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16 Oct 2021, Edition - 2286, Saturday

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Burgeoning strays of Coimbatore

Aiswaria Samyuktha


With only 2 animal birth control Centers for the 100 wards in Coimbatore, the number unsterilised stray dogs in the city has gone up alarmingly. There is only one animal birth control center each is in Ukkadam and Seeranayakenpalayam.

The Seeranayakenpalayam centre is under the care of ‘Humane Animal Society’ (HAS), an NGO having a tie up with the Coimbatore Corporation to take care of the stray dogs covering 20 wards. Likewise, the Ukkadam center is maintained by ‘People For Animals’ encompassing 80 wards.

The Coimbatore Corporation closed the Ukkadam dog shelter in 2017 following a public protest and this has put an end to the animal birth control in 80 wards.

The primary reason behind the problem is open garbage. Stray dogs rely on garbage while searching for eatables. Open garbage is the chief reason behind the huge population of stray dogs in the city, say experts.

Stray dogs are scavengers. They rely on garbage on the street as a major food source. “The unsystematic garbage disposal in Coimbatore is a huge problem leading to high breeding rates in dogs,” says Mini Vasudevan of HAS.

Another key issue is the insufficient and irregular funding from the Corporation. There is a plea from the animal welfare organisations to the Coimbatore Corporation to increase the fund given for sterilisation and vaccination.

“At present the Corporation gives Rs 445 for sterilising a dog. It This amount was fixed over six years ago by the State Government and in today’s economy, the organisation needs at least Rs 700 to operate upon a dog. Also, as the fund is not received in time, these NGOs have to spend on their own or rely on donations from the volunteers, says Kalpana Vasudevan of People For Animals (PFA).

Killing of stray dogs is illegal. And the SPCA has the right to take action against the people who kill stray dogs. But unfortunately, the Coimbatore SPCA is not able to take action against these activities. “Street is common for both dogs and humans and there should be a communal living,” says Mini.

People think the ABC programme ( Animal Birth Control) is only for the human population and rabies control. The animal rights/welfare view is that dogs are a part of the community with ties to local people, and they should not be seen as a threat but must be accepted as a part of daily life. Just like the human population, they deserve medical aid and shelter when in distress.

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