Posted in Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme/Street Dog Sterilization, First Aid Service, Information that empowers!, Inspiration, Jaagruti's interventions, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Medical treatment of Animals, Relationships, Street Dogs of India

How Street Dogs, named ‘Dodo’ and ‘Chiku’ saved 3 bikes from being stolen?

Dodo and Chiku are two brave young Indian female dogs adopted as community dogs by Shivani, Priya and their young group of friends in Masjid Moth area of New Delhi! For it was their barking that alerted Shivani and Priya’s family on the midnight of 30th November-1st December 2015 to the presence of a “Bike Thief” on the prowl in their colony. They started barking as the thief tried to use a Master key to steel Priya’s Scooty. As his efforts failed, he tried his hand on another bike parked nearby. Alerted by Dodo and Chiku’s barking, Shivani’s brother confronted the thief and the Police was called over, only to learn that he had just stolen two more bikes that were parked outside the colony gate as he chased his 3rd ‘target vehicle’. Strange as it is, the Police reprimanded this ‘regular’ bike thief and let him go is what we learn. The residents were happy that they got their vehicles back, but no one patted the backs of these two girls, Dodo and Chiku, the unsung heroes whose alert barking alerted their caretakers into taking action against the ‘thief’.

This is how street dogs guard the streets they inhabit. They don’t  bark without a reason. Be compassionate towards them, they are on our streets for a reason.

Dodo, Chiku and their Mom, Gauri have all been sterilized and it was our turn at JAAGRUTI to vaccinate them all on 1 December 2015. Along with the three girls, Jetto, the black male dog was also vaccinated. We adore caretakers like Shivani, Priya and their gang of friends who were so respectful of us and grateful of the learnings they have had by reading through the JAAGRUTI blog and they were appreciative of our On-Site First Aid and Vaccination Service for Street Animals/Dogs as well.

 

Vaccinations at Masjid Moth on 01122015

The heroic acts of Indian Street Dogs to save their human friends in need are a daily occurrence, some get reported, most don’t!

Earlier this year in August 2015, it was ‘Pingu’, a mute Street Dog residing in Vasant Kunj area of Delhi had prevented burglary and risked his own life in the process.

Pingu brave mute street dog in Vasant Kunj_TOI_14_08_2015_014_040_011

Pingu Story in Dainik Jagran

You can read more about Pingu’s heroics on these links:

  • “Stray Dog Risks Life To Thwart Burglary”, reports Huffington Post
  • ” A Mute Stray Dog Risks his Own Life to Help the Residents of a Delhi Locality”, reports The Better India
  • “Stray dog Pingu fights off intruder in Delhi colony”, reports The Times of India

Those who wish to avail of JAAGRUTI’s On-site First Aid, Treatment and Vaccination Service for Street Dogs / Animals are requested to read the link https://jaagruti.org/first-aid-and-vaccination-service-for-street-dogs-animals/ and write to us on firstaid@jaagruti.org. Support of local caretakers is essential to restrain and treat the animal during the entire course of On-site Treatment.

Contributions towards our medicine and transport costs are essential to support to keep up our efforts to sweat it out and treat animals on the street day in day out. Do consider supporting us by clicking on www.jaagruti.org/contribute-to-jaagruti. If you would like to contribute medicines in kind, please connect with us on contact@jaagruti.org and we will get back to you with our requirements.

Posted in Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme/Street Dog Sterilization, Animal Laws of India, Articles, Court Judgements on Animal Issues - India, Do you know?, Information that empowers!, Street Dogs of India

Street Dog Matters related : Interim Order passed by Honourable Supreme Court of India on 18th November 2015

The Interim order of the Supreme Court of India passed on the 18th Nov 2015 while hearing ‘all street dog related matters’ emphatically directs that the laws made viz. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001 have to be implemented and that there shall not be any indiscriminate killing of dogs. The Supreme Court Order observed that “There can be no trace of doubt that there has to be compassion for dogs and that they should not be killed in an indiscriminate manner…”

The key points in this Interim Order issued by the Honourable Supreme Court of India on 18th November 2015 are as follows:

The Order states- “There can be no trace of doubt that there has to be compassion for dogs and they should not be killed in an indiscriminate manner, but indubitably the lives of the human beings are to be saved and one should not suffer due to dog bite because of administrative lapse.

It further reiterates that, “Rule 6 of the Animal Birth Control Rules 2001 enacted under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, provides for obligations of the local authority. Rule 7 deals with capturing/sterilisation/ immunisation/release. Rule 8 deals with identification and recording and Rule 9 provides for euthanasia of street dogs. Rule 10 deals with furious or dumb rabid dogs.” and goes on to add that, ” As we find, the local authorities have a sacrosanct duty to provide sufficient number of dog pounds, including animal kennels/shelters, which may be managed by the animal welfare organizations, that apart, it is also incumbent upon the local authorities to provide requisite number of dog vans with ramps for the capture and transportation of street dogs; one driver and two trained dog catchers for each dog van; an ambulance-cum-clinical van as mobile centre for sterlisation and immunisation; incinerators for disposal of carcasses and periodic repair of shelter or pound. Rule 7 has its own significance. The procedure has to be followed before any steps are taken. Rules 9 and 10 take care of the dogs which are desirable to be euthanised.”

To explain to our readers Rule 9 – it means that only mortally wounded or terminally ill dogs i.e.when and only when a dog is unfit for survival/has no chance of recovery/healing which is medically proven by a Government certified Veterinary Doctor and it’s survival causes more pain for it is when u can think of euthanising.

….and then the order hammers home the point, that for now that the Animal Birth Control Rules, 2001, (for short, ‘the 2001 Rules’) shall prevail over the provisions contained in any local Act/Municipality Act by stating that, “for the present it is suffice to say that all the State municipal corporations, municipal committees, district boards and local bodies shall be guided by the Act and the Rules and it is the duty and obligation of the Animal Welfare Board to see that they are followed with all seriousness. It is also the duty of all the municipal corporations to provide infrastructure as mandated in the statute and the rules. Once that is done, we are disposed to think for the present that a balance between compassion to dogs and the lives of human being, which is appositely called a glorious gift of nature, may harmoniously co-exist.”.

And towards the end of this Interim Order passed by the Honourable Supreme Court of India, instructions are laid out for the Local bodies to follow, “The local authorities shall file affidavits including what kind of infrastructures they have provided, as required under the law. Needless to emphasize, no innovative method or subterfuge should be adopted not to carry out the responsibility under the 1960 Act or the 2001 Rules. Any kind of laxity while carrying out statutory obligations, is not countenanced in law.”

A copy of the order passed today be sent to the Chief Secretary of each of the States and the competent authority of Union Territories, so that they can follow the same in letter and spirit. We would also request all the High Courts not to pass any order relating to the 1960 Act and the 2001 Rules pertaining to dogs. Needless to say, all concerned as mentioned herein-above, shall carry out this order and file their respective affidavits as directed“…are the concluding lines of this order as the matter gets listed for Final Hearing and Disposal on 9th March 2016.

The Hindu on SC Order 19112015

The Press Release issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India on the above stated order, is shared below.

Posted in Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme/Street Dog Sterilization, Animal Laws of India, Articles, Court Judgements on Animal Issues - India, Information that empowers!

Recent Developments on Street Dog related petitions in Delhi High Court (August 2015)

As shared by Ms. Anjali Sharma, Board Member and Legal Advisor to the Animal Welfare Board of India, Ministry of Environment , Forest and Climate Change, Government of India.

17th August 2015_Delhi HC on DogsAnd this is what the 5th August 2015 Delhi High Court order reads like:

As per this order, Ms. Sharma explains, ” (i) what is necessary is that the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules be implemented in letter and spirit ; & (ii) The primary responsibility of implementing the Rules is of the municipalities. (Meaning thereby that they have to fund it adequately, provide the infrastructure, etc.). Not only has the Delhi High Court Order asked the 3 municipal corporations of Delhi, & the N.D.M.C., to file status reports giving sterilization numbers, but specifically asked whether the STRAY DOGS HAVE BEEN RETURNED BACK TO THE LOCALITIES after sterilization.”

5th August 2015_Delhi HC Order on a Street Dog Petition_Page 1 5th August 2015_Delhi HC Order on a Street Dog Petition_Page 2

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme/Street Dog Sterilization, Animal Laws of India, Articles, Be the Change, Do you know?, Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Series, Information that empowers!, Street Dogs of India, Take Action!

Noida Federation instructions to Resident Welfare Associations regarding lawful manner of dealing with street dogs

After the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon’s directive to Presidents of all Gurgaon-based Residential Welfare Associations (RWAs) to stop harassing people/residents who have pets and tend to street dogs, comes the below mentioned letter issued by Federation of Noida Resident Welfare Associations to all its member RWAs in Noida, apprising them on the lawful manner of dealing with street dogs and the people who tend to them, feed them, get them sterilized and vaccinated.

So, for all those of you who stay in Noida and are being harassed by your respective RWA for feeding and tending to street dogs, please take note of this important letter, download it from the link below and use it to fight your case for the animals you care for.

Download by clicking here – Noida Federation instructions to RWAs regarding lawful manner of dealing with street dogs

Noida Federation instructions to RWAs regarding street dogs_Page 1 of the letter
Noida Federation instructions to RWAs regarding street dogs_Page 1 of the letter
Noida Federation instructions to RWAs regarding street dogs_Page 2 of the Letter
Noida Federation instructions to RWAs regarding street dogs_Page 2 of the Letter

Please also read:

Gurgaon Municipal Corporation’s Directive to Presidents of Residential Welfare Societies to stop harassing people who have pets and tend to street dogs

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme/Street Dog Sterilization, Animal Laws of India, Be the Change, Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Series, Games people play, Information that empowers!, Street Dogs of India, Take Action!

To all those of you who are being harassed by their neighbourhood for tending to animals….

Please remember that for the animals, if not for yourself, you need to be strong and fight this out.

While you can approach local animal welfare organisations or animal activists, but in the end, it is a fight you will have to fight on your own, for yourself and the animals you care for…

  • If talking to people and explaining them the below mentioned laws and constitutional provisions doesn’t help, then, whether you like it or you don’t, you need to approach the Police and file an F.I.R or Police Complaint against all the people who are harassing you, abusing you, threatening to kill/harm you/your property and the dogs/other animals you care for.
  • Be sure to mention full names and addresses of all the people who are harassing you and give complete true account of the matter, without exaggerating facts – take help of the points stated below to put your grievances and facts across and mention why you are seeking help from the Police and reporting this matter.
  • There is no law that prohibits feeding of street animals, and citizens who choose to do so are in fact performing a duty cast upon them by the Constitution of India. Persons, who are trying to interfere with their effort, or display aggression, can be held liable for having committed the offense described in the Indian Penal Code and criminal intimidation.
  • Moreover, as per Indian law, street dogs cannot be beaten or driven away. They can merely be sterilized in the manner envisaged in the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001(Rules under Indian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA), 1960), vaccinated, and then returned back to their original locations.
  • If your municipality is not doing the same, you can file a Police Complaint or FIR against the local Municipal Corporation for flouting the laws and rules mentioned above, which need to be complied with throughout the country, as PCA Act is a Central Act, i.e. it is applicable across the country and the local Police has been mandated with the responsibility of enforcing this act and reporting/booking violations/offenders.

