The one-year-old dog was found dead with a wire around its neck.

Dog found dead in TN after it bit woman Did rabies fear make locals kill it
news Animal Cruelty Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 15:04

In a disturbing incident of animal cruelty, a one-year-old dog has been found dead in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, a few hours after it bit a 57-year-old woman in the district. The dog was found with a wire around its neck and injuries on its body. Activists allege that the locals acted out of anger and suspicion that it was a rabies-infected dog.

Speaking to TNM, Dr Anitha Mohandass, the Medical Health Officer for the district, said, “A ferocious dog had bitten a 57-year-old lady yesterday. We immediately gave ARV and immunoglobulin to the woman. Our corporation field workers went to catch the dog and check if it had been infected with rabies or not so that we can quarantine it accordingly. But our field workers found the dog dead. They were not witness to what happened but by the time they reached, it was dead. So, we have been unable to diagnose whether it was a healthy dog or rabies-infected dog. We have enquired about the dog but nobody was able to give answers.”

With locals taking law into their own hands, the incident has caused outrage among activists.

Speaking to TNM, Janani of the Kodaikanal Society for the Protection and Care for Animals, says, “Whenever there is a dog bite like this, the dog has to be confined immediately. Without even confirming if it is a rabies-infected dog, they have just gone ahead and killed the dog. Even if the dog does have rabies, they have no right to kill it. We have dealt with many such cases. There have been a lot of dog bite cases recently. A local body should come forward and do awareness campaigns.”

Janani blames such incidents on the lack of awareness on the issue.

“They think if a dog bites, it has gone mad. There is no awareness of rabies. There should be awareness programmes. They need to be educated on whom they need to call, what they need to do in such a circumstance. They assume that if the municipal corporation is taking the dog, it is being taken to be culled. So they think why not do it ourselves,” she explains.

Authorities, on the other hand, have been struggling to raise awareness and neuter the animals across the 48 wards due to a lack of funds.

“Just because a dog has bitten, it is not a rabies-infected dog. A ferocious dog is not same as a rabid dog. Usually for dog sterilisation programmes, half the funds are given by the corporation and half by the government of India. For the past two- three years the NGO working on this hasn’t received the funds. The commissioner has paid from his pocket. They haven’t been able to cover the scale because of this. But we have planned for a mass sterilisation programme in the area,” says Dr Anitha.

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