Lockdown hits street smartness stray animals, leads to spike in accidents

Published on May 15, 2020 12:22 PM IST

Stray puppies born just before the lockdown have no sense of traffic and often end up running towards speeding cars, getting hurt or killed. Activists urge drivers to be more mindful of these wandering strays amid lockdown.

Be respectful of the strays and do not feed them in the middle of the roads. This confuses them into thinking that every passing car is a feeder.(Photo: Sunil Ghosh/HT)
Be respectful of the strays and do not feed them in the middle of the roads. This confuses them into thinking that every passing car is a feeder.(Photo: Sunil Ghosh/HT)
Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

Focusing on the bigger picture often leads to the neglection of everyday, seemingly banal things, and something similar is happening with stray puppies who were born just before the lockdown was announced. These puppies, in search of food, run towards cars thinking that they are feeders, and often end up getting run over.

“Lot of these babies were born just before the lockdown and started emerging a month ago. There’s hardly any traffic and the streets are like highways for them. They move freely without looking out and get run over by cars. Even the older dogs, who had knowledge of traffic and would sit on the sides, are now sitting in the middle of the roads. These dogs have lost their sense of traffic,” says, Amritika Phool, a Gurugram resident who is involved in animal welfare work.

 

Another menace is the lack of understanding of animal behavior on the people’s part. “People who have sympathy, but don’t really understand their behavior, throw food from moving cars towards them. This leads them to think that any car that’s slowing down might have food for them. This is bringing dogs to the roads, leading to accidents,” adds Phool.

Read: Feeder passes to feed strays come as a relief amid lockdown

Gurugram, with its leafy stretches near the Aravali Biodiversity Park, has a flourishing wildlife, which is on the periphery of danger. “Since the lockdown, I have seen injured puppies or piglets who have been run over. Their mothers are howling on the road. Sometimes, they run after the cars in anger because they don’t know any other way to express,” says Akanksha Pundir, an entrepreneur from Gurugram.

The authorities have stepped up and are helping residents involved in feeding and taking care of the strays, “The Haryana Police has been incredible. I asked them if they will feed the dogs if I deposited the food with them and they agreed. I regularly check with them and leave food once every week. We also fixed a tub for water for cows near the Arjangarh border stretch,” shares Pundir.

 

The animals will switch to auto-reconditioning once the lockdown is over but that will still take time. One probable solution is controlling their population. “The government has to get actively involved in sterilization and do this before the mating cycle. At an individual capacity, sterilisation costs a bomb and not every one of us can afford it,” says Phool.

Go as far away from the road as possible and feed the animals in clean utensils or place a newspaper before putting food for them. (Photo: Sunil Ghosh/HT)
Go as far away from the road as possible and feed the animals in clean utensils or place a newspaper before putting food for them. (Photo: Sunil Ghosh/HT)

Read: Mohit Chauhan: Have to take care of animals around us

Dos and Don’ts

•Step out of the car, get as far away from the road as possible and then feed them.

•Lay down a newspaper before putting the food out for them otherwise they will end up consuming the muck which could make them sick.

•Be mindful of stray animals as you would be of human beings on the roads.

•Take responsibility of the dogs in your locality.

•Don’t throw food out of moving cars.

•Don’t speed. An empty road does not mean that you flout all rules.

•Call any animal NGO, authority or the police if you see an animal in distress.

Interact with Etti Bali @TheBalinian

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Etti Bali reports on Page 3 parties and cultural events for the daily entertainment and lifestyle supplement, HT City

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