While the project to sterilise stray dogs finally kicked off in February this year with Hyderabad-based NGO Vet Society for Animal Welfare and Rural Development picking up dogs from city and dropping them back in the same area after surgery as per guidelines of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), tension continued to brew between animal lovers and the Municipal Corporation.
The animal lovers allege that the NGO staff is being barbaric to dogs and they are beaten badly when they are picked up. However, the MC officials allege harassment from the animal lovers and claim that they are interfering in their work.
The animal lovers also allege that dogs are not being given proper post-surgery care and are being left by the MC early, leading to opening of their stitches and bleeding wounds. However, the MC says that the animal lovers are approaching influential people to pressure them not to pick dogs from their areas.
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The Rs 2-crore project to sterilise the stray dogs kicked off after five years as it was proposed way back in 2009 with a target to sterilise 25,000 dogs. The building of vet hospital with 20 kennels and rooms in Haibowal was finally completed this year by the MC, and sterilisation kicked off in February with a target of 1,000 dogs per month.
As per AWBI guidelines, the dogs have to be left in the same area from where they are picked up and the MC cannot be cruel to dogs while picking them up.
Speaking to Ludhiana Newsline, a city resident alleged that a bitch in their area was in pain with extreme swelling since the MC dropped it after surgery.
“We live in Haibowal and the bitch in our area was dropped back after surgery. Her lower body was completely swollen and she kept crying in pain for two days. Her stitches also opened and we gave her painkillers mixed in milk after which she was relieved for some time. Another dog in our area died after this surgery was done,” said Riddhima from Haibowal.
Another resident, who also forwarded a complaint to union minister Maneka Gandhi, said, “The dogs in our area were brutally beaten before they were picked up.”
MC veterinary officer Dr Y P Singh, however, said that “all norms are being followed and no cruelty is being done throughout the process”. “Animal lovers do not realise that stray dogs are a big problem for city residents and to control the dog-bite cases, this process is needed. We are being pressured through various influential persons being contacted by animal lovers not to pick dogs from their areas. But we are not to leave any dog and police help may be taken if people create hurdles in our work,” he said.
The MC claims that 1,200 dogs have already been sterilised in four wards since February.