Morning walkers in Pune increasingly wary of stray dogs

Mar 10, 2023 10:27 PM IST

Morning walkers at Sarasbaug are particularly wary of 11-odd stray dogs that keep running on the track

Punekars going for morning walks in different areas such as Taljai Hills, Sarasbaug, Katraj, Sahakarnagar, Sinhagad road, Kalyani Nagar, Wadgaonsheri, Kondhwa, Mundhwa, Gultekdi, Dhanori, Hinjewadi, Pashan, Baner and Viman Nagar seem to have a common problem, namely stray dogs.

Pack of dogs at Sarasbaug. (HT PHOTO)
Pack of dogs at Sarasbaug. (HT PHOTO)

According to the walkers, the population of stray canines has risen due to the Pune Municipal Corporation’s inability to take prompt action in terms of sterilising them. In some localities, people have developed a fear of stray dogs as they don’t know whether the animals have been vaccinated or not by the civic body.

Morning walkers at Sarasbaug are particularly wary of 11-odd stray dogs that keep running on the track. On Friday, the pack kept barking unnecessarily, causing inconvenience to those who came to walk along with their children.

Malini Shah, a regular at Sarasbaug, said, “The PMC must relocate these dogs at the earliest as they could be dangerous. I have seen them getting aggressive many a time and they keep running on the track which is worrisome.”

Devika Rana, another Sarasbaug regular, said, “As the number of people increases in the evening, the dogs move out of the garden area and return at night and stay till the morning. The PMC must take action. So far there has been no untoward incident but the PMC should not get complacent.”

A Hindustan Times reporter who visited Sarasbaug Friday morning observed that the dogs entered the garden by crossing the fence even though there was no one feeding them.

Deepak Wagh, a security guard on duty, said, “We try to shoo them away but they enter the garden again. The problem has worsened over the last few days. We are going to raise a complaint with the PMC. Walking with (pet) dogs is also not allowed at Sarasbaug.”

Bharti Panchal, also a Sarasbaug regular, said, “The PMC does not actively run sterilisation programmes for stray dogs which is why their population is increasing. The civic body should run the sterilisation programme on priority.”

Dr Sarika Funde Bhosale, veterinary superintendent, PMC, said, “I will send our dog van to catch the stray dogs on Saturday. If the stray dogs have been sterilised and vaccinated, we will not be able to relocate them but if they have not been sterilised, we will catch them and sterilise and vaccinate them and drop them back at Sarasbaug in a few days.”

Elsewhere at Bramha Suncity Society in Wadgaonsheri, a six-year-old boy was brutally attacked by stray dogs last month. Following the incident, the PMC caught 65 out of the nearly 80 stray canines there and relocated them to another area. A K Saxena, a resident of Bramha Suncity Society, said, “The number of stray dogs has reduced to just 15 or 16 in our society. While people are still feeding the stray dogs inside the society, I hope they won’t bring the stray dogs that have been relocated back into the society.”

Whereas Dr Bhosale said, “In other areas like Wadgaonsheri, Kalyani Nagar, Singhad road and Taljai Hills, we are monitoring the number of stray dogs and carrying out timely sterilisation and vaccination.”

“Whenever we receive complaints, our van goes to that particular locality and catches the stray dogs so that the residents do not suffer. I urge people from all localities in the city to get in touch with the veterinary section of the PMC health department if they are facing problems due to stray dogs. Action will be taken at the earliest,” Dr Bhosale said.

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