Stray Dogs Gone Wild

Bangalore city is going to the dogs, literally. The front page of today’s newspaper carried the news of yet another child being mauled to death by a pack of stray dogs. Dogs don’t kill people. Wild animals do.

I feel strongly about such issues. The Government, for once, has expressed willingness to do what it takes to curb the menace, by opting to slay the strays. Animal activists on the other hand go up in arms against any such drive. Is there any other means to tackle five hundred thousand (5 lakh) stray dogs in Bangalore?

There are localities of Bangalore where local residents feed the area strays so well, some look healthier than pet dogs. Defense Colony is one such place. I’ve been told that the City Corporation had sent dog vans to catch the strays. The residents heard about this, and quickly collared the dogs with ribbons. Any dog that has a collar, or anything that resembles a collar, is not automatically a stray, even if found without an owner, and cannot be caught as a stray dog.

Yes, any life form has every right to live. By the same standards, I am against capital punishment. But when innocent lives are at stake, especially of those who cannot defend themselves, and from elements over whom we have little control, we have to take sides. Is this an issue over which we can afford to implement solutions like neutering that will take decades to eradicate the menace? Or is it important enough to take immediate steps? Aren’t the lives of two innocent children enough to wake us up? Or will we wait for one of our own kith and kin to fall prey to an attack by stray dogs gone wild?

I feel pity for the stray dogs. Do you wonder why thousands and thousands of couples worldwide choose infertility treatment over adoption? It’s about life. Dogs cannot speak to us, and we’ve assumed that it doesn’t matter to their lives if they cannot reproduce. Now how is neutering any more an ethical practice than culling?

The stray dog population had been estimated to have crossed seven hundred thousand (7 lakh). The Government spent upwards of Rupees twenty million (2 crore) running neutering and sterilization programs last year. This should result in curbing the population growth of the strays. This is either a joke, or a clear portrayal of our double standards. When human population in a city grows, we see crime rates soar. I propose that from today onwards, we enforce neutering in the city and eventually the crime rates will zero.

The whole thing disgusts me.

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