The Chennai corporation has invited volunteers, NGOs and animal welfare activists to register with them, as several complaints have been filed by the residentsâ associations against individuals and groups who feed community dogs.
The residents claim that the area where dogs are being fed is littered with food waste and fecal matter. Officials have said that the volunteers have the right to feed animals, but that it should be carried out without causing any discomfort to the public. They also claim that by registering, they can bring the feeding community together and maintain a database, through which the welfare of animals can be achieved. Those who are involved in feeding dogs are requested to register by sending their details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
âThrough this compilation of data, we can utilise the services of dog lovers, in ways like immunisation and sterilisation of strays. Also, we are organising a meeting with the members who have registered, where plans like allocating additional space for feeding, reducing conflicts between the dog feeders and residents will be discussed,â said Dr Kammal Hussain, the veterinary officer of Chennai corporation.
He also added, âMore than 180 members have registered till date. Now we are in the initial phase, soon after the discussions with our superiors we will come up with a strategy for recognising these members who have registered. Their cooperation could also be used in fighting rabies.â
Even though the civic body believes that this initiative will help build a better relationship between the public and the animal welfare activists, the latter doesn't feel the same. Anjali Sharma, an animal welfare activist, who is known for her service in sheltering stray dogs said, âUnless and until the residents evoke some sense of humanity in them, it is going to be difficult for dog feeders like me. Even if one registers and carries an ID card, the residents are going to be against it. This planet belongs to animals as well, I hope our society comes in peace with this fact.â
Dawn Williams, the general manager of Blue Cross of India, added, âNowadays the volunteers do ethical work in taking care of animals, they even cook their own food for them. Moreover, the people who are feeding the dogs are doing society a favour. So, I hope that the ones with contradictory beliefs would reconsider animal welfare."
The officers claim that under their ârabies free city campaign,â more than 62,000 dogs have been immunised across various zones of Chennai and they also feel that the registered members could help in bringing out the strays which need immediate attention.