Constitutional provisions:

  • Article 51A of the Constitutional Law of India, speaks about the duties of every citizen of India. One of these duties includes having compassion for living creatures (Article 51 A (g) of the Indian Constitution). Those who look after animals and other creatures of God are thus protected under the Constitution.

 

  • Article 19 of the Constitution of India, deals with right to freedom and in this freedom are included the right to profession, occupation, trade and business. Therefore, it means that every citizen has the right to occupation and if someone has taken the caring of animals as his occupation, it is legal and he has every right to carry on with his occupation.

Legal provisions:

In a Judgment passed by the Delhi Court, it has been stated that the Animal Welfare Board of India and the Municipal Authorities have in the guidelines issued by them specified the problem often faced by individuals and families who adopt and feed stray animals. The court says that it is necessary to bring into record that these individuals and families who adopt stray animals are doing a great service to humanity as they are acting in the aid and assistance of Municipal Authorities by providing these animals with food and shelter and also by getting them vaccinated and sterilized. Without assistance of such persons no local Municipal Authority can successfully carry out its ABC programme. The Court has proceeded to say that the local police and the municipal authorities are under obligation not only to encourage such adoption but also to ensure protection to such persons who come forward to take care of these animals specifically the community or neighbourhood dogs so that they are not subjected to any kind of cruelty, finally, the Court has said that every individual has the right to live his life in the manner he wants and it is necessary that the society and the community recognize it.

  • If you are a woman/girl who is being abused/harassed/threatened by neighbours/people around for being kind to animals, please also note that you can lodge F.I.Rs against these people Under Section 509 of Indian Penal Code (U/S 509 of IPC) – which is a cognizable offence.
  • Under the Govt. of India, Animal Birth Control Rules 2001 (drafted under the Indian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960), no sterilized dogs can be relocated from their area. As per five different High Court orders, sterilized dogs have to remain in their original areas. If the dog is not sterilized, the Society can simply ask an animal welfare organization to sterilize and vaccinate the dog. They cannot relocate them. Relocation is not permissible, as it would cause more problems such as an increase in dog bites as new dogs will move into the area who are unfamiliar with residents and therefore more likely to be hostile. All problems of stray animals have to be handled within the institutional framework available. No association, recognized or unrecognized, shall take recourse to any action regarding stray animals on their own, either themselves or through any person employed by them like security guards. While residents and Associations are free to address institutional agencies for redressal of grievances in this matter, no resident/association will interfere with the freedom of other residents in caring and attending animals.
  • Section 11 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 forbids the displacement of Animals from its natural environment into an environment that is hostile to it, where the animal may be injured/hurt/maimed or killed due to lack of food or fights with other animals. Also, please remember that Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 is a Central Act, i.e. it is applicable throughout the country and the powers to enforce this law have been given to the Local Police.
  • Additionally, Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code also provides for imprisonment and fine, in cases involving animal cruelty. Section 429 in The Indian Penal Code, 1860, a Central Government Act, reads as follows:

“Mischief by killing or maiming cattle, etc., of any value or any animal of the value of fifty rupees.– Whoever commits mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless, any elephant, camel, horse, mule, buffalo, bull, cow or ox, whatever may be the value thereof, of any other animal of the value of fifty rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment or either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both.”

Following are some of the self-explanatory documents that one can look up and refer to:

1. A 2 page circular issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Training, on the aspect of street animal feeding and prohibits central government employees from harassing street dogs or those feeding/looking after them.

https://jaagrutiindia.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/public-grievances-circular-pg-1.jpg

https://jaagrutiindia.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/public-grievances-circular-pg-2.jpg

2. The Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001.

https://jaagrutiindia.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/the-animal-birth-control-dogs-rules-2001.pdf

3. A directive issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India, constituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests- provides immunity to animal feeders and restricts RWAs from harassing people tending to dogs.

https://jaagrutiindia.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/awbi-direction.pdf

4. M.C.D. (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) notification, showing the approach of the M.C.D. with regard to street animals, which is based on the law of the land.

https://jaagrutiindia.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/mcd-notices-toi-march-2009.jpg

5. A Times of India news report regarding a Delhi High Court direction to the police to protect persons who feed stray dogs.

https://jaagrutiindia.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/times-of-india-article-on-feeding.pdf

6. A Hindustan Times news report regarding the view taken by the Supreme Court regarding stray dogs.

https://jaagrutiindia.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/ht-article-24th-jan-supreme-court-stays-bombay-high-court-order.jpg

7. An order passed by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Delhi https://jaagrutiindia.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/addln-chief-metropolitan-magistrates-order-on-street-dogs-of-india.pdf

8. A Dossier of Indian Street Dog related laws and court rulingshttps://jaagrutiindia.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/a-dossier-of-indian-street-dog-related-laws-and-court-rulings.pdf and Copies of other court judgments can be downloaded from http://www.strays.in/index.php/legal-precedence-faqs-judgements-court-cases-drafts/

9. Reporting a crime and lodging an F.I.R or Police Complaint-

https://jaagruti.org/2013/12/13/reporting-a-crime-all-about-lodging-an-f-i-r-with-the-police/

If you want awareness workshops held in your company or Institution on the subject of animal laws and welfare, for audience in any age-group, please write to us on contact@jaagruti.org

Posted in Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme/Street Dog Sterilization, Animals, Be the Change, Do-it-Yourself (DIY)Series: Animal Rescue and Treatment, Events, Pets, Street Dogs of India, Take Action!

28th September 2013, World Rabies Day: Get the street dogs you care for vaccinated against rabies

Hi,

We wanted to share that on the occasion of World Rabies Day on 28th September 2013, we at JAAGRUTI can facilitate to get street dogs in your respective areas/locality* in Delhi vaccinated against Rabies for free.

*The only pre-requisite is that you should send us an e-mail or a scanned letter taking a guarantee** of getting atleast 10 street dogs vaccinated to contact@jaagruti.org (stating ‘Free ARV’ in the subject line).

** When we say guarantee, then that means that you should be able to confidently locate and hold the street dog and pet them till the time the paravet injects the vaccine into the dog, without any hoohaa or drama about it!

 

Also, please note that ARV shots cannot be given to pups under 90 days of age.

Also mention the following in this request e-mail you write to us:

1. Your name:

2. Your Address:

3. Number of Street dogs you would like Anti-Rabies Vaccinations (ARV) done for and their area:

4. Your contact number and e-mail ID

If you love your street dogs enough to bring them all the way to the camp ON YOUR OWN to get them vaccinated by doctors on site, then the main FREE ANTI RABIES VACCINATION camp is being organised on 28th September 2013, Saturday at:

Address: Baba Khimman Singh Park, Opposite KD Block, Ashok Vihar-Phase 1, Delhi (Near Big Transformer)

Timings of the Camp: 8AM to 3PM

You can even get your Pet Dogs, whose ARV shots are due or you have forgotten (as unfortunately most callous ignorant lazy pet owners may do..) to this camp.

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme/Street Dog Sterilization, Animal Laws of India, Animals, Articles, Be the Change, Do you know?, Do-it-Yourself (DIY)Series: Animal Rescue and Treatment, Games people play, General/Animals, Pets, Street Dogs of India, Take Action!

Pet Dogs and Street Dogs: Do’s and Dont’s

Below is an article written by Mrs. Maneka Gandhi, who is the Chairperson of an organisation called, ‘People for Animals’. We happened to receive a copy of it in our Inbox from a fellow animal rescuer and deem it wise to share it on this blog of ours, since a lot of our helpline calls and e-mails are related to this subject.

———————————————————————————————

In recent times, RWAs, Apartment Owners’ Associations, and Cooperative Group Housing Societies, having taking to imposing various restrictions on pet owning residents, such as disallowing the use of lifts, or parks, by pets, or even banning pets altogether. There is widespread resentment against these moves, because not only do they unreasonably restrict the rights of residents, they are also unlawful and against recent court rulings.

Moreover, as an RWA, or an Apartment Owners’ Association, Cooperative Group Housing Society, gated complex, etc., you may often be getting complaints regarding street dogs, and requests that they be driven away, through beatings by security guards or otherwise, or just dumped elsewhere. If you accede to these requests, you will not only be violating laws and pronouncements of courts, but will not achieve any permanent solutions either. The problem will remain a perennial problem ; and you will also run afoul of animal welfare people that are increasing in number by the day, and banding themselves into well organized groups.

Below, are some DOs and DON’Ts, with respect to both, PET DOGS & STREET DOGS.

I.          WITH RESPECT TO PET DOGS & PET OWNING RESIDENTS :Please keep in mind that the following is what you CANNOT do :-

 BANNING pets, whether allowed :

a)     Even by obtaining consensus, or even if the majority of the residents want it, you cannot legally introduce any sort of ‘ban’ on the keeping of pet dogs by residents.

b)     Even by amending bye-laws or regulations or otherwise, such a ‘ban’ cannot be put into place since it is illegal, and does not have the sanction of law. In fact, in trying to ‘ban’ pets, or limit their number, you interfere with a fundamental freedom guaranteed to the citizens of India, i.e. the freedom to choose the life they wish to live, which includes facets such as living with or without companion animals.

c)    If the residents that have pets are not violating any municipal or other laws, you cannot object. The general body cannot frame or amend bye-laws that are at variance with the laws of the country. Even by a complete majority, a general body cannot adopt an illegality. Please remember, you do not have the right to legislate, and ‘lay down law’ for residents, and apartment owners or even tenants.

Use of LIFTS by pets :

d)    There is a court ruling to the effect that pets cannot be disallowed from the use of lifts ; and no charges can be imposed either, by housing societies for the use of lifts by pets. In fact, it was widely reported in the news that the concerned court had ruled that “Dogs are family, can use lifts for free”. Kindly ensure that this sort of restriction is not therefore imposed – neither a ban, nor any special charges for the use of lifts by pets.

 Use of PARKS by pets :

e)    Banning pets from gardens or parks, is short-sighted. Firstly, you may or may not own the garden or park in question. It may be an MCD or DDA park, or belong to any other organization. Secondly, pets that are not properly exercised may show aggression in frustration ; and that, surely, cannot contribute to the benefit of the residents. It may be better to fix timings when pets can be walked without inconvenience to other residents. These timings can then be intimated to the general body.

