Packs of Feral Dogs

For the second time, we have the ghastly incidence of a fatal feral dog attack on a child. Feral dogs are domesticated dogs which, being stray, have gone back partially to their wild instincts, form packs, and begin to hunt again for food.

The govt. has tried culling stray dogs and animal activists are up in arms against that, for two reasons: firstly, the killing of dogs and secondly, the fact that other dogs tend to fill up the gaps in the stray population.

One of the solutions propounded is to catch the stray dogs, neuter them and then let them loose again. But there seem to be no long-term solutions to this very major problem. One of the contributing factors to the rise in the number of stray dogs (and indeed, other scavengers like kites, and rats) is that trash is not properfly disposed of, or cleared. Another is the callous way in which puppies are bought as pets, then abandoned later on the streets.Obviously, a good solution has to be multi-pronged and farsighted.

I hope that we find a good solution to the problem before another such attack happens. Who knows if there are such attacks where the child has been saved by a watchful parent, which doesn’t get reported?

Recently, we have certainly observed a lessening in the number of stray dogs in our area…and we hope this trend continues.

8 Comments so far

  1. Jellicles (unregistered) on March 2nd, 2007 @ 10:58 pm

    Deepa, I’d like to thank you being the sane voice of reason.

    There is hope yet. Somewhere near Ulsoor, there is a street that has successfully tackled the problem of the ‘stray dog problem’. It is home to eleven dogs(that the dogs have divided the street into there zones..they keep to their territory)that have been vaccinated and sterilised. one of the street’s residents (who took the responsibility for their yearly vaccinations, food and care)feeds them everyday. they are more well behaved than any other pet dog. chained and kept captive in apartments and within compound walls, i bet the ‘non stray’ dogs themselves envy these street dogs who have an entire length of a street to romp about….

    their schedule:

    6.00.a.m: open one eye. go back to sleep.
    7.00.a.m open the other eye. chase school bus. attempt to hijack it. “can’t i go to school too?”
    8.00.a.m: food.
    9.00.a.m: just up from mid morning nap.
    10.00.a.m: sun bathe
    11.00.a.m: romp about.
    12.00.p.m: bark at strange person lurking in the dog’s own street.
    1.00.p.m: afternoon siesta
    2.00.p.m: beg for food because these afternoon folks dont know about the morning’s feast.
    4.00.p.m: welcome kids from school. attempt to climb school bus again. darn! foiled again!
    5.00.p.m: too busy. must assault returning residents with licks, wags and bumping.
    6.00.p.m: food.
    7.00.p.m: recovering from the feeding
    8.00.p.m: nap
    9.00.p.m: PARTAY!!!!

    in this case, one person took the initiative and the rest accepted the situation because they didnt feel threatened by these dogs. they were comforted in the knowledge that the dogs will not spread disease and that they dont exhibit any rage. soon, they too became the guardians of this pack. today, they are plump thugs with fat wagging tails and are much loved. i am going to ask this person to come and share her views in this forum.

    the bottom line is that social responsibility is key. secondly, the ‘menace’ exists as a symptom of bigger…garbage..where dogs lurk to find scraps. CUPA does sterilisation and vaccinations..why arent the public availing of it. it is not going to cost more than a trip to a restaurant or the movie theatre. if people claim to live in fear of death, i am sure a couple of hundred rupees is not too much of an expense.

    i’d ask children to be involved. dogs snarl becaue they have been abused or have witnessed human beings abuse other animals when they were younger. it is easy to socialise animals. with a little bit of patience and care, they can indeed be man’s best friends. retired people have experience and patience. and children can watch as they take up such projects. it is a win win situation! all it requires is a little bit of logic and empathy to come up with an elegant solution to this misunderstanding between man and beast.

    cheers! and take care.

  2. Yasmine Claire (unregistered) on March 5th, 2007 @ 2:32 pm

    It is very upsetting to read that people are instigating children against dogs. It is easy to scare a child. The anti-dog adults are taking advantage of this and making children hold protests against dogs, making them demand culling of dogs. Reminds me of history texts about child armies in Nazi Germany.

    Children have the right to information. Not biased opinion. I am a teacher. My school has in its vision animal welfare. I will educate my students by giving both sides of the story and leave the choice to them. Most of my students have visited CUPA and as a result even those who were terrified of dogs, now love them, as seen in their drawings and reflections. And mind you-CUPA does not have well groomed fluffy pedigrees, they have three legged, one eyed, scraggly ordinary strays.

    It is a calculated crime to brainwash children. Here they are being told by the anti-dog people that it is ok to kill. It is ok to kill thousands of dogs. Violence as a solution to problems is being taught. They will grow up believing that and eye for an eye is the answer.

    I hope that there are some sensible parents and teachers who help a child think logically, teach them compassion, and not make them bit by bit into mobsters.

