Monday, February 16, 2009

Stray Dogs in Bhilai, Chhattisgarh, India.

This weeks post comes to us from R.K., in Bhilai, Chhattisgarh, India. Thanks R.K. for the photos and information!
An article from an Indian website starts with the author saying that he finds India amazing. He loves the city life and is impressed with everything he observes. Except stray dogs.

He feels that stray dogs are the single biggest menace to society! He adds that they carry diseases, dirty up places and are harmful to people generally. He goes on to say that if he were a Government officer he would order them all killed.

This comes from an Indian – a race that has always been among the most peaceful of all. As another Indian I can only add that all he says applies equally to a very large majority of Indian humans too - so, should we kill them all too?

Dogs, as we all know, are the sweetest creatures of mankind – the only animal that can give pure unadulterated love, even to the hand that hits him. And, all they look for is love & compassion, and yes, a little bit of food too. I have found that if I feed a stray for 2-3 days consecutively, he adopts my family. Every time my aged mother or young daughter go out for a walk or visit someone nearby, they follow at a respectably close distance and accompany them to and fro ensuring that they face no problems from anyone.

Last year, around this time, the Kashmir authorities vowed to kill 100,000 stray dogs in an anti – rabies drive. This, at a time when we have laws in India that make it illegal to maim or injure an animal even if purposely done by a car. Punishments are fines and / or imprisonments of up to five years.

Unfortunately, this entire (rabid) witch hunting owes itself to India having the dubious distinction of suffering the highest rabies fatality rate.

Ultimately, it’s the most sinful thought possible. To kill defenseless lovable creatures just because they suffer from diseases that were caused by the filth that the Government allows and does not clean up is one way of bolting the stable door after the horse has run away. The authorities should ensure that the civic hygiene is of a standard that does not allow stray dogs to catch diseases, nor to transmit them. So far as rabies is concerned, the dogs can be given anti-rabies treatment just as it is given to pet dogs.

The life of a living being should not depend on the basis of its being a pet or a stray.

The recent Supreme Court ruling stopping Mumbai authorities from going ahead (with riders) is welcome. It allows putting down of rabid, mortally wounded or dying dogs only. There should be a system of painless neutering of dogs to stop unnecessary breeding coupled with major step up in hygienic standards. We have to nip the problem at the grass root level rather than treating it like a third stage cancer.

***Editors Note ***

According to an article by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, over the past 23 years, on average 1000 people each year die from rabies in India (which is far less then AIDS and TB). "The majority of people who die of rabies are people of poor or low-income socioeconomic status." In any society, when there is people poverty there is animal poverty, and with both an excess of illness. Hence the both social and health importance of paying attention to the stray dog population.

Menezes, Rozario. "Public health: Rabies in India." PubMed Central Homepage. 16 Feb. 2009 .

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Welcome To The Stray Dog Blog

STRAY DOGS! They are everywhere... or are they? That's what this blog seeks to find out and we need YOUR help. Two years ago we stumbled upon stray dogs in my community - in an upper middle class community we didn't think we had any. So it makes me wonder what its like in other places in the world.

I chose to focus on dogs as a personal point - nothing against cats, that will be our next blog - one step at a time!

Please (please!) fill copy and paste below into your email and email me at latejulyanimals @ gmail .com (remove spaces) I will only post entries that have pictures of stray dogs in their communities (photos of stray dogs that have been adopted are OK, or former stray dogs, but I need at least one photo of stray dogs being.. well stray) The first to submit will receive a package of postcards of stray dogs from our area courtesy of Late July Photography

You do not have to be a dog expert, or know anything about dogs to submit - I want to hear from anyone. Hopefully we can also shed some light on some great people doing awesome work to make a difference in these animals lives!

Where: (Town/City, Country)

(Just your first name or nickname)

What type of stray dogs:
(What types of breeds, mixes, ages)

What is the population like where you are:
(Non-existent, out of control, moderate etc.)

How are stray dogs dealt with and treated:
(Taken to shelters, adopted out, shot, ignored)

Are there any illnesses or disabilities stray dogs face in your area?
(Frequently hit by cars, certain worm infestations, pollution etc.)

How socialized are the stray dogs?
(Very, not at all, run in packs.. etc.)

Is anyone in the community trying to help the dogs?
(Organizations, individuals running private shelters)

Are there any spay/neuter programs where you are?

Other things you'd like to add:
(Whatever you want to say)

Please attach a link to photos OR attach them to the email. Look forwarding to hearing from you!

Rules of give-a-way:
1) Must answer all questions above in full.
2) Must submit photos of your communities stray dogs, facilities for stray dogs, things along those lines. It can not just be a photo of your dog on a couch that used to be a stray :)
3) Must submit for this give-a-way by Monday February 16th, 2009!!!