Use of leashes/muzzles by pet owners, defecation by pets in community premises, imposition of fines and other similar measures :

f)     You can request pet owners to keep their pets on leash, when walking them in common areas. You cannot however ask for muzzles as muzzles are illegal for sustained use as dogs die through overheating. Please remember, the law already provides for penalties for negligent pet owners, which the aggrieved parties can avail of.

g)    In the absence of central or state laws requiring cleaning of pet poop by pet owners, you cannot impose any rule, regulation or bye-law, with respect to mandatory cleaning of pet poop, or impose special charges or fines on pet owners. You can, of course, request them to do so.

h)    You can also experiment with the creation of various pet defecation areas within community premises, which is what some housing societies and sectors are doing. These can be imaginatively spaced out within the precincts, and you can request pet owners to train their pets into using the same. You cannot however impose fines and special charges of any kind on pet owners, because there is no mandate in law for the same.

Intimidation :

i)     Lastly, please also always bear in mind that if any association succeeds in intimidating a pet owner into ‘giving up’ or ‘abandoning’ a pet, it will actually have contributed to a violation of law ; and may well be aggravating the menace of ownerless animals on the street, that are not accustomed to living on the street and therefore get involved in and lead to accidents, injuries and deaths. Please also bear in mind that intimidation is an offense in law.

II.         WITH RESPECT TO STREET DOGS :What you CANNOT do :-

1)         Beating and driving away street dogs, NOT ALLOWED ; animal birth control and release back into same locality/territory, ALLOWED :

As per Indian law street dogs (i.e. stray dogs) cannot be beaten or driven away or dumped elsewhere or killed. They can merely be sterilized in the manner envisaged in the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001, vaccinated, and then returned back to their original locations. For the area-wise sterilization program that the law mandates shall be followed, dogs have to be returned back to their original habitat after sterilization and immunization.

2)         The rationale behind release into the same locality/territory :

Dogs, being territorial in nature, tend to fight off other dogs, and keep them from entering their territories ; and in this manner, the dog population in each territory / within each locale, stabilizes.If, however, they are removed permanently, other dogs come into the ‘dog-free’ vacuum that is thereby created. So the ‘problem’ continues.

3)         Street dog feeding, whether inside or outside community premises :

 There is no law that prohibits the feeding of street animals.Citizens who choose to do so are in fact performing a duty cast upon them by the Constitution of India – of showing compassion to all living creatures. As recently as the 12th of December, 2011, stray dog feeding has been upheld yet again by the High Court, and the emphatic challenge to the same by one R.W.A., disregarded.

4)         Animal cruelty :

Please also note, animal cruelty is an offence – under Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, and Section 428 of the Indian Penal Code –punishable with imprisonment and fine.

5)         Intimidation :

Attempts to interfere with, or harass persons who choose to tend to and feed community dogs, maybe tantamount to the very grave offence of criminal intimidation.

6)         Aggression to dogs, counter productive :

Last but not the least : any aggression or hostility that the dogs may be subjected to, will only render them aggressive, and hostile to humans. They may then resort to snapping and biting in self -defense. If the same happens, the human aggressors shall be the only ones to blame.

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme/Street Dog Sterilization, Animal Laws of India, Animals, Be the Change, Do you know?, Do-it-Yourself (DIY)Series: Animal Rescue and Treatment, Information that empowers!, News Reports, Street Dogs of India

Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Series-4: A Dossier of Indian Street Dog related laws and court rulings- Read, Print and Share widely

To all those who feed and take care of their neighbourhood street dogs in India, we have one request. Don’t feel weak. The laws are on your side and also in favour of the street dogs you care for.

In this post, we are sharing with you one comprehensive document that compiles all the laws, news-clippings and court orders/rulings, pertaining to street dogs

Please download this document by clicking here: A Dossier of Indian Street Dog related laws and court rulings

Save it, take print-outs and read it well.

These are updated laws, rules, orders pertaining to DOGS, their feeding and other rights. Most dog lovers don’t bother to read them and end up getting harassed while the law is strong and clear. Please keep a copy ready and if possible submit one copy in your local police station and the RWA, so unfortunate encounters can be averted beforehand. 

A point wise synopsis is also written in the beginning of this document.

We thank Citizens for Animal Rights for their effort in compiling this document and sharing the same with us. By posting it here, we are sharing it further and hope you all will share it widely too and feel empowered.

Remember: Your responsibility however doesn’t end with just feeding them, please also ensure that these dogs you care for are sterilized and vaccinated…since you are friendly with them, can touch them, it is much easier for you to collaborate with the NGO run Animal Hospital (that runs the local Municipality supported ‘Animal Birth Control’ Programme for street dogs) near your home to help undertake the sterilization of these dogs, it is just a one time exercise and will prevent you the agony of seeing pups dying (of illnesses and car accidents) in front of your eyes ever so frequently.

Posted in Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme/Street Dog Sterilization, Animal Laws of India, Animals, Be the Change, Do you know?, Do-it-Yourself (DIY)Series: Animal Rescue and Treatment, General/Animals, Information that empowers!, News Reports

Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Series-3: Apply for the ‘Colony Caretaker of Animals-Card’ from Animal Welfare Board of India

AWBI website screenshot-information to dogfeeders, colony caretakers
AWBI website screenshot-information to dogfeeders, colony caretakers

Animal Welfare Board of India has decided to issue Identity Cards to Street Dog Feeders/Colony Care Takers of Animals who are taking care of animals in their locality.

A proforma of registration form can be downloaded from this link- http://awbi.org/awbi-pdf/caretakers.pdf or please click below.

AWBI Form for getting Colony Caretaker of Animals ID Card

Please download the form and send the duly filled in form along with the following:

– Two passport size photographs.
– Self -attested true copy of the Ration Card/ Voter ID/ Driving License/ Passport/ PAN Card

 to

ANIMAL WELFARE BOARD OF INDIA
(Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India)
Post Box No. 8672, 13/1, Third Seaward Road, Valmiki Nagar,Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai – 600 041

Colony Animal Cretaker Form_AWBI_English

Colony Animal Cretaker Form_AWBI_Hindi

A news report on the same in Indian Express dated 21st January 2013, by Senior Correspondent Kamala Kelkar,  is posted below. Please hoever note that the process may take less or more than a couple of weeks for you to receive your cards, as mentioned below

People who care for street dogs will soon be getting government-issued identity cards. The new ID cards are expected to do away with harassment faced by many such persons from the general public, when they try to feed canines on the road.

In a move that animal activists termed “unprecedented,” the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has decided last week that anyone who voluntarily cares for strays — dog feeders and colony caretakers who tend to animals in their locality.

It Board has put up a one-page registration form (can be downloaded free of cost) on its website awbi.org, for those who want to get these ID cards.

The applicant needs to fill in personal information such as name, address and experience. Once the application is submitted, the ID card would be processed and mailed to the applicant, board member and legal advisor Anjali Sharma said.

“The card would have the person’s name and an attestation that he/she is doing a right and lawful deed and the Animal Welfare Board supports it. This lends credibility to the person,” Sharma said.

The AWBI is a legal advisory body that was formed under the Animal Prevention Act of 1960 to protect the animals.

Sharma explained that the goal of the card, which does not provide any exclusive rights, was solely the welfare of animals and caretakers.

“Most people don’t realize that sterilization and vaccination of stray dogs would be possible only through feeding and befriending dogs,” Sharma said.

In December 2011, the Delhi High Court had passed an order voicing its approval for designated “dog feeding spots” for stray canines in the city. It passed the order on a petition which sought to protect dogs from “intimidating” residents, so they could be fed without any hassle.

The court also ruled that police should assist dog feeders if they faced any “harassment” from residents and also ordered the AWBI to designate specific feeding areas.

Rishi Dev, founder of Citizens for Animal Rights who has written a book on “Urban disputes over animals”, said this was the first time that the government was supporting such an initiative.

Sharma hoped that many would come forward to apply for the cards. “They are performing a duty,” she said. “And it’s a legitimate exercise.”

Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Series-2: Educating your Residential Society on the scientific and lawful manner of dealing with street dogs

This template letter on Google Docs is kind courtesy of the Voice of Stray Dogs, Bangalore and makes for a good resource material for those of you trying to educate their own residential societies (RWAs i.e. Resident Welfare Associations) on the best possible legally correct, scientific and humane way of dealing with the ‘subject’ of street dogs in their colonies.

How to do this yourself?

Firstly, read these two articles to best understand the Rights of Street Dogs in India and the Delhi High Court rulings on the subject of feeding street Dogs, then save the images and the PDF Files embedded in these articles on to your computer, take a print out of these saved files and attach it as annexures to the above letter that you would draft and address to the concerned person in your RWA, seal the letter and send it across through courier or registered post, keep a photocopy of the same set with you. Be strong and fight it out intelligently, the laws are on your side and the dogs, just use your wisdom and intellect to drive the point across to the ‘uninformed’.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions on the above subject (kind courtesy of People for Animals):

Q) Can people who feed animals in their areas be stopped by the RWAs or Societies or neighbours under the law ?

A) Article 51A of the Constitutional Law of India, speaks about the duties of every citizen of India. One of these duties includes having compassion for living creatures. So the animal lover is protected under the Constitution.

Article 19 of the Constitution of India, deals with right to freedom and in this freedom comes the right to profession, occupation, trade and business. Therefore, it means that every citizen has the right to occupation and if someone has taken the caring of animals as his occupation, it is legal and he has every right to carry on with  his occupation.

Article 21 of the Constitution of India states the right to personal life and liberty. Now this is the very vast right. If someone wants to feed dogs and provides shelter to the dogs, he has every liberty to do so. He has this right to liberty that the law provides to every citizen of India.

But, above every law and rights, there is a natural right too, which is a universal right, that is inherent in the nature of ethics and contingent on human actions or beliefs. It is the right that is claimed to exist even when it is not enforced by the government or society as a whole. It is the right of the individual and considered beyond the authority of a government or international body to dismiss. Therefore, if there are any rights at all, there must be right to liberty, for all the others depend on this. And, loving, caring and feeding and giving shelter to dogs, definitely is a natural right of any individual.

In a judgment passed by the Delhi Court, it has been stated that the Animal Welfare Board of India and the Municipal authorities have in the guidelines issued by them specified the problem often faced by the individuals and families who adopts stray animals and feed them and come to the assistance of such persons. The court says, that it is necessary to bring into record that these individuals and families who adopt stray animals are doing a great service to the humanity as they are acting in the aid and assistance of municipal authorities by providing these animals with food and shelter and also by getting them vaccinated and sterilized. Without assistance of such persons no local municipal authority can successfully carry out its ABC programs. The court has went on to say that the local police and the municipal authorities are under the obligation not only to encourage such adoption but also to ensure that such persons who come forward to take care of these animals specifically the community or neighbourhood dogs so that they are not subjected to any kind of cruelty.

And finally, the court has said that every individual has a right to live his life in the manner he wants and it is necessary that the society and the community recognizes it.