  3. jellicles (unregistered) on March 5th, 2007 @ 2:45 pm

    fear breeds fear. no wonder there are children who relish abusing animals. poisonous upbringing leads to endless cycles. the dog haters are simply using the children as an excuse..cowards who hide behind words and a computer screen while screaming for bloody murder of lesser creatures. let us cull ignorance and idiocy instead.

  4. Sanjay Pandey (unregistered) on March 5th, 2007 @ 7:59 pm

    Holy cow, from where did you people get the idea of dog-haters.

    Cann’t you see, these are people afraid for their kids and not against the dogs.

    You both are also feeding the frenzy by taking a holier than thou approach rather than thinking that what has made the best friend of man suddenly an enemy and what can be done to revert back to old equation.

  5. jellicles (unregistered) on March 5th, 2007 @ 11:04 pm

    excuse me…people are calling out to ‘cull’ stray dogs..if they are afraid for their kids…they would have gotten rid of the meat shops.they would have gotten rid of the garbage..fought with the politicians with the same passion with which they are asking for dumb four legged creatures to be killed. but no…’s “only a DOG”!

  6. Yasmine Claire (unregistered) on March 6th, 2007 @ 9:44 am

    Sanjay we all are trying to work towards dogs being mans best friend. But it is the insensitivity and the knee jerk, short term, violent and small minded attitudes that prevent anyone from doing so.

    Does anyone even listen to what people who work for animals have to say? No its far easier to be a part of mob frenzy. It is far easier to be politically correct. Everyone is baying for blood, and still pride themselves in being civilized.

    All those who quote USA and say that they do not have strays, also remember, the USA has stringent punishments for people who behave the way people in Bangalore are now. The unaccounted cruelty that is going on these days, will mean years of prison sentence in the USA. Also in the USA there are several animals shelters, supported by the public, not condemned by the public. The USA has a strict animal welfare policy. They have strict adoption programs, not like here where people take dogs to be watchdogs and then leave them to rot on the streets when they are too old to look after the house.

    Yes, they euthanize dogs and other animals. But this is done humanely, with as little suffering as is possible. Everyone is part of the effort of looking after animals. Those who are cruel to animals have a very strict law to contend with. The media splashes their pages with instances of cruelty and condemn such people.

    What is happening here will be condemned by the USA, UK, Singapore and other places everyone is so fond of quoting and saying that how come they do not have a stray problem.

    Nor do they have an irrational mobster minded public who says Kill.

  7. bombayite (unregistered) on March 9th, 2007 @ 11:37 pm

    Why should I be punished for being defensive when a dog attacks me? I think I can certainly hurl a small stone to get its attention off me. The other day my mother was in an autorikshaw and a dog just pounced into the moving vehicle to attack her!! This is insane!!

    Why don’t you animal activists build dog shelters instead of criticizing people who are only defending themselves? You guys only pulling the equation on one side.

    You need to focus your efforts on an alternative approach such as building dog shelters. There is no point in criticising people!

    Nobody really is an ‘Animal hater’….we are only defending ourselves.

  8. Anirban (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 2:18 pm

    Dear Bombayite,

    Sorry to hear about your mother’s traumatic near death experience thanks to the monsterous and horrifying green fire breathing alien called the stray dog. I am sure you have by now taken your shot gun a-la John Wayne and taught the beast a lesson.

    Congratulations. Would you like to move to Bangalore? We can do with your hate and help kill some more of these terrifying monsters.

    And you will definitely find friends here, not the devoted unconditional loyalty of the dog you seek to destroy, but of other like-minded upright individuals who are all set to eradicate the problem of stray dogs.

    So please come. Your brand of venom spewing is welcome. After all you happen to be at the top of the food chain, so why not make sure you are the only one in it? After the dogs, you and your friends can kill cats – don’t they scratch when bothered. Then the bulls and cows – they are threats too, armed with hideous weapons of mass destruction called horns. Crows next? Obviously!

    Then the elephant which tried to migrate on what was her path for millennia, and suddenly found a paddy field there? The starving leopard which is killing every Bomabyite these days? Monkeys? Snakes? Everything? They are threats to your mother’s auto, in some way, I am sure.

    Then maybe the street children, and rag-pickers. C’mon they deserve to go too – they are not welcome in Singapuru, so definitely not in pathetic wannabe Bengaluru.

    Then the Muslim? The Christian? The somebody-who-is-different-and-hence-does-not-belong type?

    Congratulations! You have really hit jack-pot. This is the town for you…1 hour 30 minutes by air, and you are transported to your utopia. Where, by the time you come, all the monsters and beasts like stray dogs will be gone. So hurry. Don’t miss, as somebody wrote, the “Partay”.

    Do it for your mother. Please…

    Yours always,


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