Gurgaon: When dogs put residents and activists at odds
A number of canine issues have made headlines in the city in the recent times and most saw a tussle between residents and animal rights activists.
However, none of the incidents reported over the recent months generated as much smoke and fire as the outrage voiced recently by animal rights activists over the alleged killing of a pet dog, Brownie. It was further alleged that the dog was eaten after being killed. The alleged incident yet again drew the spotlight on the issue of safety of pet dogs.
An FIR was filed on May 1 at the DLF Phase 2 police station.
The activists pointed out that while these incidents testify to concerns over pet safety in the city, they have served to draw the unequivocal concern and condemnation of residents and raise public awareness on the issue.
“These cases of dogs killed and eaten are not new and such incidents will continue. As the city has developed over the years, more and more migrants from other states have come in. Many of them lack awareness on pet safety and some could even be involved in such incidents,” Amita Singh, a member of Walk for Animals and Habitats (WAH), an NGO, said.
The activists said that such incidents merely represent the tip of the iceberg as the situation on the ground with regard to pet safety is even worse.
“Less than 10% of cases of atrocities on dogs in the city are reported. We have records of 62 such cases between January 1 and May 5. The police also lack necessary awareness on animal welfare and pet safety and this is one of the reasons why such incidents are on the rise. We need to raise more public awareness on this issue,” Amit Chaudhery, president, People for Animals, Gurgaon, said.
One of the many incidents that made headlines last year was the death of pet dog, Julie, on May 1, 2016. The dog was shot with an air gun in the Sector 56 area. Even as animal rights activists ran a social media campaign demanding action against the culprit, no one was arrested in connection with the incident.
On January 15, some residents of Belvedere Tower, an upscale condominium in DLF City Phase 2, claimed dog poop was thrown randomly in the morning. Two residents claimed a near miss as dog poop, wrapped in newspaper pages, fell just ahead of them. A domestic help was later found to be behind the incident. She confessed to dumping the poop in the society as she couldn’t take the dog out in the morning due to extreme cold weather.
On January 17, a retired air force wing commander was assaulted and his 9-year-old golden Labrador retriever snatched outside the exit gate of Vatika city in Sector 49. The retired officer, BR Mehta, was walking Hobbes, his Labrador, in a park outside the housing society when a man snatched the dog from him.
On April 17, the activists were up in arms against the residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) of Orchid Petals in Sector 49 over the alleged removal of stray animals from the society. Following a complaint by a resident, the PFA shot off a letter to the RWA, threatening action.
In March 10, the staff of a security agency was arrested on charges of animal cruelty for tying a dog to a jeep and dragging it at Sector 58. The stray dog was reared by a company executive, who shifted to IERO residential society from Sector 46 a few days ago.
The stray dog was reared by a company executive, who shifted to IERO residential society in Sector 58 from Sector 46 a few days ago.