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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

stray dogs menace ...... and cynophobia.. !!

Heard of ~ Cynophobia ! Dogs are considered man’s best ally and among the most sought after pets ~ to some they bring endless joy and fun. For some they are too scary…. One shudders to think of walking alone in by-lanes especially in the night time, when suddenly a stray dog starts barking, making a few more join and perhaps giving a chase…..too scary…

I had earlier posted on the public interest litigation filed at the Madras High Court Bench in Madurai seeking to control the stray dog menace in the city. The petitioner pleaded for direction to authorities to  administer “fatal injection” to the dogs afflicted by rabies in order to control the dog menace.  There 2 women died in successive days due to rabies’ infection. In Chennai there were news of a 4 year old and another 5 year old girls becoming victims of stray dog menace in Washermanpet.  Another was attacked by her neighbour’s dog within RK Nagar police limits.  

A recent report in TOI is scares one more … it states that there is - :  1 stray for every 57 people in city……  here is the article reproduced:  Some flee at their sight, others feed them. Whichever side you are on on the great stray dog divide, you are likely to see a lot of them on the streets. And now, the city corporation tells you how many: 82,336 as on May 30, 2014. 

The first dog census in the city shows there is one stray for every 57 citizens. “In most places, the ratio is one dog for every 35 people, but there are also cities like Mumbai where the ratio is 1:60, and Jaipur where there is one dog per 100 people,“ said Chinni Krishna, vice-president, Animal Welfare Board of India. In Chennai, Shollinganallur has the largest number of canines roaming the streets -around 9,000. Royapuram recorded the lowest at 1,500. Extended areas of the city have more strays. “Earlier, we estimated the community dog population at 1.7 lakh; the numbers have drastically come down,“ said a corporation official. The dogs were counted to strengthen the animal birth control programme. “Now we know which area has the maximum population. From merely responding to complaints, we can set a target everyday to catch dogs, sterilize them and release them back at the same place,“ the official said. The canines were enumerated on May 30 across 426sqkm of the city.

Workers from the health department, sanitary officers, garbage cleaners and sweepers carried out the exercise. “Now a team of veterinary doctors and officers will crosscheck and validate the census. That will take 10 days, so the numbers may see a marginal variation,“ a corporation official said. Prior to this, a trial drive was conducted in Thiru-Vi-Ka Nagar zone where workers counted 3,300 strays. The number of deaths due to rabies has been decreasing since 1996, when the corporation adopted the animal birth control-anti rabies programme. There were 120 deaths due to rabies reported that year. “As many as 135 dogs were killed every day in 1996,“ said Krishna.

Statistics being statistics may never give the scared person any solace …. One really do not know whether to look at the dog; or avoid eyeball contact; move stealthily or run – as the mongrel approaches………   downunder in Australia, there is news that 4 dogs will be put down after a vicious attack that’s put a young man with disabilities in hospital.  Following an incident at Tamborine Mountain Road, the dogs - three Rottweilers and a Rottweiler-cross - were surrendered voluntarily to council rangers. The Council stated that the victim, 23, was knocked off his mobility scooter when the attacked happened. It further states that “As the animals were surrendered, not seized or impounded, they will be euthanised.”

I am no great fan of dogs ~ do not suffer from ‘cynophobia’ though… Cynophobia is the abnormal fear of dogs.  It is classified as a specific phobia, under the subtype "animal phobias”. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

15th July 2014

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