Very quickly, I want to say how much I really love the support you all provide.
I love the comments and hope to see more.
But, due to recent circumstances I will be away from blogging for a few days. I hope to return sometime next week.
Hopefully you all can understand that.
I had kept Goldie’s three boys here in the house with us for the day, when I realized that Fluffy was having signs of an upset stomach and that the other two were whining more than usual (IE: the last time we had them in the house), so Bear and I decided to take them back to the enclosure and pray for the best about their safety as we both felt that they were too young at this point to be away from their Mom.
This morning, while Bear was preparing for work, I looked out the window and noticed that Goldie was asleep on our complex road and that Laddie was asleep in the grass off the curb of the road. I was angry at Goldie for again leading them out to the road area, so I grabbed up some food, showed Bear how naughty they were being and told him I would be right back.
I went down to find two men in front of where Goldie was laying, I walked up and realized that Laddie was not getting up, so I called “Laddie?” and my little man who always came when called ‘slept’ on. I learned later that someone, in a rush to go to work, was speeding over our 10kms speed limit and was going too fast to stop. Once this person saw what they had done, they picked up my little Laddie’s broken body and placed him in the grass and continued on to work. Who knows if they left him there, to die alone. My little man who loved to run and jump and chase your toes and pull on a chew toy and investigate.
Bear and I, along with another animal lover who lives in our complex, buried Laddie deep in the earth behind the enclosure where his brothers and sisters live. In the picture from the previous post, Laddie was the little guy in the front trying oh so hard to look innocent and failing miserably.
When we went to complain about the speed of drivers in the complex, that is when we learned that there have been multiple complaints about me (even though I’m one of a few in this complex as there are several people doing the same) feeding the ‘stray’ dogs and that it was going to be discussed in the upcoming owners meeting. Bear and I spent this morning and afternoon gathering support and doing our research. The following is what I am taking with me to the meeting, so that I can properly answer any questions they may have.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated — Mahatma Gandhi
Firstly, as far as stray dogs are concerned, please be informed that for the removal of stray dogs from their territories, there are specific laws, rules and guidelines set down by the Animal Birth Control (Dogs ) Rules, 2001, by the Union Government and a Judgment on this subject in Writ Petition No1596 of 1998 by the Honorable Bombay High Court.
Vide the above referred judgment; the High Court has laid down guidelines for dealing with stray dogs and the methodology for their population control. Dogs cannot be labeled as nuisance and therefore be picked up from their territories and abandoned somewhere else. The only way to deal with them is to have them sterilized and vaccinated, then released in their original territory.
As far as the legal status of the judgment is concerned, the order of the Bombay High Court is final and as the Writ runs through the entire state, it is binding all over Maharashtra. Any contravention to the above amounts to contempt of court and is bad in law.
Placing an animal in circumstances that are likely to endanger its life and cause its death from starvation or thirst. This means abandoning an animal in unfamiliar territory or in sickness or old age is illegal. Penalty is a fine of RS 100/- and up to 3 months in jail.
Section 428/429 of the Indian Penal Code makes it a cognizable offence to maim or cause injury to any animal above the value of RS 10/-. It also makes it illegal for vehicles to injure or kill dogs / cats / cows on the street. Offenders can be reported to the police station and a case filed under this section. Punishment is a fine of Indian Rs 2000 / and / or jail up to 5 years.
Why animal relocation does not work see: http://www.wsdindia.org/faqs.htm
Why are there so many stray dogs in India?
The urban environment in India has two features that encourage stray animal populations – exposed garbage and slums. Neither of these exists in developed countries.
If stray dog population control is the issue, wouldn’t it make more sense to kill the dogs or take them away?
A3. Removal or killing of stray dogs seems to be the most obvious method of controlling the population, but it has actually proved to be completely useless. This is because even when large numbers of dogs are killed, the conditions that sustain dog populations remain unchanged. Dogs are territorial and each one lives in its own specific area. When they are removed, the following things happen:
- The food source – garbage – is still available in abundance, so dogs from neighbouring areas enter the vacant territories.
- Pups born and growing up in the surrounding areas also move in to occupy these vacant niches.
- The few dogs who escape capture and remain behind attack these newcomers, leading to frequent and prolonged dog-fights.
- Since they are not sterilised, all the dogs who escape capture continue to mate, leading to more fighting.
- In the course of fights, dogs often accidentally redirect their aggression towards people passing by, so many humans get bitten.
- Females with pups become aggressive and often attack pedestrians who come too close to their litter.
- They breed at a very high rate (two litters of pups a year). It has been estimated that two dogs can multiply to over 300 in three years.
Since dogs who are removed are quickly replaced, the population does not decrease at all. The main factors leading to dog aggression – migration and mating – continue to exist, so the nuisance factor remains.
Since removal of dogs actually increases dog-related problems, the effective solution is to sterilise the dogs, vaccinate them against rabies and put them back in their own areas.
Q4. But what’s the point of putting the dogs back after sterilisation? Doesn’t the problem just continue?