Q) Can an RWA/Society or any individual pick up the dogs in a colony that are sterilized and vaccinated and throw them away somewhere

A) Under the Government of India Animal Birth Control rules 2001 , no sterilized dogs can be relocated  from their area. Under 5 High Court orders , sterilized dogs have to be in their original areas. Even if the dog is not sterilized , the Society can simply ask an animal welfare organization to sterilize and vaccinate the dog. They cannot relocate him. Relocation is not permissible as it would cause more problems such as increase of dog bites as dogs are territorial by nature and fight to retain their areas keeping out other dogs.
Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme/Street Dog Sterilization, Animal Laws of India, Animals, Do you know?, Games people play, Information that empowers!, News Reports, Pets, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India, Take Action!

Can’t remove Pets or harass those who feed street animals, Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon tells RWAs

In the recent past, the Helpline at Jaagruti has received many calls from a lot of street dog lovers/pet owners in Gurgaon on the subject of their respective Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) barring them from keeping pets or feeding street dogs or fining them etc., and we have directed them to take a stance against their respective RWAs taking inspiration from the content posted on this article of ours.

Taking notice of many such animal lovers rising up in unison, the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon has taken an informed proactive stance on the matter and dispatched a stern letter to all such RWA office bearers on the adamance, arrogance and above all IGNORANCE being shown by their respective RWA office bearers on this subject, by coming out with warnings and society bye-laws that are in strict contravention to all the national laws.

We appreciate the position taken by Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon on this subject.

To all of these concerned compassionate people worried about the street animals and the pets they love, feed and take care off, the recent news in the Times of India comes as a welcome relief. Please read on.

Can’t remove Pets, Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon to RWAs

By Aditya Dev, TNN, 6th Nov 2012

GURGAON: Even as the management bodies of residential societies are making their own rules for keeping pets, the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) has written to various residents’ welfare associations warning them not to formulate rules and regulations regarding pets and that any such move is in conflict with the law. Such a move may lead to dissolution of the RWA and prosecution of its office bearers, says the letter.

The managing committee Kanchunjunga Cooperative Group Housing Society in Sector 56 had last year imposed a ban on its residents keeping pets. The Close North (Nirvana Country) management also recently banned flat owners from using elevators to take out pets and instructed them to use service elevators instead.

The corporation sent letters to RWAs this February following incidents of cruelty against animals by RWAs, their office bearers and residents were reported. It also came to light that a few RWAs attempted to prevent pet ownership through stipulations in terms of their rental or ownership agreement, threatening pet owners with electricity and water cut offs.

If any rule laid down by anybody is in conflict with the law of the urban local body, state body or central body it is automatically superseded and rendered null and void. The letter says that an RWA threatening discontinuation of basic facilities is illegal.

It is illegal to remove animals from the area through security guards employed by RWAs. Nor can they intimidate residents who may be feeding those animals. Under stray dog management rules 2001, it’s illegal for an individual, RWA or estate management to remove or relocate dogs. The dogs have to be sterilized and vaccinated and returned to the same area. Vaccinated and sterilized dogs cannot be removed by the municipality too.

Under Section 506 of the IPC, it’s a crime to threaten, abuse or harass neighbours who feed animals.

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme/Street Dog Sterilization, Animal Laws of India, Animals, Do you know?, General/Animals, Information that empowers!, News Reports, Street Dogs of India

The ABC of stray dogs

Animal Birth Control: Its as easy as ABC (Image Courtesy PETA)

Animal Birth Control/ABC Programm involves sterilizing street dogs, vaccinating them against rabies and releasing them back into the areas where they were picked up from.

The article below is kind courtesy of  The Pioneer Newspaper, penned by noted senior journalist Mr. Hiranmay Karlekar who is also the author of a book titled ‘Savage Humans and Stray Dogs’, the article sheds light on the ‘ABC’ of Delhi’s Animal Birth Control/ABC Programme, comes in the wake of the Commonwealth Games recently organised in Delhi in which many street canines (sterilized as well as non-sterilized) were temporarily (for the period of these games) relocated to Animal shelters across Delhi and Noida from many games venues, stadia, hotels, all of whom have now been released back into the areas where they were picked up from (and those canines that were not sterilized were also sterilized in the process and vaccinated against Rabies at the shelters/hospitals they were housed at prior to being released back to their homes). There is a whole scientific basis and reasoning behind doing so and that is what Mr. Karlekar enlightens us all on below. If you still have doubts, drop in a comment underneath or mail us at contact@jaagruti.org

The Pioneer EDITS | Saturday, October 23, 2010, By Hiranmay Karlekar

It’s a fallacy to believe that killing street dogs will bring down their numbers. But sterilising them helps in reducing and stabilising their population

According to a report, the Mayor of Delhi has said in an interview to a news channel that the national capital’s stray dogs, which had been removed from their habitats for the duration of the Commonwealth Games, should be killed or kept where they had been taken. He, however, has also reportedly said on television that it was inhuman to kill dogs. I have neither heard either statement nor talked to him. I will, therefore, not go into what he did or did not say. Nor will I criticise him on that account. Instead, I would focus on the issues in question.

Animal Birth Control (Dog) Rules, notified in December 2001 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1960), prohibits the killing of stray dogs except in special cases, as when they are rabid or terminally ill. In these too, prescribed procedures have to be followed. Besides, the Rules provide that stray dogs can only be removed from their habitats for neutering and immunisation against rabies. Both done, they have to be returned to places from which they had been taken.

The Rules prescribe the only scientific — and also humane — way of controlling stray dog populations. Killing or removal has not helped anywhere. Dr K Vogel, Chief Veterinary, Public Health, Division of Communicable Diseases, World Health Organisation, and Mr John Hoyt, then President, World Society for the Protection of Animals, made this clear in their joint preface to the Guidelines for Dog Population Management, released by the WHO and WSPA in May 1990. They stated, “All too often, authorities confronted by problems caused by these (stray) dogs have turned to mass destruction in the hope of finding a quick solution, only to find that the destruction had to continue year after year, with no end in sight.”

In its Eighth Report (WHO Technical Report Series 824), WHO’s Expert Committee on Rabies, which met in Geneva from September 24 to 30, stated, “There is no evidence that the removal of dogs has ever had a significant impact on dog population densities and the spread of rabies. The population turnover of dogs may be so high that even the highest recorded removal rates (about 15 per cent of the dog population) are easily compensated by survival rates.” This has been conclusively established in Delhi. In his “Dogs and Dog Control in Developing Countries”, published in The State of Animals 2005, Dr JF Reese writes, “In Delhi, a concerted effort (pre-Animal Birth Control, or ABC) at dog removal killed a third of the straying dogs with no reduction in dog population.”

It has been the same experience everywhere. In his paper, “ABC responsible for decline in human rabies cases”, Dr Chinny Krishna, co-founder and chairman of the Blue Cross Society of India, cites the instance of Madras Corporation’s catch-and-kill programme that began in 1860. He quotes Mr Theodore Bhaskaran, a retired Post Master-General, as stating in an article, “In the 1970s the number of stray dogs destroyed by the corporation was so high that the Central Leather Institute, Madras, designed products —such as neckties and wallets — from dog skins.” Dr Krishna has pointed out elsewhere that the number of dogs killed by the corporation had gone up to 30,000 per year by 1995. Yet the city’s stray dog population and the incidence of rabies continued to increase.

Why does killing or removal not help? According to the Guidelines for Dog Population Management, each habitat has “a specific carrying capacity for each species”, which “essentially depends on the availability, quality and distribution of the resources (shelter, food, water) for the species concerned. The density of population for higher vertebrates (including dogs) is almost always near the carrying capacity of the environment. Any reduction in the population density through additional mortality is rapidly compensated by better reproduction and survival.”

The argument that such a situation will not arise if all stray dogs in a city or country are killed at one go, holds little water. Nowhere has such a venture succeeded. Besides, dogs are territorial. Dogs from one area do not allow those from other areas to enter their areas. Dogs from other areas will occupy any area in which all stray dogs have been massacred. This territorial character of dogs lies at the heart of the ABC programme. With sterilised and vaccinated dogs keeping un-sterilised and un-vaccinated dogs away from their areas, those implementing the programme can concentrate on progressing area by area until a whole city is covered. Otherwise, they will have to keep returning to areas where they had already been with the stray dog population continuing to grow elsewhere.

Significantly, WHO’s Expert Consultation on Rabies, held in Geneva from October 5 to 8, 2004, had stated (WHO: Technical Report Series 824), “Since the 1960s, ABC programmes coupled with rabies vaccination have been advocated as a method to control urban street male and female dog populations and ultimately human rabies in Asia The rationale is to reduce the dog population turnover as well as the number of dogs susceptible to rabies in Asia and limit aspects of male dog behaviour (such as dispersal and fighting) that facilitate the spread of rabies.”

Delhi has had a reasonably successful ABC programme since 2003. Between 40 and 50 per cent of the dogs removed from the Commonwealth Games sites to the care of NGOs were found neutered. At this rate the target of 70 per cent, required to stabilise and then gradually bring down stray dog populations, should be reached in the next few years. Meanwhile, one needs to congratulate the Government and Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the New Delhi Municipal Council and NGOs like Friendicoes, Cure & Care, Sonadi, PAWS and Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre and SPCA NOIDA for the manner in which they temporarily relocated and looked after around 700 dogs. The glitches that occurred were perhaps inevitable in an exercise of the magnitude undertaken. While Mr Rakesh Mehta, Chief Secretary of Delhi, and Mr KS Mehra, Commissioner of MCD, cut through all bureaucratic red tape to promptly take the big decisions, Dr RBS Tyagi and Dr Alok Agarwal of MCD and Dr Dinesh Yadav of NDMC worked tirelessly, almost round-the-clock. Animal lovers throughout India need to warmly applaud all of them.

Posted in Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme/Street Dog Sterilization, Animals, Do you know?, General/Animals, Information that empowers!, Street Dogs of India, Videos on Animals

Rabies and Street dog population control in India in 2010: Problems and Solutions

By Dr. Ilona Otter, DVM, Clinical Director of WVS ITC (Worldwide Veterinary Service India Training Center)

Dr. Ilona is also the Honorary Veterinary Consultant of Niligiri based Animal Welfare Organisation called IPAN- India Project on Animals and Nature.

In the article below Dr.Ilona pens down a brief summary about rabies and stray dogs in India to answer some questions and matters that are brought up in various discussion forums. Dr. Ilona hopes that this information will help those who are struggling with the facts and myths prevailing around the topic.

1. Introduction

Rabies kills more than 55 000 people in the world every year (WHO website). India counts at least for approximately 20000 of the number of human deaths (WHO SEA report 2009). These are very sad statistics of a disease that is 100% preventable by vaccination.

The main obstacle in preventing canine and human rabies in India is the lack of sustainable centralized effort and the fact that rabies by law is not a notifiable disease.

Canine rabies control is also often only associated with voluntary animal welfare organizations or groups even though it is a matter of public health and should therefore receive high priority in the public veterinary services and also in human health care sector, being the most cost-effective way to reduce human rabies cases.

