Saturday, January 27, 2007

Street-dog menace

It has been very worrying to read one news item after another for the last 1.5 months about the street-dog menace on the streets of Chandra Layout in Bangalore attacking children and adults alike. The worst was this news where a pack of street dogs mauled to death an 8 year old girl! Chilling! What is appalling is, there have been several such news items appearing in the newspapers for the last 1.5 months and it doesn't look like the situation has improved much. Please look at the links below.

Dog bites 20 people
Dogs maul an 8 yr old girl to death
Dogs attack a 7 yr old girl
Dogs continue to attack

Dogs have always been on the Indian roads. However, I have mostly known the street dogs as being fairly docile. So, reading news about dog attacks has come as a total shock. Apparently, there are lots of illegal meat shops in Chandra layout that dump old meat on street corners, empty sites etc! The stray dogs there having got used to the meat, are becoming vicious is what the Bengalooru Mahanagara Palike is telling. Coming up with a solution to this problem is going to be tricky. What with the animal rights activists and the local residents not seeing eye-to-eye on this subject matter.

The typical problems faced because of the street dogs:
  • The dogs are fairly territorial and kind of have their boundaries. When a newer dog steps into a street that other dogs have their "claim" on, there ensues a very noisy barking altercation. Lots of such noisy incidents happen at nights too and disturb the residents.
  • Driving on 2-wheelers in the darker hours is also very difficult, cause the dogs chase the fast moving bike, and the riders an lose balance and meet with accidents. The dogs can also easily reach out for the riders' legs for a bite!
March 13th - Update: On March 1st, we had the misfortune of losing another child to dog attacks. It was very unfortunate. I was extremely upset by all the incidents. However, in this case, it was apparent that the boy was playing in a place that had knee-deep of garbage! Where were his parents? How can anyone allow a child so young to be outside with no one apparently there? If not for dogs, mustn't we at least keep an eye on the traffic for the child if he is out on his own?! He was 4! I was shocked that anybody could have let kids play by themselves in such a filthy place. In this day and age, we have traffic, pedophiles, kidnappers, etc on the roads. How can we possibly assume an innocent child's safety? It is such a pity!

It is also reported that there are lots of illegal meat shops that were dumping old/waste meat in the neighborhood vacant lots. This had encouraged the unsterilized dogs to develop a pack and become aggressive, way more than a regular docile stray dog. And with all these news reports, there is mass hysteria and a lot of people want all the stray dogs taken away, away from anywhere near their sight. The government reacting to the mass-anger, has started catching any and every dog that comes their way. And since it is so much easier to catch the docile ones that don't have human fear to begin with, we have been losing the friendly dogs from all neighborhoods in Bangalore. More info here. All this is SUCH a knee jerk reaction! Apparently, many of these dogs have been stoned, clubbed, crushed to death!! I am devastated. People, if you are reading this, and want to help, pl go here.

Yes, I was very upset with all the news reports and wanted the government to take action - meaning to sit down with experts in the field and decide on a course of action that was long term. Instead, when they chose a route that was short-sighted and diplorable like killing the stray dogs, I was speechless. I can never support indiscriminate culling. I have no objections to people taking away the aggresive ones, as long as they are not culled! If the diseased ones are put to sleep humanely, that is not too bad.


Ober Fuhrer said...

Bangalore dogs are notorious.I remember having to take 16 shots around the stomach area for a dog byte when i was a kid..and I was bitten twice!! Thats a sad thing what happened to the girl.
Whatever happened to the dog pound!!

Ganapathy said...

Ober Fuhrer,

Talking about the dog pound. The good folks from the corporation came to our neighbourhood a couple of months back and packed up all the stray dogs.

Abra kadabra - they all reappear in 1 hour or so. Heard that they were busy trying to catch other dogs in the neighbouring area - while "our" street's dogs were smart enough to jump out and retrace their path.

Sometimes it's truly scary to be out there. It's no fun when a mad dog chases you when you are on the road or on a two wheeler.

Chitra said...

Fuhrer, I have heard of the dreaded 16 shots. Infact, that's what made me very watchful of the street dogs as a kid, 'coz I was scared of the shots!

Ganapathy, rightly said about the dog pound. The dogs reappear almost right away!

Milind said...


The fact that they are fairly territorial means that they are generally aware of the residents... The problems faced by a few people who go to other eesidential areas in a peovocative manner cannot be blown out of proportion

FYI I lost my dog today in the frenzy of the BBMP dog control programme... It ran off... In my search for it, i looked through many dog catching vans... I suggest you just have a look into one of those vans... I think you will adopt all the stray dogs in the area!!!

Chitra said...

Milind, welcome to my blog. I don't know why you get the impression from my write-up that I wanted the dogs taken away. Do I say it anywhere? I read it again just to be sure!

Also, how can a possible 2 wheel driver be provocative and even if he is to the dogs, it still is not a good thing for him to be chased by 10 dogs in the middle of the night.

And since you did look into those vans and saw the dogs, did you adopt all of them, since you think I will want to. Just curious. :)

One thing I can tell you tho', if you see my children you will not want them eaten up alive too. They are really young, and very innocent.

