The menace of stray animals on Goa’s highways, lanes and bylanes is getting out of hand. In fact this paper highlighted the dog menace in our beautiful capital itself which gives such a bad name to its people and administrators besides causing a health hazard to all. The stray issue has been raging for years with no solution in sight as the canine lovers have become a menace themselves because create a din to put strays – often diseased - to sleep but want citizens to adopt them as house pets or have them sterilized and then let loose in the streets. It’s obvious that doggie NGOs can’t cope with the huge doggie population – which like our nation’s population - is difficult to contain. In the meantime, strays are having a field day on the streets and beaches driving the day lights out of folks all over.
Young and old are divided in their opinions – some want man and dog to co-exist which happens often enough when a dog’s needs of food and medicine are cared for by their owners. Some suggest that all strays should be fed every day. Who’s gonna do it? Should there be stalls to feed at noon and night so strays don’t get ferocious with hunger? What of health centers to bathe, brush fur and provide annual shots along with vitamins and iron tablets to fight anaemia? Before that, a special shot needs to be invented to make strays ‘docile’ so they docilely visit the centers because no one wants to approach a stray to feed or wash and get mauled instead. Presently we only throw food at strays to keep them at bay which no stray-advocate likes. Not even the doggie NGOs seem to go near strays - who could be rabid – in a bid to sterilize them. So strays roam the streets and multiply.
Then there are those who want the authorities to go hammer and tongs after strays so that we eradicate Rabies which has no cure really. Strays have to be removed even though we love dogs and are not murderers of dogs who truly are man’s friend and companion. But precaution is better than regret for a rabies epidemic would be catastrophic like the plague that hit Goa’s old capital under the Portuguese. When man does not take action then Mother Nature comes out with a reaction.