A4. No, when dogs are sterilised and put back in their own area, the population and the problems caused by dogs both reduce. Here’s how:
- Each dog guards its own territory and does not allow new dogs to enter.
- Since they are all neutered, they no longer mate or multiply.
- The main factors leading to dog aggression – migration and mating – are eliminated. So dog-fights reduce dramatically.
- With the decrease in fighting, bites to humans also decrease.
- Since females no longer have pups to protect, this source of dog aggression is also eliminated.
- Over a period of time, as the sterilised dogs die natural deaths, the population is greatly reduced.
Please remember, there is NO overnight solution to the stray dog issue. It is simply not possible to wish all the dogs away. With sterilisation, the population becomes stable, non-breeding and non-rabid and decreases over time. It also becomes largely non-aggressive. On the other hand, when dogs are removed or killed, new dogs keep entering an area and the population is continuously changing, unstable, aggressive, multiplies at a high rate and carries rabies. Which method makes more sense?
Q5. Why don’t you dog-lovers just keep all these stray dogs in your own homes?
A5. Dog-lovers have not created the stray dog population. They merely try to minimise it through sterilisation, and to keep it rabies-free through vaccination. Moreover, even if a lot of stray dogs got adopted, the basic problems of vacant territories and dog replacement would remain.
(By the same logic, people who love children could be asked to keep the entire population of street children in their own homes!)
Incidentally, our organization does promote the adoption of pariahs and mongrels – so if someone you know is planning to buy a pure-breed dog, try and persuade him to adopt a stray instead. Although it won’t provide a large-scale solution, you will have the satisfaction of knowing you got one dog off the street!
Q6. Can’t some of the dogs be released in another place?
A6. Since they would be entering the territory of other dogs, there would be a lot of fighting in the area in which they are released, and in the process more humans would get bitten. Their original territories would also be left vacant, so new dogs would enter… and the stray dog problem would go on forever.
Q12. Dogs bark and howl the whole night – how can you solve that problem?
A12. Barking and howling occur during dog-fights, which take place at their mating time, so with sterilisation the problem disappears. Dogs bark when new dogs enter their territory, and as these migrations cease with sterilisation, the barking largely ends too. They also howl when they live and move in packs. When the dog population dwindles in size, pack behaviour also declines.
Q17. My building society wants to remove all the dogs from the premises and release them in another area – is that legal?
A17. No, it is absolutely illegal and punishable. Under the Bombay Municipal Corporation Act only the staff of the BMC or people authorized by them can capture stray dogs. The guidelines for dog population control approved by the Mumbai High Court in 1998 also prohibit the permanent removal of stray dogs from their original location.
Q18. Some people go around feeding stray dogs. Doesn’t that increase the stray dog problem?
A18. No. Stray dog populations are created and sustained by garbage, not by handouts from kind-hearted ladies! In fact, people who feed dogs generally get them vaccinated and neutered as well, so the population would actually decrease where dogs are being fed. However, feeding should be done in a responsible manner so that it does not cause any disturbance to the public.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU COME ACROSS AN UNFRIENDLY DOG?
There is no simple answer, nor set formula to solve the problem of unfriendly dogs although humans can change or worsen a dog’s behavior. However, most dogs tend to conform to predictable rules of behavior. This information is designed to help people to understand a dog’s behavior towards strangers when it feels the need to protect its owner or territory or when it feels threatened. When you are faced with a difficult situation; this knowledge could help you to avoid trouble.
- Never run past a strange dog, or walk quickly away from it. This may make it chase you and you could get bitten as a result.
- Face the dog without eye contact, and walk or back away slowly until you are sure you are safe.
- Try not to show fear. Keep calm walk away slowly and speak firmly to the dog.
- Do not stare at the dog. Staring is a threat – a dog may read it as a challenge – and attack.
- Do not allow children to approach dogs they do not know. A growl is as good as “Leave me alone”.
- Dogs can tell if you like them — and most can be bribed! A biscuit in your pocket will convince most dogs that you are a friend. Please remember that dogs rarely attack, so don’t be over-anxious of every dog that you meet: Most are scared about getting into a fight but like to act tough on their own territory.
- Behave in a friendly and confident manner and you will help lessen their fear.
Finally, I leave you with my two favorite poems dealing with animal loss.
Jesus and the Dog
I wish someone had given Jesus a dog as loyal and loving as mine to sleep by His manager and gaze in His eyes and adore Him for being divine.
As our Lord grew to manhood His faithful dog would have followed Him all through the day
while He preached to the crowds and made the sick well, and knelt in the garden to pray.
It is sad to remember that Christ went away to face death alone and apart,
with no tender dog following close behind to comfort its Master’s Heart.
And when Jesus rose on that Easter morn how happy He would have been
as His dog kissed His hands and barked its delight for The One who died for all men.
Well, the Lord has a dog now, I just sent Him mine; the old pal so dear to me
and I smile through my tears on this first day alone, knowing they’re in eternity.
Day after day, the whole day through, wherever my road inclined,
four feet said, “I am coming with you!” and trotted along behind.
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….