The bodies of three dogs that had been poisoned and killed were found in the Peechi canal in Thrissur district on Friday. A fourth dog had also been poisoned, but had not died.
According to representatives of an NGO Humane Society International (HSI), India this is not the first such occurrence, as dogs in the neighbouring areas are killed and dumped in the canal. They allege that some miscreants have been feeding poisoned meat waste to dogs. Most of the dogs thus killed have been stray dogs.
On this occasion, the incident came to light as the four poisoned dogs were pets, and their owners complained to the police.
The situation also has the locals perturbed as the Peechi canal is a major water source for nearby villages and even hospitals including the Thrissur Medical College hospital.
In the wake of this incident, the NGO has started a campaign called #NoMore50 that aims at increasing the penalties prescribed in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960.
Currently the maximum penalty prescribed for acts of cruelty against animals is a penalty of Rs 50, which they feel is too low to have any deterrent effect.
"Incidents like these only indicate how intolerant and apathetic people have become towards animals. The culprit in this incident is a threat to animals and humans alike. There is not a single month when we do not come across animal cruelty cases and this has been compounded by the meagre penalties prescribed in the PCA Act. We hope that #NoMore50 will push the Government to increase animal cruelty penalties so these incidents do not repeat," said Sally Kannan, HSI India Consultant.
Police have filed an FIR based on the complaint.