Chitra said...

Milind, I am sorry if that came across strong. That was mostly because it looked I was expected to defend something that I wasn't even suggesting. Anyway, here's something that I wrote.
Maybe the last para explains my stand?

Anonymous said...

As important as an anti-rabies injection is- it is also very important to know that the filthy conditions at government hospitals,- specifically the lack of sterilization of the needles used to inject patients- ,must be a cause of concern to all of us. The effects of these illnesses will be felt by these patients years or decades later by which time it is too late to do anything. WHAT A DIRTY ROTTEN COUNTRY. ALL BECAUSE WE KEEP VOTING IN THESE UNEDUCATED CRIMINALS AS OUR POLITICIANS!.

Anirban said...

When I was a child, growing up in a not so affluent area in Calcutta (no, not Kolkata), there were two kinds of kids. Those who would stone and maim puppies, and those who would shelter and protect them. I was in the latter group, always there to take a mutt home from a cruel world.

As a 6 year old boy, what surprised me the most was how could one be so cruel, so inhuman to the little stray who would wag its tail and come to you unsuspectingly, only to be whacked on the face.

30 years later, in a different world called Bangalore, it seems not much has changed. We have all grown up, but so has the demon inside us. When I read the articles and the hate, it makes me wonder.

Is the dog really such an evil animal, diabolical and ferocious, out to kill children and bite unsuspecting uncles? Are these not the same brown eyed beauties who have never shown any malice to anyone I know?

I am not with any "organization" that is there helping dogs out there, although I respect their commitment and work. But I have had the misfortune of seeing the "heroic" dog-catchers at work, and what they are doing to the docile creatures who come to them when called. The ferocious ones are not caught as the hired killers have no guts to go after them. Pets with collars. Ear-clipped neutered good natured animals. Does not matter - for Rs.50, anything canine is fair game.

I saw what the authorities call humane culling happen - boulders crushing skulls, throats slit, clubbing and suffocating. Stood shaking, looking at how casually a man could kill a little brown female obviously crying in pain, blow by blow by blow. But for the restraining arms around me, there would have been more violence that day.

To me, personally, its terrible that 2 kids died. I have a 2 year old daughter, and I can feel the pain. But what is happening now is unthinkable. Its like a city gone wild, in blood thirst. People who have never had to face a stray, never petted one, are out passing judgements from their cubicles, trying to be a wannabe Singapore, as if the stray dogs are holding them back. Congratulations when you get there - I hope its worth the trade-off you are doing for your heart.

Just by walking erect, eating with hands and doing programming one does not become human. If the sight of little animals being butchered does not move you, then you do not deserve the tag anyway.

Its a sign of the intolerance that is now become so common. 10 years ago, a leopard straying in a village would be caught and handed over to the zoo. Today it is clubbed senseless and then burnt to death.

Tomorrow, as prescribed by Bangalore, hunters will be sent into the forests to exterminate them.

And the tigers, and the elephants...and the "untouchables", the poor, the minorities. Because they are weaker, are different.

And do not conform. Hence, easy prey...

Anonymous said...

I love dogs.they are cute and good.
But think about ur son,they are innocent.but if ur son is a roudy ,and he kiks every one on the road,and if he is a murdarur, ru happy???I think u dont like to stay with ur son if he so.the same is with the dogs too.....there is no point in showing kindness at them when they are so crucial.Take them all away to jungle and leave them there.make rules in blore,no street dogs.only private dogs are alolowd.Im not asking to kill them,Im asking to take them away.there are ppl in huts who support this street dogs.I wish the BMP to come up with some dog breed which is not so harmful.then u can see dogs and no need to fear.u can be confident with kids when they r out.

SmartKid said...

Value of life of a Dog and a Human Being
I would like to pose a very simple question to all the readers of this blog - Whose life is more precious? Dogs or Human Beings. I know many people would consider this as an absurd question. According to Darwin's "Survival of the fittest" Theory, there is a competition of Survival and predominance. Looking at the Dog Menace in Bangalore I am puzzled to believe in this theory. There is no competition for survival, considering the ever increasing Dog Population, and dogs don’t have any predators, except humans who intentionally kill them. Many of my friends had accidents while travelling due to dogs. In all the cases nothing happens to dogs but we are on the wrong side of the lane. If this is the case we would lose supremacy in this world very soon. I think India can plan our next mission to eradicate all the stray dogs rather than searching for some Alien habitat that can pose danger to this planet.

I feel there is no way to curb the growth if dogs in Bangalore. All the NGO's have failed to recognize the seriousness of this issue. Even doctors are playing "Play it Safe" game. The system is completely perturbed.

When I had a scratch on my leg due to a Dog Bite, One of the doctors told me to go home and relax, as if nothing would happen. Then he referred me to another one, who told me to get Anti-Rabies medication for safety. Is there any system where I can sue the doctor for his irresponsible advice if something happens to me?

I feel that dogs should not be killed mercilessly in batches, but they should be laid down to rest in peace using some other technique.

