Increased threat of stray dogs in Kollam Corporation

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Despite an alarming rise in dog bite cases and aggressive mobs ruling many secondary roads at night, the Kollam City Corporation chose to turn a blind eye to the threat.

With nearly 10 people attacked by a rabid dog in Asramam last week, stray wild animals have become a major concern for two-wheeler riders and pedestrians in many areas.

According to officials, the Animal Birth Control (ABC) program was only conducted for 38 days from February 22 to March 31, the end of the last fiscal year. “The civic body had appointed a doctor and four dog handlers and according to the records 644 dogs were neutered. The number is very negligible compared to the total stray population within the boundaries of Kollam Corporation which amounts to about 12 000,” says an official. According to reports, the Kollam Corporation has repeatedly failed to provide space to sterilize dogs and all locations identified by the civic body have been changed at the last minute.

Livestock department officials say the ever-increasing stray dog ​​population will change the behavior of packs, making them more wild and dangerous. “If they are not neutered and numbers are not controlled, they will become more aggressive. They will go crazy biting people and that is an emerging threat,” an official said.

The ABC program must be continued without interruption for visible results, because even a month gap will cause a considerable increase in population. Last month, a stray dog ​​with a cut ear, a sign of sterilization, gave birth at the Polayathodu market. Later, it was discovered that the dog had not been neutered, highlighting the flawed implementation of the program. “The dog did not have a surgical scar. He was left with a nicked ear to hit the target. This also means the process was not supervised by any doctor,” adds the animal husbandry department official.

Panic

Recent rabies deaths in the state have caused panic among the public, and the district has reported several cases of dog bites in the past two months. Victims included children and elderly women, while street vendors and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) workers worry about non-bite exposure due to skin aberrations.

Shortage of vaccines

Meanwhile, those who were bitten and mutilated by a rabid dog last week had to travel to Government Medical College Hospital in Parippally to be vaccinated. Taluk’s development committee had asked to address the shortage of rabies injections, as many people seek treatment after being bitten by stray dogs. The committee had been tasked with ensuring the availability of the vaccine in district and taluk hospitals while the Society was asked to restart the ABC programme.

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