The stray dog menace once again came to the fore in Panchkula, when a stray dog attacked three women at Sector 4, near Haripur village, on Wednesday.
While one of the victims works as a domestic help in a house in Sector 4, the other two are residents of Haripur village who were on the street. “The incident was reported around 6.30 am, when our domestic help comes for work.
The dog was barking continuously for a long time and suddenly attacked her. She raised an alarm and immediately entered the house,” said Vinod Kumar, a resident of Sector 4.
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The woman, identified as Kamla, 40, was bitten on the leg. The two other women were also going to work when they were attacked by the dog. According to residents, the dog has been seen on the same street for the past few months and recently gave birth to puppies.
Children have also stopped playing in the street for the fear of being attacked by the dog, who had bitten a resident around ten days ago. A woman resident said her three-year-old granddaughter was nearly attacked by the dog, but was rescued on time.
“We have often complained to the Municipal Corporation (MC) to take away this dog, but nothing had been done in the past few months. The female dog hides under the cars and attacks people who pass by,” said M S Rathee,
However, the Municipal Corporation was in a dilemma when they were informed about the incident. “A team of around 10 dog-catchers was sent by the Corporation to catch the dog, but when we showed the dog, the workers refused, and claimed that they are not authorised to do so,” said Rathee.
MC Executive Officer (EO), Manender Singh said a team was sent but as the dog is a female has recently given birth to puppies, so they left it there on humanitarian grounds. “The team would have taken it away for sterilisation, had it been a male dog, but since it was female, who had recently given birth to puppies, so it was not ethical to separate her from her children. Also, sterilisation at this stage would be inhuman,” said Singh.
Highlighting that female dogs are overtly protective about their wee litters and attack people when they apprehend any threat, Singh said a team of dog catchers would be sent to take the dog for sterilisation after a few days, when her puppies get separated from her. The Corporation officials are also wary of inviting the ire of animal rights activists.
As per the current practice followed by the Corporation, a team of dog-catchers take the dogs from different areas to the Pet Animal Medical Care Centre, Sector 3, where they are sterilized and left at their home place after keeping them for few days in the Centre.
“We can only catch the dog, sterilize it, and leave it at the area it lives in. As residents have raised the issue, we will intensify the sterilisation drive in the specific locality to bring down the population of stray dogs,” said Singh.