You can help too.

How reflective collars are coming to the rescue of stray dogs in Bengaluru
news Animal Welfare Saturday, March 04, 2017 - 19:36

In a bustling city like Bengaluru, stray dogs are always at risk of getting hit by traffic, especially at night, but help is at hand thanks to a unique initiative. 

At the Sarvodaya Animal Birth Control Centre, the stray dogs of the city are not only sterilized but now walk out with a reflective collar around their necks.

On March 2, the initiative to put reflective collars on 8400 stray dogs in Bengaluru, turned a month old. So far, 110 dogs have been given the reflective collars and the campaign is gaining momentum among animal lovers with each passing day.

The campaign, in association with Unikorn (a pet management mobile app) and Sarvodaya is titled “Circle of life” and aims to donate reflective collars to 8400 stray dogs in a span of one year. Sarvodaya is a non-governmental organization that runs an animal birth control centre funded by the state government.

Though cities such as Chennai and Indore also have such a system in place, it remains more widely practiced in Bengaluru.

Speaking to The News Minute, founder of Bengaluru chapter of People For Cattle India (PFCI) Ritika Goel says, the initiative is a much-needed one, considering the number of stray dogs that are hit by vehicles. 

"They either die or sustain grave injuries on their spinal cord and have to lead the rest of their lives like that. With a reflective collar that costs Rs 50, this problem can very well be tackled," she says. 

Ritika has also spearheaded several campaigns including Bengaluru Opts to Adopt (BOTA) in the past.

Dr Askay Prakash, co-founder and trustee of Sarvodaya says that of the total number of stray dogs brought to the centre for treatment, fifty percent are accident cases. 

On an average, 8400 stray dogs are brought for sterilisation to Sarvodaya centre, located in Cantonment area. Several others are brought in for other treatment. The stray dogs are often lodged at the centre for three days after the sterilization for aftercare. This is the time when the reflective collars are tied around their necks. 

Dr Askhay Prakash, co-founder and trustee of Sarvodaya says that the idea of reflective collars had been in the pipeline for quite sometime, but did not see the light of day for a variety of reasons, including slow government procedures. 

It is because of this that Dr Akshay feels for an initiative like this, it is essential for a collaboration with a private body. 

"There are issues of fund allocation and the general delay that comes with every government affair. By collaborating with a private party, we can bypass all these negatives and make the campaign effective," Dr Akshay says. 

Ritika too, agrees. 

"Over and above the fact that a government agency-private body collaboration will lead to faster implementation of schemes, it is also beneficial for us. In the case of the reflective collar, the advantage of collaborating with Sarvodaya is that they have all the necessary infrastructure. They have trained dog catchers and facility to sterilize them. We just have to supply the collars to them. Otherwise, it is challenging for our own volunteers to go about catching the dogs and then making them wear the collars," Ritika says. 

This also ensures that it is not just the friendly stray dogs that are given the collars, but even the non-friendly ones. 

According to the organizers, the ends of the reflective collars are stitched again to ensure that they do not come off easily. 

"Often what happens is that kids tend to pull out the collar around the dogs' necks. This again makes them vulnerable to accidents. To prevent this, we have given a second round of stitching to the collar so that we can prevent them from falling off. If not all, we can prevent at least a considerable number of collars from falling off," Dr Akshay says. 

This year, contribute Rs 50 to the campaign so that a stray dog becomes less vulnerable to accidents. You can check the campaign link here.

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.