The AWOs role in rabies control is, however, very much needed. Especially because often they only have the necessary infrastructure and staff to carry out mass rabies vaccinations on the field and to educate public of the importance of regular rabies vaccinations for their dogs. However, a greater understanding among AWOS of the need of effective canine and human rabies control by massive and sustainable mass vaccination campaigns for the sake of animal welfare is required. The cruelty and ignorance that many stray dogs face has often its roots in the fear that people have for rabies. We can’t expect the majority of general public to love dogs as long as there is such a high risk for rabies.

2. Options for prevention of human rabies

Rabies causes a horrible death and once the symptoms start there is no cure. However, there are three ways to prevent rabies in humans; by preventing the transmission of the rabies virus within the host species and by treating all people that have been bitten by dogs of unknown vaccination status or by vaccinating people with pre-exposure rabies vaccines. Prevention of canine rabies by dog vaccination and the post-exposure treatment are discussed further in this text. Public education is a crucial component of both approaches.

a. Preventing canine rabies:

Modern vaccines to prevent rabies are all derived from tissue-cultures. The sheep-brain culture method is no longer in use. Reputed international medical companies (e.g. Pfizer and Intervet) as well as Indian immunologicals produces reliable rabies vaccines that provide protective antibody titres when stored and administered properly. One dose of rabies vaccine for dogs in India costs Rs. 25. The manufacturers recommend a booster vaccination every 1-3 years depending on the rabies situation in the area. To achieve herd immunity and sufficient vaccination coverage to prevent transmission of rabies virus, 70% of the dog population has to be vaccinated. It has been shown that even in developing countries where dogs commonly roam free, most of them are accessible to parenteral vaccinations when vaccination camps are planned and arranged properly (Kaare et al., 2007). Oral rabies vaccine baits can be used in areas where it is difficult to achieve an adequate vaccination coverage by injectable vaccines only, especially when the wildlife reservoir is important (Matouch et al., 2007). Oral rabies vaccines have been used for decades in many European countries to prevent rabies transmission from wild carnivores like foxes and raccoon dogs.

b. Treatment of humans by post-exposure vaccination

According to some estimates, approximately 500 000 people in India receive every year the post-exposure vaccination treatment that consists of 5 vaccine doses and costs Rs. 1500 (excluding the cost of general wound care, hospitalization and time away from work). According to M.K.Sudarshan’s survey (2007) the full cost of post-exposure treatment of humans that have been bitten in India is $25million.

Unfortunately, many indigenous treatments still prevail among rural communities and not even everyone knows to wash their wounds after being bitten. Poverty, lack of understanding of the need to start the vaccinations on the very same day and also lack of availability in the rabies anti-serum which is needed in the treatment of the most severe bites all contribute to the sad statistics of human rabies in India (Sudarshan, M.K., 2007).

While it is common to hear the parties that are against dogs to defend their standpoint by saying that when people suffer money should not be spent on dogs, it is worth noting that at least 30 million dogs in India could be vaccinated against rabies every year with the amount of money that is spent on the post-exposure vaccinations of humans. The estimated stray dog population in India is 8-20 million. The fact that major savings in the human medical sector are likely to occur when mass vaccinations of dogs start effectively taking place has been noted by several published reports (Cleaveland, et al., 2003; Lembo et al., 2010).

c. Experiences from the world

The often quoted claim that most dogs in Asia or Africa are stray dogs and not accessible to vaccination has been proven wrong as recently reviewed by Lembo.  WHO-commisioned study of Tunisia, Sri Lanka and Ecuador concluded that “dogs which are not catchable by at least one person are rare and represent generally less than 15% of the dog population” (WHO, 1988). The same figure in India is not known but likely to be much higher. However, trained dog-catchers are able to catch dogs on the roads by catching nets and in more difficult terrains trap-cages can be used for catching.

Central-point vaccination programs that are announced before hand or door-to door vaccination teams have been able to reach to 80% of the dogs with a low as low as US$2/dog cost, as documented by several studies (Kaare et al., in 2007; Cleaveland et. al in 2003). In Nepal, 86-97% of dogs were accessible to parenteral (injectable) vaccination (Bogel, 1990).

In Mexico, human rabies cases declined to zero within ten years since mass vaccination of dogs started (Lucas et al., 2008).

In India, Jaipur is an example of a city where rabies control through mass vaccination and neutering of dogs has resulted in eradication of human rabies (Reece and Chawla, 2006).

In developed countries the low numbers of rabies cases are not the result of mass killing of dogs nor of spending millions in public medical care and post-exposure vaccinations. The secret for better than India rabies situations lies in the fact that rabies is a notifiable disease by law; dog vaccination to cover most of the dog population is a well-established practice, border control requires traveling dogs to be regularly vaccinated with a certificate of sufficient rabies antibody titre in the blood (Regulation (EC) No. 998/2003) , wild rabies from foxes and raccoon dogs is controlled by distributing oral vaccine baits in the forests and the habitat where garbage is not let in the open doesn’t support reproducing stray dog population.

3. What if ?  –  Elimination of dogs?

Elimination of absolutely all dogs, both owned and ownerless, both pedigree breed and mixed breed or country dogs, in India by killing them or banning them or by taking them to shelters is not possible. As long as there are enough susceptible individuals of the host species, virus transmission will continue. As long as there are free-roaming dogs somewhere, they will take the place of those that were removed.

a. Ecology and habitat matters

The poor garbage disposal system all over the country and the presence of chicken stalls and small butcher shops in and around the city markets and in the suburban surroundings means that there is edible waste for animals to feed and live on. If absolutely all dogs are eliminated by any method, it is likely that their place in the feast is taken over by another species, e.g. rats, monkeys, cats or wild pigs. All of them will carry their own risks for public health not to mention the harm that is caused if all that waste is just let to rotten below our windows.

Thieves are likely to become braver if a community or a colony does not have any watchdogs to guard the people and their property.

A zero-garbage city or even better the Zero-Garbage-India, would be an excellent benefit for the citizens in many ways, including the fact that stray/feral animal numbers would go dramatically down if there was nothing for them to eat on the roads and backyards. This is a challenge that the solid waste management department of every district in India should be made to take really seriously, by centralized incentive/penalty system if so required for compliance.

An observational report from the Wellington Cantonment, Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, by the Health Superintendant in 2010, states that since they started door-to-door collection of garbage in the civilian area of the Cantonment the dog population that used be very big has drastically declined.

b. Stray dogs in developed countries

Common policy in many western / developed countries is to take in all stray animals in shelters where they are neutered, vaccinated and then rehomed. Unlike in India, stray dogs in those countries are often actually strays, meaning they are run-away pets or abandoned pet dogs that would not survive on the roads on their own because there are no open garbage bins nor butcher shop backyards. As the numbers are limited, those animals can be taken in to rehoming shelters where they are neutered, vaccinated and rehomed to responsible owners.

Streets without stray dog problem in Singapore, Stockholm, San Francisco or Sydney are not the result of indiscriminate killing of thousands or millions of dogs but a fact that the problem has never risen to the extent because of different sanitary and ecological conditions, dog licensing programs, public education for responsible ownership and well-developed rehoming shelters.

4. Animal Birth Control program (ABC-program)

The objective of the ABC program is to reduce the population of dogs in a given area. To be effective in that, the work has to be intensive – 70% of the dogs should be neutered during one breeding cycle, that is during six months. This is possible but requires strategic planning and an experienced veterinary surgeon with trained assistants who can perform the operations without complications.

Dogs are territorial animals and therefore a small group of sterilized and vaccinated dogs protect and defend the community they live in from any outside dogs wandering in search for mate or new territory.

a. Role of ABC in rabies control

Having a dog neutered doesn’t prevent it from getting infected with rabies. Usually all the ABC programs include rabies vaccination to the operated dogs. However, the main benefit of the ABC program in rabies control is in the overall reduction of population growth. By doing ABC we aim to stabilize the dog population to a level where sufficient rabies vaccination coverage can be maintained by annual vaccination days. Success of ABC program in controlling the stray dog population has been demonstrated scientifically in India (Totton et al, 2010; Reece and Chawla, 2006).

However, whenever the pressure to prevent rabies is very bad, an effective mass vaccination campaign at first is the preferred option, followed immediately by intensive animal birth control program to maintain the vaccination coverage sufficient.

b. Population dynamics

Whenever and wherever ABC-program is judged not to work it is either that it has not even been implemented on that particular area or that it has not been implemented effectively enough. If only 200 dogs are operated from a population of 10 000 with great deal of media attention as the program starts, the public is likely to start questioning the sensibility of the program when they observe no results after a year. However, if two full-time teams are employed to work for six months they can achieve the required level of 7000-8000 neutered and vaccinated dogs and the impact is clear. Such a high volume campaign should easily receive media attention and have an impact in the public awareness meaning that people are likely to start bringing their pet dogs also for vaccination & for neutering, further improving the success of the program as less unwanted pet dog puppies will end up on the roads.

About the Worldwide Veterinary Service India Training Center

WVS India training center located in Ooty, Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, is going to provide training for animal charities in arranging effective rabies control campaigns. The program consists of three modules that are to be attended by different people of the charity; managers, veterinarians and assistants/dog-catchers. While we initially target charities as participants, the courses will be open also for municipalities and corporations who want to train their staff to significantly reduce rabies in their areas for the benefit of the public.

The training center, known as the ITC, has an operation theatre for five surgeons to operate at a time, custom-made kennels to hold the dogs and several classrooms as well as dining and accommodation for 30 people.

Visiting foreign volunteer teachers as well as the experienced WVS ITC staff conduct the courses and all participating charities will be supported by advice, volunteers and materials to carry on the rabies control work in their areas after the courses. Participation is free of cost but a participating charity/municipality/corporation has to commit in implementing the rabies campaign as planned for that specific area during the course immediately after the training.

The opening ceremony of ITC is on the 28th September, the world rabies day. The center will be inaugurated by the Chairman of Animal Welfare Board of India, Dr. R.M. Kharb. While personal invitations will be send to the WVS associated charities and other key people in this field in India, we warmly welcome all interested people to join us for the ceremony.

More information at

www.wvs.org.uk

www.rabiesblueprint.com

www.worldrabiesday.org

References

Bogel K., Joshi DD (1990) Accessibility of dog populations for rabies control in Kathmandu valley, Nepal. Bull World Health Organization 68:611-617

Cleaveland, S.,  Kaare, M.,  Tiringa, P.,  Mlengeya, T., Barrat, J. (2003) A dog rabies vaccination campaign in rural Africa: impact on the incidence of dog rabies and human dog-bite injuries, Vaccine 21; 1965-1973

Lembo T, Hampson K, Kaare MT, Ernest E, Knobel D, et al. (2010) The Feasibility of Canine Rabies Elimination in Africa: Dispelling Doubts with Data. PLoS

Negl Trop Dis 4(2): e626. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000626

Lucas CHPino FVBaer GMorales PKCedillo VGBlanco MAAvila MH (2008) Rabies control in Mexico, Dev Biol (Basel).;131:167-75.

