As local body members in Kerala saw themselves at the receiving end of ire over the alarming rise in stray dog menace, many panchayats in the state resorted to mass killing of these strays.
Sick of the increasing hatred directed against stray dogs in Kerala, a couple from Ernakulam has now come forward to help the Tripunithura Municipality tackle the problem effectively.
Johny Vendrappillil and his wife Reena -residents of Trupunithura in Ernakulam- submitted a proposal to the Municipality on 19 September, offering to coordinate with them in curtailing the number of stray dogs in their locality.
They propose to sterilize these strays within the next four months, well before the next mating season begins.
In their 1.5 acre animal farm in Tripunithura, a major part of the area is occupied by stray dogs. The couple has been operating the farm since sixteen years. At any given point in time, the farm takes care of at least 25 dogs, shares Reena with The News Minute.
The injured dogs among them are given proper medical treatment, and they are then put up for adoption.
The local authorities as well as the public have pointed fingers at poor waste management policies in place as the root cause of this societal menace.
However, Reena and Johny disagree. "It has nothing to do with waste management. People simply lack compassion and the knowledge to identify the real cause of the trouble," says Reena.
Johny and Reena are also willing to offer additional facilities including arranging for doctors and dog -to assist the Municipality in the sterilization procedures.
These four months are crucial, Reena points out. It is during the months of August and September that stray dog bites are at its peak.
Though Tripunithura Municipality Chairperson Chandrika Devi welcomed the couple's offer to help, the duo is yet to hear from the authorities.
"As far as most panchayat and municipal authorities are concerned, none of them are looking for a permanent solution to the problem. All they seek to do is try and appease the raging masses as of now. That is exactly why many including social worker Jose Maveli support mass killing of stray dogs. And the public in turn view them as saviours. That is such a wrong thing to do," Reena avers.
Johny and Reena are confident that their expertise in rehabilitating hundreds of dogs over the years will stand them in good stead in this initiative too. But are the authorities listening?