There are several animal lovers across India, who have voluntarily taken the responsibility of taking care of street dogs.

Can citizen caregivers be the key to solving stray dog attacks
Delve Animal Cruelty Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - 20:53

Every day, Manjari Chaitanya wakes up at 4 am. She spends over four hours making a meal for 150 – not people, but for the 100-odd dogs in her locality in JP Nagar, Bengaluru. “They call me the ‘mad dog lady’. They know that if there is a dog that needs to be taken care of, the 'mad dog lady' can be reached out to. In many ways, it is a compliment,” says Manjari, who has been feeding and caring for stray dogs for 18 years. 

However, not everyone agrees with her. There are many residents who feel that stray dogs are a menace that needs to be curbed. The conflict between stray dogs and residents is not new – on one hand, there are cases of street dogs biting children as young as 4 years old and on the other, there are cases of street dogs being poisoned to death. The never-ending conflict raises a pertinent question – can there ever be a middle ground?

Caregivers of street dogs, like Manjari, who have voluntarily taken the responsibility of taking care of street dogs, could be a possible solution. 

Although they are in minority, there are hundreds of animal lovers across India who feed stray dogs, vaccinate and sterilise them and care for them. Ashwini is one such caregiver, who currently takes care of three stray puppies at her home. She often gets donations in the form of money and even food via e-commerce sites.

However, there is another chapter to the life of these caregivers, the one pronounced by hatred, harassment and assaults from residents. Sometimes, personal belongings of residents are often destroyed by strays, leading to the feeling of resentment towards them. Adding to this are the incidents of strays attacking children. 

Animal lovers, activists and even some residents hold Bengaluru’s civic body, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) responsible for this growing conflict.

TNM spoke to BBMP Special Commissioner Randeep D, who stated that the civic body is planning to centralise complaints where repeated attacks are reported.

“Most dogs are generally friendly as they are used to human presence and also know how to cohabit. We are planning an awareness drive to sensitise residents on these issues. We are mulling over designating certain areas in the wards to feed stray dogs, or introduce fixed timings for feeding,” Randeep stated.

Watch the video to know more:

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