Matouch O, Vitasek J, Semerad Z, Malena M.(2007) Rabies-free status of the Czech Republic after 15 years of oral vaccination. Rev Sci Tech. Dec;26(3):577-84.

Regulation, 2003 Regulation (EC) No. 998/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 2003 on the animal health requirements applicable to the non-commercial movement of pet animals and amending Council Directive 92/65/EEC.

Sudarshan MK. Assessing burden of rabies in India. WHO sponsored national multi-centric rabies survey ( 2004). Assoc Prev Control Rabies India J 2004;6:44-5.

Reece, J.F., and  Chawla S.K.(2006) Control of rabies in Jaipur, India, by the sterilisation and vaccination of neighbourhood dogs. VetRec. 16: 159 (12):379-83

Totton, S.C., et al., Stray dog population demographics in Jodhpur, India following a population control/rabies vaccination program. PREVET (2010), doi:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2010.07.009

WHO report; Rabies in the South-East Asia region, 2009

WHO website www.who.org accessed in August 2010

WHO (1988) Report of a WHO consultation on a dog ecology studies related to rabies control. Geneva: Word Health Organization (WHO/Rab.Res/88.25)

Posted in Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme/Street Dog Sterilization, Animal Laws of India, Street Dogs of India, Videos on Animals

Video: Street Dog Sterilization and vaccination/Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme, India

To watch a self-explanatory film on the Indian ABC Programme using your Facebook login, please click here, else watch it below.
Please Note: Through the feedback received thus far on this post, there is an apparent misunderstanding on the portion in this film’s beginning where street dogs are being  cruelly captured using ‘tongs’ and since the narration of this movie is in Hindi rather than English, those confusions are obvious, hence in this regard we request you to please read our short clarification on the same below, prior to watching this film. Thanks.

This film on the ABC programme does not in any way advocate the use of ‘tongs’ for capturing dogs for the purpose of sterilization, in fact this film was made in the beginning of this decade after the ABC programme was supported by the Supreme Court ruling and by High Courts across the country….and the translation (in English) of the narration behind that ‘tong’ portion in the early part of this video is  that they are trying to show ‘the ways in which dogs were being caught bymunicipalities for killing purposes earlier’i.e prior to the start of ABC Programme’.

The use of such inhumane catching methods like tongs that you see the municipality catchers using in the beginning of this video is NOW illegal and horribly cruel. Up to 50% of dogs caught this cruel way die from internal bleeding.

Nowadays, people use the Net method or the Sack and loop method to humanely catch the dogs for transporting them to animal hospitals for sterilization purposes, this ensures that the animal is least traumatised during the whole process of it being taken away, even though momentarily, from its territory.”




Please support the Animal Birth Control/ABC Programme in your city by getting your neighbourhood street dog/community dog sterilized and vaccinated at a nearby Animal hospital in your area. Such programmes are supported by the local municipality or Animal Welfare Board of India. After the dogs are sterilized and vaccinated, under the ‘ABC’  Rules of the Indian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, these street dogs are to be released back in the same area for where these dogs are born is where they belong. Sterilization of dogs makes them gentle and docile and also helps in controlling their population growth, which can not be controlled in any their way as, animals can’t use Birth Control measures like Oral Contraceptive Pills or Condoms!
"Dogs can't use Condoms" Get them sterilized (Image Courtesy: PETA India)


For more information on the purpose and process of Street Dog Sterlization/Animal Birth Control-ABC Programme in India,  please read:

In English: The Indian Street Dog

In Hindi: गली के आवारा कुत्ते


List of Animal Hospitals in Delhi and NCR undertaking ABC programme can be accessed here

Posted in Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme/Street Dog Sterilization, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India

The Joy of Unconditional giving

“Happiness is not so much in having as sharing. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

– Norman MacEwan

On a non-descript street called Bharat Ram Road, located next to the local police station in Old Delhi’s Darya Ganj area, live Birender and Sunil, two men who would be counted as being ‘poor’ by most that pass by them, but thereare life’s lessons to be learnt by seeing the way they live, which is by giving more than they get!

 

Birender is a night guard and car cleaner for cars on this street whereas Sunil is a 50 year old handicapped and dwarfed man who came to Delhi from Muzaffarnagar area in Bihar 30 years back. Sunil runs a stationary stall on this street, and he makes his living by selling chips and chewing gums, tobacco pouches and cigarettes, alongside running a recently set up phone booth.

Birender with one of the street dog he feeds

For the past 15 years, Birender who himself earns a paltry sum of Indian Rupees 2500-3000 per month (US dollars 50-60), has been spending a part of his earnings in feeding over 20-25 street dogs that inhabit this street and area adjoining his rented one room quarter in Ferozeshah Kotla where his teenage son stays. Not only does Birender feed all these dogs religiously every night but he along with Sunil also spends on their medicines and ointments should anyone of them fall sick or get injured by any of the cars that hit them. Over these years, both of them have healed many a broken bones, swollen limbs of these street dogs to recovery.

Who would understand the pain of these handicapped dogs better than Sunil who is inflicted with polio too and thus, can’t stand on his legs and walks using his deformed hands. For Birender tending to his canine mates is his moral responsibility towards keeping his faithful companions fit and fine as they are the ones who bark and scare away many a robbers and drug addicts who try stealing and damaging the cars that he guards for at night.

Birender came over from Nepal to Delhi in 1991 with his family which included his wife and a son. For four years thereafter he worked as a security guard with various shopping streets in Darya Ganj before making Bharat Ram Road his chosen workplace. From then on, he has been guarding this street like his very own and earns his living by the amounts that get paid to him by people inhabiting the street in lieu cleaning their cars by daytime and guarding them at night.” “And from then on, these street dogs have been my companions”, said Birender.

In the interim period, Birender lost his wife and the responsibility of raising his young son, Binod also fell on his shoulders. “These dogs helped me overcome my loneliness and depression, they give me unconditional love, respect, don’t ask me questions, neither do they ridicule or mock at me, thus, they are my friends and I am theirs”, said Birender when asked about his special bond with his canine cohorts.

Every evening at round 6 pm, you could see Birender kneading the dough and next to him, you would find his Kerosene oil–based cooking stove. Every day Birender knead roughly 1 kg of wheat flour into dough, this cost him about Rs.18 per kg. He makes rotis (Indian breads) for his son and his dogs on the same stove with parity. “Thick and Thin, I end up cooking about 100 rotis per day and that gives all of us i.e. me, my son Binod and the dogs a minimum of 2-3 rotis to fill our stomachs with easily”, he said. “When I get lucky with a tip or two from one of my customers, then that day, I feed the dogs with some milk as well along with the rotis, else I serve them dry”, added Birender.

A black street dog sitting next to Birender’s kerosene-based cooking stove

By this time, Birender’s teenage son Binod also dropped by to pick up his rotis for the day from his father and also hand him over the cooked vegetables and pulses. Binod stays in the rented room that cost them Rs.500 a month while Birender stays next to Sunil’s stall while going to the rented room off and on. ‘That’s for my son to do his studies in peace”, explained Birender.

Binod – Birender’s teenage son

Though not educated himself, Birender is spending on his son’s university education, both via a university degree studies through correspondence and by getting him technically trained by admitting him in  the state run Technical Institute for a 2 year Diploma Course which costs him Rs.1200 for a 6 month semester.

“I admire my father for the way he looks after so many animals. He is a great father who has toiled extremely hard to bring me up and educate me. He never forced me to into child slavery, instead got me educated”, exclaimed Binod proudly when asked about his father.

As we spoke, one by one, Birender’s canine buddies assembled for their meals. When asked off their names, Birender answered that, they had none! “They just come when I call them, I need no names, and they understand my language”. That’s what is referred to as the language of love that needs no words…I also noticed that most of these street dogs were sterilized and vaccinated against rabies as identified by the notch on their ears, perhaps done so under the city municipality’s Animal Birth control or ‘ABC’ Programme.

Three legged brown dog

A brown colored three legged dog was amongst the first ones to come over for his meal. When asked about him, Birender explained, “He was hit by a speeding car that drove over one of his legs. We helped dry the wound. Slowly the flesh and bones rotted away and one day this leg got amputated on its own. He is doing fine now as you can see”.

Then I met another disabled black dog who had a hump on his back. How did that happen? To which Sunil answered that, “a neighbourhood guard hit him on his back with a bamboo stick. He could not walk for days, perhaps paralyzed in his spine. We rubbed Voveron ointment every day and gave him pain relievers. We are happy that at least he can walk on his feet now, despite the limp and the hump”.

Sunil is a person who values his self-respect; despite being handicapped he has never begged for mercy or sought favours. “Everyone treats me with respect, even the local policemen who drop by at my shop, never pay me a dime less than what I ask. Gupta ji, a retailer living nearby helps bring stuff from my shop as I can’t travel around and I pay him for that”.

Sunil on his cushioned couch, next to his street shop

“This chair was gifted to me by Rajat bhai (a neighbourhood resident he refers to as a brother). I feel like a king sitting on it, it is very comfortable”, said a smiling Sunil pointing his hands towards the cushioned chair he sits on.

Despite their hardships, all these men live contended lives. They have large hearts with abundant love and genuine smiles!

Meeting benevolent souls like Birender and Sunil reaffirms the wise old saying that, “one doesn’t get rich by what we have; we get rich and happy by what we give and share!”.

As I make my journey home, I observe an unknown lady dressed like a labourer walks across Darya Ganj’s Mother Dairy (Milk Booth) and buys packets of milk, opening one each in crates outside the Dairy outlet, two cats come to feed from the crate on the top of the pile whereas two street dogs sip milk from the crate on the floor. As I try to stop the lady and check in on who she is, she disappears into oblivion and darkness of the night. The Milk Booth officer tells me, that she comes and does this every evening. I am humbled.

The cats and dogs feeding in milk crates next to Milk Booth

Giving joy, care or love to someone doesn’t require a reason.

Experience the joy of unconditional giving by sharing what you have, for it is the joy that we give to others that ultimately comes back to us.

Text and Images: Vasudha Mehta (C) JAAGRUTI

 

गुमनाम दिलवालों की अनोखी दिल्ली

Posted in Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme/Street Dog Sterilization, Animal Laws of India, Articles/Posts in Hindi, Street Dogs of India

यह गली के कुत्ते

street-dogs

नौकरशाह जब रिटायर होता है तो अपने अनुभव को आधार बनाकर मुख्य रूप से तीन बातों पर अपना ध्यान केन्द्रित करता है. पहला, किसी गैर सरकारी एजंसी में अपनी नियुक्ति को सबसे अधिक प्राथमिकता देता है. दूसरा, अखबारों में लेख लिखता है और उन सिद्धांतों की व्याख्या करना शुरू करते हैं जिनके बारे में वे खुद ठीक से कुछ नहीं जानते और तीसरा, जहां वे रहते हैं उस कालोनी या घेरेबन्द इलाके का मुखिया होने की कोशिश करते हैं. इन घेरेबंद कालोनियों की रेसिडेन्ट वेलफेयर एसोसिएशनों के मुखिया बनते ही उनका पहला और पसंदीदा कार्य होता है कालोनियों में विचरण करनेवाले गली के कुत्तों के खिलाफ अभियान.

