The western suburbs have nearly eight times the number of stray dogs than south Mumbai, the city’s first hi-tech stray dog population estimation survey has found.
Malad tops the list of places with the highest population of stray dogs with 7,450, followed by Andheri (East) with 5,540 and Andheri West and Oshiwara with 4,916 stray dogs.
On the other hand, South Mumbai’s D ward comprising Tardeo, Girgaum, Walkeshwar, Mahalaxmi, Malabar Hill and Nana Chowk areas and C ward comprising Chandanwadi, Marine Drive and Bhuleshwar areas was found to have 581 and 669 stray dogs respectively.
“This disparity is because sterilisation programmes began much earlier in South Mumbai and were carried out in a more scientific manner with the correct ratio of seven females to three males. This is not the case in the suburbs, where sterilisation is done haphazardly and is not sustained. Also, there is more garbage in the suburbs, which means more food for stray dogs.
Another factor could be that the economic status of the general population in the suburbs is slightly less than those living in South Mumbai, which means that though they feed the dogs well, not everyone can afford to sterilise their dogs,” said Shakuntala Majumdar, president of Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal, (SPCA), Thane unit.
The survey done by NGO Humane Society International on behalf of the BMC has pegged the total number of ‘roaming dogs’ in the city at 95,172, which is roughly one dog for every 130 persons.
Of the total population, 66,087 stray dogs were found on the streets, while 29,085 were found in slum areas, assuming that there is no overlap between the two populations. The NGO has submitted the report to the public health department of the BMC, which is yet to officially publish it.
While western suburbs have the highest number of dogs, the number of dogs per kilometre (dog density) was found to be the highest mostly in the eastern suburbs with the exception of Malad. The survey found that Malad (P/North ward) followed by Kurla, parts of Ghatkopar, Vikhroli and Powai that form the L ward have the highest number of dogs per kilometre. The same two wards also had the highest percentage of lactating females. “Dog density is more relevant to the city’s residents because it determines the number of dogs they will encounter as they move around the city. Similarly, breeding activity as evidenced by percentage lactating females is related to the risk of children being bitten by females responding to a perceived threat to their pups and to the nuisance of dogs barking and fighting over females in heat,” the report said.
The survey found the average percentage of sterilised stray dogs in the city was 77 per cent. Of which, the lowest percentage of sterilised female stray dogs was found in L ward followed by K/East ward (Andheri East), while Malad, despite topping the list of the highest number of dogs and the dog density, had a relatively high percentage of sterilised dogs. According to the BMC’s stray dog ‘census’ conducted between October 2007 and January 2008, there were 76,000 dogs in the city – a highly debated number – of which, 26, 900 were found to be pet dogs. Since 2008, 1,56,097 dogs have been sterilised in the city by NGOs according to the BMC’s public health department.
The NGO’s report is based on 44 surveys conducted by them along 23 predetermined tracks in the city. Starting January 7, the surveyors covered 914 kilometres of city street length in over five weeks.
Female dogs ( %)
Highest in C ward (Chandanwadi, Marine Drive, Bhuleshwar)
Lowest in F/S (Parel,Sewri,Naigaum)
Sterilised female dogs
- Highest in P/south (Goregaon and parts of Malad)
- Lowest in L ward (Kurla, parts of Ghatkopar, Vikhroli and Powai)
- Lactating female dogs
- Highest in L ward (Kurla, parts of Ghatkopar, Vikhroli and Powai)
- Lowest in wards A ( area from CST to Cuffe Parade) and H/W (Bandra, Khar and Santacruz)
Sterilised male dogs
- Highest in P/S (Goregaon and parts of Malad)
- Lowest in D (comprising comprising Tardeo, Girgaum, Walkeshwar, Mahalaxmi, Malabar hill and Nana Chowk)
- Highest in E ward (Byculla Mazgaon area)
- Highest in D ward (comprising comprising Tardeo, Girgaum, Walkeshwar, Mahalaxmi, Malabar Hill and Nana Chowk)
Dogs with skin conditions
- Highest in F/north (Mahim, Sion and Matunga)