and sterilise them and inject them with anti-rabies vaccine. But it has been a year since the contract for this has expired and since then it hasn’t been renewed. At present, we have a staff crunch and don’t have adequate facilities to carry out sterilisation and vaccination,” said a senior JMC official on condition of anonymity.
The JMC used to pay the contract between ₹500 and ₹600 for catching a dog and sterilising and vaccinating them. After a dog is caught, it’s taken to a dog house for sterilisation and vaccination. After the process is complete, the animal is released in the same locality.
“The three people who had come from JMC couldn’t find the dog as it possibly was hiding in a wheat field next to the colony. a few hours after they left, it came back and bit three more people,” said Vishnu Sharma, another resident.
Many of the victims are children who were playing outside their homes.
“After receiving the complaint, we had sent a three-member team to catch the dog but they couldn’t find the animal. Locals have said that they will inform us once they spot the dog again so that we can take action,” said Moinuddin Khan, in-charge of the dog house run by JMC.
Veterinarian Tapesh Mathur thinks that the dog might be injured or suffering from an infection to demonstrate such violence. “Generally, stray dogs don’t bite people and in most such cases there are specific reasons behind their actions. If the dog is suffering from an infection such as tick and rabies, it might bite people. In this case, the dog has bitten more than 20 people so there is enough reason to suspect rabies,” he said.
Mathur added that if a dog is teased or attacked, it might develop a habit of biting people.