Residents, MC, NGO join hands to make Chandigarh’s Sector 5 ‘puppy-free’ zone
To prevent the surge in dog bite cases during summer, NGO Peedu’s People with the cooperation of the residents of Sector 5 and some other parts of the city, along with the municipal corporation (MC), has made the areas puppy-free zones.
District animal welfare officer Inder Sandhu, who runs the NGO and is heading the project, said, “By puppy-free, we mean that all adult dogs in the particular area have been spayed. In Sector 5, we started around September 2020 and counted 27 dogs. Each dog was individually rounded up and spayed and cared for, which took us till December. We have been monitoring the sector ever since to see if any new dogs have come. One female dog had come recently and was spayed as per procedure.”
Sandhu said he was helped by the MC authorities in catching the dogs: “Some of the dogs can recognise the MC vehicles from afar and were hard to catch. We were able to spay up to 3-4 dogs in a day.”
Sector 5 residents had collectively agreed to hire them. Sanjana Sehgal, a resident and animal lover, who was volunteering with them, said, “We had done our research and by this method, the dogs were treated more humanely. It is better for the dog’s health as well and residents in other bigger sectors can also come forward and tackle the stray dog problem through a step-by-step process.” She added that the residents had contributed around ₹2,000 per house for this.
Project was undertaken at golf club last year
Sandhu had also worked at Chandigarh Golf Club earlier on a similar project. They had spayed 52 stray dogs there from January to June 2020. Course manager of the club, Amritinder Singh said, “The project was successful and we still keep a count of the stray dogs here. A pregnant dog had come into the premises recently and was spayed later. Dogs have a lifespan of 5-10 years so the results will be visible after some time.”
While the project has been successful in smaller areas, senior deputy mayor and local area councillor Maheshinder Singh Sidhu feels that implementing it in bigger sectors will present some problems. “Sector 5 has 79 houses and all members remain in touch on WhatsApp groups. This will be hard to emulate in bigger sectors. However, other resident welfare bodies can learn from citizen participation here.”
Dr Kanwarjit Singh, joint director of the Chandigarh animal husbandry and fisheries department, said, “People’s participation can help the authorities identify dogs that need spaying. These people can also monitor the dogs after the operation and they can inform the authorities if their health deteriorates.”