Canine in the town
Posted: Monday, December 08th, 2008 | Posted by: Ashish Rao | Views: 16280
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They are called mans best friend. Domesticated and petted by large number of  people, dogs are found in large numbers in Mangalore city. Most dogs we see on the streets are stray dogs and have no owners. They lead a carefree life and that is why their numbers are constantly increasing as they multiply rapidly. Every ward or area in Mangalore has a group of stray dogs which behave like local caretakers.
If the dog population in not controlled it can lead to a menace and cause unnecessary nuisance to the local people.
Any population if not controlled can prove to be a menace.  The Mangalore City Corporation has outsourced the work of controlling and sterlising the canine population to Animal Care Trust,(ACT) an NGO which runs a non profit basis and recognized by the Animal Welfare Board. Although there are just sporadic cases of rabies , the disease is existant in the city. To combat this another government organisation called the Rabies Control Unit  has been set up. They conduct mass vaccination programs and also arrange camps in villages educating people about rabies and its spread. The organisaiton also stresses on pet owners getting their pets vaccinated. They also conduct sterlisation drives. But one of the most effective methods controlling the dog population is by Animal Birth Control operations ( ABC).This is effectively being done by ACT. Most people are not sure what to do if a dog with rabies bites a man. In Mangalore in the last month there were 10 cases of rabies. These were from Ashok Nagar, Urwa, Matadakani and Kotekani. In earlier days the only solution to rabies control was to kill dogs. But after the formulation of Animal Birth Control rules in 2000, this has been banned. According to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals  Act , no dog must be killed unless it is diagnosed to have rabies. The NGO conducts Animal Birth control operations called Neutring. They have also conducted awareness  programs on radio. They also suggest that all pets must be vaccinated by the 12th week of its growth. Dr Ashok, a veterinary doctor at Anti Rabies cell says, many stray dogs litter a large number of pups. These  pups have no one to take care of them and thus are left on the road. If they are on the road there are chances of them getting under a vehicle and dying in accidents. He also stressed that domesticated pets must be vaccinated at regular time intervals.
Dogs which are affected by the Rabies disease can be killed. But according to the Cruelty to animals act , no government official must indulge in killing dogs as he may be liable for action under the CSS( Conduct ) rules. Thus the old method of killing dogs to control rabies has been banned. Also, recognized associations must approach  such institutions for  redressal of grievances. Of the entire population of dogs in Mangalore only 10 % are classified as stray dogs. According to the latest census there are 7000 stray dogs in Mangalore Corporation limits. Dogs were being killed earlier to keep a control. One of the main reasons for an increase in dog population is the presence of garbage bins at various locations in the city. These attract the dogs to feed on junk food. In the earlier method of killing, the dogs were shot at sight. This created a vaccum and other dogs from neighbouring areas would join them. Again they would be killed and thus population was not being controlled. Instead more dogs would join the flock in search for food and thus the menace was not under control. But the ABC method changed all that.
The Animal Care trust  organization has been working differently on this aspect. They catch the dogs , sterlise them by operating and after a weeks captivity, let them free in the same area where they were brought from. This controls the population as they do not reproduce and also dont let other dogs join their flock. The operated dogs have a V- Notch cut on their ears for identification. Also, when the dogs are kept in captivity they are given tags on their collars. The ACT wants to continue this system of issuing tags even to pet owners who would be given a license to tame pets in their homes. The tags would have a license number and thus dogs can be identified. All  Muncipal  Corporations follow the Dog Rules 2001. The ACT has a joint venture with the MCC and are paid Rs. 245/- per dog for their activity. The trustee of ACT, Suma Ramesh says, People must adopt Indian dogs as they are as smart as any other breed. Just because they are from the streets does not mean they are not good. The Corporation also must establish as complaint cell for dog complaints from various parts of the city. The ACT charges for all their activity like catching the dog , giving it food , medication and post operative care. But they complain that , the contribution from the Corporation is not enough. Each anti rabies vaccination costs, Rs 50 and thus costs of conducting the ABC and operations is too expensive. They conduct 120 operations per month from 60 wards. It is mostly the market areas which a thickly populated with stray dogs as market vendors carelessly throw meat and other wastes on the streets. This attracts dogs for foprovidod. Unless the people start using the provided waste bins properly, the dogs will keep coming back to the garbage bins for food and thus dog population will increase. Every owner of domesticated dogs must see to it that their pets are sterlised.
Despite all this it is not a smooth going for ACT. There are no regular funds from the Corporation as the bills from June are still pending. The Coporation expects the NGO to take action  immediately  but the payments are done very irregularly. The boys working for ACT also face abuses from dog owners when going about their work. The mentality of the public must change. Most of the public feel that stray dogs are a nuisance and that they must not be around. On the flip side they do not follow basic civic rules like throwing garabage properly into the bins. The Coporation also needs to provide  ACT with another vehicle to catch dogs. The people are also encouraged to donate chains, belts, bowls, buckets etc to the ACT. This will enhance the efficiency of functioning and will aid in keeping a control on the canine population.
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good local information. had always wondered what the mangalore municipality were upto.
Posted By: K, Sunday, January 04th, 2009