06 Jun 2023  |   04:56am IST


Joseph Lewis D’Silva

The dog is man’s best friend. It is the first animal to be domesticated by early humans as a hunting companion and to bring comfort and joy in retirement homes as protector against robbers. Some dogs have an unmatched sense of smell, therefore they are trained to search for explosives at airports, detection of drugs and act as rescuers to their owners when in difficulties. Yes, dogs are trained and hired to be members of the specialized world. 

There are numerous reports in newspapers about pack of stray dogs attacking young children, senior citizens, tourists and at times, killing them. Stray dog menace has made citizens in the State unsafe. The hungry and troubled stray dogs have become walking, biological dynamites. Man’s best friend 

is becoming man’s worst foe when the 

dog bites.

Therefore, some say that it is the responsibility of the authorities to control the population of strays by starting an effective programme. If there are no vets in the State to perform sterilization surgeries according to new rules, then the dogs should be lifted and sheltered in kennels. Otherwise, dog population will increase and also their bites.

Streets are designed exclusively for the traffic and pedestrians. They are not approved habitats for animals. If illegal kiosks, along with self-employed humans can be removed to avoid visual pollution, urban congestion and traffic hazards, then dogs roaming the streets and lanes also have to be removed and kept in dog-pound. Dogs forming packs, and aggressively roaming 

the streets become dangerous for humans, other domesticated animals and vehicles on the road.

Many wonder whether the love and compassion for animals should be stretched to such an extent as to endanger human life. When it comes to choosing between the sufferings of human beings on one side, and the sufferings of stray dogs on the other side, more weightage should be given to the sufferings of human beings.

The government should make rules not to under fund animal welfare groups, but immediately clear their bills as soon as they are submitted. Or else, any type of animal control programmes will be aborted. And the number of dogs will increase and their attack on humans will rise.

Secondly, the owners of aggressive dog breed have to take precaution for others’ safety, or they would be guilty of ‘negligence’ for the violent acts of the dogs. People who feed stray dogs should not obstruct dog catchers to catch the strays and take them away. Owners of dogs should also not dump newborn pups anywhere, many of whom die, while a small minority survives as street dogs. Owners should not allow their dogs to mate with female street dogs, as the poor pregnant female is left to give birth and raise her ‘stray’ pups on the street.

Morning walkers have to march with a stick in the hand, especially on the beach. Dogs gather in areas where food is easily available, such as waste dump sites, beaches and residential colonies where animal lovers are likely to feed them.

Street dogs have a right to live, but there should be a fine balance between the safety of human beings and the rights of animals.


Iddhar Udhar