दिल्ली में ऐसा ही होता है. नौकरशाहों के स्वर्ग इस शहर में हाल में ही दिल्ली में ऐसे ही लोगों के एक समूह ने उनके ‘पागल, पीड़ित पड़ोसियों’ से उन्हें बचाने के लिए उच्च न्यायालय में एक अर्जी पेश की है। इन नौकरशाहों के असभ्य जाहिल और गरीब पड़ोसी गली के आवारा कुत्तों को रोटी खिलाते हैं और उससे भी बड़ा अपराध ये कि उन्हें प्यार भी करते हैं. कालोनी निवासियों के हर घर में भले ही एक डॉगी डींगे भर रहा हो लेकिन इन निवासियों को यह मंजूर नहीं है कि सड़क पर रहनेवाले लोग सड़क पर विचरनेवाले कुत्तों को प्यार करें या उनका संरक्षण करें. इन सब लोगों के लिए अब यही एक आखिरी सहारा है अपने लिए न्याय और मन की शान्ति पाने का क्योंकि बहुत समय तक इन दिल्लीवासियों को अपने पड़ोसियों का उपहास, धमकियाँ, गालियाँ और ब्लैकमेलिंग का िशकार बनना पड़ा है क्योंकि वह अपनी गली के कुत्तो की परवाह करने का रोज `अपराध´ करते हैं।  सवाल यह है कि क्या अपनी गली के कुत्तो को पुचकारना या उन्हें खाना खिलाना एक `गलती´ है?

कोर्ट का निर्णय एक तरफ और सरकार द्वारा ऐसे आवारा कुत्तों की नसबंदी का प्रयास भी एक तरफ लेकिन हमारी सड़कों पर घूमने वाले आवारा कुत्तों के बारे में हमें भी ठीक से जानने की जरूरत है। देश के कई शहरों में सरकारी एजेिन्सयाँ गैर सरकारी संघटनों के साथ मिलकर पशु जन्म नियंत्रण और टीकाकरण कार्यक्रम संचालित करती हैं। लेकिन हम भूल जाते हैं कि भारत के सड़क पर रहने वाल आवारा कुत्ते बेहद ही बुद्धिमान प्रजाति है जो दुनिया की सबसे पुरानी कुत्तों की नस्लों में से एक है।  यह प्रजाति एिशया और अफ्रीका में स्थापित पहली मनुश्य बस्तियों से इन्सानों के साथ खुशी-खुशी मौजूद रही हैं  वास्तव मेें शहरी बस्तियों में इन कुत्तों का प्राथमिक उद्देश्य मनुश्य की रक्षा करना और बची खुची खाद्य वस्तुओं का सेवन करके सफाई रखने में है।  यह ही वजह है कि आज भी गरीबों की बस्तियों में कुत्तों को ज्यादातर स्थानीय निवासी खाना खिलाते हैं।

पशु नसबंदी टीकाकरण और उन्हें पुन: अपने मूल क्षेत्र में छोड़ने का कार्यक्रम वैज्ञानिकों द्वारा इसका औचित्य सिद्ध करने में विश्व स्वास्थ्य संगठन को कई साल लगे हैं।  दुनिया भर की न्यायपालिकाओं, नागरिक संगठनों ने इस कार्यक्रम को अपनाया है और इसकी सफल्ता की कहानियाँ आज की तारीख में दुनिया के कई शहरों से सुनने को मिलती है, जिनकी शुरूआत अमरीका से हुई थी।  कुत्तों की नसबंदी करने की अवधारणा अमेरिका की सैन मात्तियो नामक काउन्टी के नागरिक अधिकारियों के दिमाग में तब आई जब उन्होंने देखा कि कुत्तों को मारने के उनका कार्यक्रम से उनकी आबादी में कोई गिरावट नहीं हो रही थी।  इसके बाद सैन मात्तियो काउन्टी ने कुत्तों का नसबंदीकरण कराने के प्रस्ताव को स्वीकृति दी जो कि एक महान सफलता साबित हुई।  आज अमेरिका और कनाड़ा के विभिन्न भागों में इसका सफलतापूर्वक संचालन किया जा रहा है।

नसबंदीकृत कुत्तों को उनके मूल निवास क्षेत्र पर बहाल करने के पीछे वैज्ञानिक सोच हैं कुत्ते प्रादेिशक जानवर हैं।  वे भोजन की उपलब्धि के आधार पर अपने प्रदेश को अंकित करते है। और बाहरी कुत्तों को अपने क्षेत्र में नहीं आने दते।  जब कुत्तों को अपने क्षेत्र से हटाया जाता है तो बाहर से दूसरे कुत्ते इस खाली क्षेत्र पर कब्जा कर लेंगे क्योंकि वहाँ भोजन स्त्रोत अभी भी उपलब्ध हैं  जब कोई बाहर का कुत्ता किसी कुत्ते के क्षेत्र में घुसता है तो उनके बीच में लड़ाइयाँ बढ़ती है और नसबन्धिकृत ना होने के कारण यह बच्चे पैदा करते रहते हैं और उस क्षेत्र में कुत्तों की संख्या बढ़ती रहती है।   इन बाहरी कुत्तों के नसबन्धिकृत और रेबीज के विरूद्ध टीकाकरण ना होने का कारण उस क्षेत्र के निवासियों के लिए खतरा बना रहता है।  एक नसबंधीकृत कुत्ते को रेबीज के विरूद्ध टीकाकरण भी किया जाता है, वह प्रजनंन नहीं करते, शान्त रहते हैं, अपने क्षेत्र को सुरक्षित  करते है औरी ना ही आपस में लड़ते-भौंकते है। एक नसबंधीकृत कुत्तों को उसके एक आधे-कटे कान से पहचाना जा सकता है।  पशु जन्म नियंत्रण दिल्ली में पिछले कई वर्षों से संचालित है – इन वर्षों में रेबीज के किस्सों में भी कमी आई है जो कि सरकारी और गैर-सरकारी संगंठनों की एक उल्लेखनीय उपलब्धि है।

विश्व स्वास्थ्य संगठन और भारतीय पशु कल्याण बोर्ड द्वारा किए गए अध्ययनों से पता चलता है कि कुत्तों की जनसंख्या पर नियंत्रण पाने के लिए जो कार्यक्रम विकसित देशों में काम करते है वह विकासशील देशों में असफल रहे हैं क्योंकि वहाँ पर शहरी स्थितियाँ हमारे यहाँ से बहुत अलग है।  भारत के शहरी पर्यावरण में ऐसी दो विशेषताएँ है जो आवारा जानवरों की आबादी में वृद्धि को प्रोत्साहित करती हैं :-  मलिन बिस्त्याँ और उजागर कचरा, जो कि विकसित देशों में मौजूद नहीं है।  विकसित देशों में आवारा कुत्तों का सड़क पर जीवित रहना असंभव है क्योंकि उन्हें सड़कों पर कुछ खाने को नहीं मिलता, इसलिए उन्हें पकड़ कर आश्रयघरों में ले जाया जाता है जहाँ उनकी नसबंदी करके उनका पुनर्वास करवाने का प्रयत्न किया जाता है।

कुत्तों की जनसंख्या को नियंत्रित रखने के लिए उन्हें `पकड़ने और मारने´ का कार्यक्रम अंग्रेजों  ने 19वीं सदी में शुरु किया था।  आजादी पाने के बाद भी भारत की नगरपालिकाओं ने इस कार्यक्रम को जारी रखा।  दिल्ली नगर निगम द्वारा किए गये एक अध्ययन के अनुसार 1980-1990 के दौरान 8 लाख कुत्तों का कत्लेआम करने के बावजूद दिल्ली में कुत्तों की संख्या 1.5 लाख ही रही और उसमें तिनके भर की कमी नहीं हुई। 1993 में नगर निगम ने स्वीकार किया कि कुत्तों को `पकड़ने और मारने´ की यह योजना पूरी तरह से रेबीज और कुत्तों की जनसंख्या को नियंत्रण करने में `असफल´ नही है।  इसलिए सन् 1994 में न्यायपालिका ने आदेश दिया कि कुत्तों की हत्या करनी बन्द करी जाए और उनकी `नसबंदी और टीकाकरण´ कार्यक्रम शुरू किया जाए जिससे पशु-जन्म नियंत्रण का कार्यक्रम भी कहा जाता है।  मुंबई, कोलकता, चेन्नई, जयपुर और हैदराबाद की उच्च न्यायालयों के भी ऐसे आदेश जारी करने के बाद इन शहरों में भी `पशु-जन्म नियंत्रण के लिए कुत्तों की नसबन्दीकरण और टीकाकरण कार्यक्रम शुरू किए गए।  इस कार्यक्रम के तुरन्त अच्छे नतीजे देखने के बाद भारत सरकार ने 2001 में देश भर में इस कार्यक्रम को शुरू करने के आदेश दिए।

एक आश्चर्यजनक सत्य यह है कि जिस बात के लिए गली के कुत्ते बदनाम है वह हरकत वे बहुत कम करते हैं. कुत्तों के काटने की जो घटनाएँ होती हैं इनमें से बहुत कम आवारा कुत्तों की वजह से होती हैं।  अध्ययनों से पता चला है कि 90 प्रतिशत से भी अधिक कुत्तों के काटने की घटनाएँ पालतू कुत्तों की वजह से होती है जो कि अपने घर और क्षेत्र की सुरक्षा करते हुए आक्रमक हो जाते हैं।  हर साल पालतु कुत्तों की संख्या में वृद्धि हाती है और साथ ही कुत्तों के काट-खाने की घटनाओं में भी।  सिर्फ 5 प्रतिशत घटनाएँ आवारा कुत्तों की वजह से होती है जो या तो कुत्तों को कॉलोनी निवासियों द्वारा पीटे जाने या मादा कुत्तिया द्वारा उसके बच्चे को नुकसान पहुंचाए जाने के कारण इंसान पर हमला कर बैठती हैं।
गली के कुत्ते प्रकृति में शहर के कूड़े-करकट को साफ रखने का एक माध्यम है।  वह शहर में चूहों और अन्य कृतंक कीटों की संख्या को नियंत्रण में रखते हैं, जिनको नियंत्रण में रखना मानव के लिए मुिश्कल है।  यदि इन कुत्तों को भारत के शहरों से पूरी तरह हटा दिया जाए तो नाकि कूड़ा भारी मात्रा में जमा हो जाएगा बल्कि चूहों की संख्या भी हाथ से निकल जाएगी।  आज, जब भारत के कई शहर डेंगू और चिकुनगुन्या जैसी बीमारियों से अपनी मैली नागरिक स्थितियों के कारण जूझ रहे हैं, उस समय यह गली के कुत्ते ही है जो शहरों में चूहों की आबादी को जाँच में रखते है – चूहे `ब्युबोनिक प्लेग´ जैसी घातक बीमारी के वाहक हैं।  चूहों की एक जोड़ी पैदा होने के छ: सप्ताह के भीतर प्रजनन के लिए तैयार हो जाती है।  इस दर पर चूहो की एक जोड़ी प्रत्येक वर्ष के अंत तक 35000 चूहों में बदल जाती है।  आज की तारीख तक किसी भी नगर निगम ने चूहों का विनाश करने के लिए किसी भी योजना में एक पैसा भी आवंटित नहीं किया है। 1980 में गुजरात के सूरत शहर का भयानक प्लेग बीमारी से संक्रमित होने का एक कारण यह भी था कि स्थानीय नगरपालिका ने सूरत शहर की सड़कों पर रहने वाले कुत्तों को बेरहमी से मार डाला था।