Anonymous said...

I would like to pose a very simple question to all the readers of this blog - Whose life is more precious? Dogs or Human Beings.

Isn't there a third option? :)
Would putting pressure on municipality to make sure that the stray dogs get neutered, and building some animal shelters for stray dogs help? A friend of mine visited an animal shelter in B'lore earlier this year.


Anonymous said...

Good! Having lived in India and seeing the total lack of any humanity most Indians have for animals, especially dogs I can't say I feel sorry for the Hindus. They should do more than just continue to throw trash in the street and to let dogs, goats, monkeys, and cows run wild in the streets of their cities. Oh I almost forgot. India is a rising "superpower". Riiight.

Anonymous said...

I lived in New Delhi for 2 years and actually adopted a street dog pup while there. He's still with me and is probably one of the smartest, most well behaved, loyal dogs I've ever known. Can't say I feel much sympathy for the Indians; they treat animals over there with the same contempt and neglect they treat one another in the caste system. Nothing is done to protect animals or children and goats, cows, dogs, and monkeys are permitted to wander the city streets with impunity. Indian self-importance and arrogance is difficult to comprehend unless you've lived among them. Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

Think…Human beings or animals important? When you have a child you will understand value of its life. Idiotic animal lovers who travel in the luxurious cars will not understand the trouble of pedestrians and two wheelers. Last week a street dog chased me while I was on my way back from office. I fell down, damaged my laptop. Tell me the remedy…Killing the dogs?

syed said...

The population of stray dogs is increasing day by day and there is no one to resolve it.The NGO's say the dogs are friendly but they are animals.They not only bite but they also chase.especially in night times.People who come forward in support of stray dogs they have no idea because they usually travel by cars.Have they ever walk through the areas in bangalore.Especially the areas where the NGO people live these areas does not have stray dogs because BBMP take care of that. after all are VIP's areas but what about the middle class people areas.They simply talk about animal rights where these animals are after human race.

Md Faizy said...

I too agree with the fact that those who show great sympathy with street dogs of Bangalore, dont really know what it is to face street dogs after 11pm. They just proclaim themselves as self appointed guard of the area. You have to really be walking (or may be riding bike) to know how dangerous are these dog.
During the day time they are all fine and lovable and all good (I too feel that way) but night falls and I feel they are possessed aggressive attitude towards humans.
Some NGO's mentioned that they feel frightened and so they attack, but the question is that is it that most of the time it is their perception that the person walking down the lane is going to attack it?

I am really fed-up of the street dogs in my area. I cannot work till late in office even if it is really required because of them.

Can some one let me know how to call BBMP to my area and get them away from here?

I am not trying to br inhuman, but just trying survival strategy like any other animal race!!

Anonymous said...

Its really bad to see the so called animal lovers campaining against dog killing without
knowning the real fact behind it. These people are least bothered when these dogs kill the innocent
children brutally in the streets. it is easy to say that dogs are the best companion of man
when the dogs are sane, healthy and pet but not when they are insane, diseased,
carnivorous, and stray. i am talking about the insane, diseased, carnivorous
stay dogs and they are a MENACE and dangerous to mankind. If you cannot take care of these stray
dogs, its better to keep them in wild and if you cant do that also then you should KILL them.
I really got pissed off when i heard one of the so called animal lover quoting in the ndtv program
that dogs are also a living species like humans and one should not kill them. Its sucha
hypocrisy. now when a bunch of roaches get into your home why do you use a hit, whey do to you
use inceticides and pesticides, after all they also are a species and you should not kill them.
so you can use inceticies and pesticides but you should not kill the stray, insane disease, carnivour
dogs. now i am not advociting killing stray dogs but do we have a repellent. now i have repellent
for mosquito so i can use that but what would you do if there were no repellent for mosquitos. YOU
WERE GOING TO KILL THEM. So dont be a hypocrit. dont take up a issue for CHEAP popularity.
the puropse of it totally wrong. Its sheer hypocrisy . There are a lot of issues that needs
attention. Take one of them which is puropseful and you will be noticed. Its not fun when these
stray, diseased dogs chase your bike at night for no reason. Its not fun when these
stray, diseased, carnivorous dogs chase your kids for no reason. SO THINK PRACTICALLY. DO BE A HYPOCRIT.

Anonymous said...

I totally support the previous person. Kill the damn dogs. Keep the streets safe. Have the police to control the streets.

These bloody, animal lovers...i want to know, how many times they have gone on foot on road to any street in Bangalore. You filthy rich people, please understand that there are people who live out there without proper home, or have a two wheeler. They are attacked, and not you bloody animal lovers, who do not get out of your car. Seriously, bloody hypocrites.


Anonymous said...

Street dogs do more harm than good to the human society in which they are allowed to live. They do not belong to anybody nor are they considered any endangered species. We kill millions of chicken, sheep e.t.c and these do not hurt human beings. Street dogs inflict injury or death on human beings and are therefore dispensable like mosquitoes and flies.

Death to the stray dogs !