भारत जैसे देश में सारे सड़क के कुत्तों को एकाग्रता िशविरों या डॉग-पाउण्ड में ठूस देना व्यावहारिक रूप से असंभव है।  ऐसे कार्य को करने के लिए जगह, समय और संसाधन सरकार कहाँ से पैदा करेगी। जब झुग्गी बस्तियों में रहने वालों या आवासीय क्षेत्रों से वाणििज्यक प्रतिष्ठनों को बाहर निकालने के लिए तो कोई जगह है नहीं। इसलिए समझदारी तो बस इसमें है कि सड़क के कुत्तों को उनकी जगह पर रहने दिया जाए। असल में हर जिम्मेदार और मानवीय निवासी कल्याण संघ को इस कार्यक्रम का भागीदार बनना चाहिए और अपने शहर में काम करने वाली नगर पालिकाओें द्वारा संचालित पशु-जन्म नियन्त्रण कार्यक्रम के अन्तर्गत अपने क्षेत्र के आवारा कुत्तों का नसबंदीकरण और नियमित टीकाकरण कराना चाहिए।  पशुओं के मामले में स्वामित्व का सवाल तो उठता ही नहीं है, जब हम आज आदिवासियों को उस वन भूमि पर रहने का अधिकार देने वाले बिल को पारित करने की बात करते है जहाँ यह आदिवासी सदियों से जी रहे है तो पशुओें के मामले में उनका जन्मसिद्ध अधिकार उसी जगह पर रहने का है जहाँ वो पैदा हुए हैं।

कुत्तों की हत्या करके रेबीज पर नियंत्रण पाने के कार्यक्रम कई विकासशील  देशों में जैसे कि – पाकिस्तन, इरान, इराक, साउदी अरब, उत्तर कोरिया, अफगानिस्तान, जार्डन, सीरिया, यमन, बांगलादेश, नेपाल, यूक्रेन, उज्बेकिस्तान – हर जगह ही `नाकाम´ रहे हैं।  कुत्ता आदमी का सबसे ईमानदार और वफादार दोस्त है और हम में से कई लोगों को जरा सा भी नुकसान नहीं होगा अगर हम अपने गली में रह रहे एक कुत्ते को दिन में एक बार अगर कुछ खिला या पिला दिया करें।  अगर हम यह करें तो मैं दावे के साथ यह कह सकती हूँ कि आपको अपने घर के दरवाजे पर हमेशा अपनी पूंछ फड़फड़ाता एक साथी नज़र आएगा जो रोज शाम आपके थकान भरे दिन के बाद आपका दिल खोलकर स्वागत करेगा। इस बेहद स्वार्थी दुनिया में बिना शर्त प्यार और सम्मान की लालसा हम सब करते है और शायद इस लालसा की पूर्ति करने के लिए आपका बेहतरीन साथी आपकी गली का कुत्ता है।

This article was first published here

{The above  Video was made for a group by the name of ‘People for Animals’, we are sharing and embedding it here on Jaagruti because it beautifully communicates the story of the Indian Street Dog}

Posted in Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme/Street Dog Sterilization, Animal Laws of India, Street Dogs of India, Videos on Animals

The Indian Street Dog

Bureaucrats who retire do one of three things: they lobby to be appointed to some government body so that they can retain their houses; and more often than not they stand for Residents Welfare Associations so that they can bully someone or they write article for the newspapers and the less they know , the more they expound their theories…and more often than not for most RWAs across Delhi and NCR, their favourite subject is ‘Dogs in their colonies’…this article comes at a time when a group of people in Delhi have moved to the High Court with a plea to ’save them from their rabid neighbours’. This is perhaps their last resort to seek justice and peace of mind, because for far too long, many of these Delhiites had been ridiculed and abused, threatened and blackmailed by their (‘rabid’) neighbours for a ‘crime’ of theirs; the fault being that these group of people ‘loved and cared for the street dogs, their much friendlier neighbourhood denizen’.

This article is a humble attempt to enlighten you all about our friendly neighbourhood street dog and clear the facts about the utility of the Animal Birth Control (ABC) and Vaccination Programme run by the Delhi Government (MCD and NDMC) through about 7 partner NGOs in Delhi for these canines.

India has been home to the highly intelligent Pariah dog, one of the world’s oldest canine breeds, existing in Asia and Africa since human beings first started living in settlements. They co-exist happily with humans, in fact their primary aim in urban settlements is to protect humans and to act as scavengers. It is not for no reason that each dog is fed by local residents and occupies pride of place in poor settlements.

The rationale of the animal sterilization, vaccination and re-release to its original area is a scientifically worked out programme which took years to evolve by WHO, civic authorities the judiciary, backed by success stories round the world starting from America. The concept of sterilization of dogs itself came from San Mateo in the United States, when civic authorities realized that killing dogs had not lead to any decrease in the dog-population. The County of San Mateo passed the resolution to sterilize and this was a great success. This programme is being followed successfully in various parts of America and Canada and many other developed as well as developing nations.

There is scientific thought behind restoring a sterilized dog to his original habitat. Dogs are territorial animals. They mark out their territories based on the food available and they do not let outsiders come in. When these local dogs are removed from their territory, other dogs move in to occupy them. These may not be sterilized so the problem continues for that locality. Dog fights increase as any new dog entering a territory is attacked by the dogs already in that area and non-sterilized dogs continue to mate and produce litters. Rabies continues to spread as none of the dogs in that area are vaccinated against it. The new dogs are hostile to the residents so problems of safety continue. A sterilized and vaccinated dog doesn’t breed, they guard their territory from intruders and new dogs, they become docile and don’t fight with other dogs during the mating season. You can identify a sterilized and a vaccinated dog by a triangular notch on one of its ears.

The ABC programme has been in place for many years now – and noticeably the rabies incidences have reduced, which is a remarkable achievement by the civic authorities and the NGOs.

Studies by the World Health Organization and the Animal Welfare Board of India show that dog-population control measures which work in developed countries are unsuccessful in developing countries like ours since urban conditions are very different over here. The urban environment in India has two features that encourage stray animal populations-exposed garbage and slums-neither of which exists in developed countries. Stray dogs in developed countries are unable to survive or breed on city streets since they can find nothing to eat. Hence, over there, they are captured, housed in animal shelters, neutered and re-homed.

The ‘catch and kill’ concept of controlling dog-population was started by the British in the 19th Century. It was continued on a large scale after Independence by the municipal authorities all over India with the aims of eradicating rabies and controlling street dog populations. Statistics in a study done by the MCD from 1980 to 1990 showed that even after the slaughtering of 8 lakh dogs during the 10-year period, the estimated dog population in Delhi remained 1.5 lakhs. – MCD could not reduce the population even by one. By 1993, the ‘catch and kill’ method was admitted to be a complete failure since rabies deaths had actually increased and the dog population was also perceptibly growing. Thus, in 1994, the courts ordered the dog-sterilization-cum-vaccination programme (popularly known as the “Animal Birth Control” or ABC programme) to replace the killing. Similar programmes were started in Mumbai, Kolkatta, Chennai, Jaipur, and Hyderabad after the High Courts in these cities passed similar orders. Finally, seeing the immediate success of the programme, in 2001, the Government of India has ordered this all over India with the Animal Birth Control (for Dogs) Rules being notified in 2001 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960.

Dog-bites are very rarely due to stray dogs. Studies show that over 90% of the dog bites are from pet dogs that are aggressive when it comes to defending their territory or repelling intruders to their homes. Every year the numbers of pet-dogs increase and so do the bites. The 5 % of bites which are due to strays are from dogs that have been hurt by colony residents or bitches whose puppies were being attacked.

Dog is nature’s city scavenger. Its specific purpose is to keep garbage, city rats and other non-rodent pests that do not respond to human control in check. If it is removed then, apart from the piling up of huge quantities of garbage, the rat population will also go out of hand. With many cities in India suffering from Dengue and Chikugunya due to unhygienic civic conditions, it is dogs that are responsible for keeping the city’s rat population under check. Rats are the carriers of the deadly bubonic plague disease. One pair of rats is ready for breeding within six weeks of being born. Each pair turns into 35,000 rats by the end of each year. No municipal corporation has till date allocated a single-paisa for the destruction of rats. In 1980, one of the reasons why Surat in Gujarat was infected with plague was the decimation of the city’s street dogs by the local municipality.

It is practically impossible in a country like ours to dump all street dogs into concentration camps or dog pounds. Where is the space, time and resources to carry out this exercise when there is no space to shift commercial establishments out of residential areas or rehabilitate the slum dwellers?

It makes more sense to let the dog live where it belongs. In fact every responsible and humane RWA should contribute and become a partner in getting their dogs sterilized and vaccinated at any of the animal hospitals set up in Delhi for this purpose.

The question of ownership doesn’t arise in this case at all. We talk of passing bills that would give tribals the right to live on forest lands on which they have been living for ages. In case of animals, the place where they are born is the place to which they belong.

The killing method has failed to control rabies in developing countries -including Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Cambodia, North Korea, Afghanistan, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Bangladesh, Nepal, Ukraine, Uzbekistan. Most of these countries have now adopted the Indian method of ABC.

Dogs are a man’s best friend…and it won’t harm many of us if we were to feed the dog in our street once a day, and we can be sure that we would have a friend by our doorstep delightful to see us every time we step out or come home after a long tiring day…and in this selfish world, it is unconditional love and respect that we all crave for and our very own street dog is perhaps our best bet!

To read this article in Hindi language, please click here यह गली के कुत्ते.

If you have some time to spare and few thoughts to spare as well, watch the Videos below, may be you will end up changing your mind and be kind the next time you see our very own Indian Dog on the street.

{The above  Video was made for a group by the name of ‘People for Animals’, we are sharing and embedding it here on Jaagruti because it beautifully communicates the story of the Indian Street Dog}