Sunday, January 08, 2012

The problem of stray dogs

Indi posted something on this here, I wrote this as a comment but it grew so long I decided to post it on my own blog.

There are a number of problems with stay dogs, because of their nature as pack animals and the tendency to chase things. People assume the problem is only about bites and rabies (which is a big problem in itself). Bite victims need to go through an painful process of injections (24 I think) which I believe is also expensive. Apart from this they are a cause of accidents by:

a. Running across roads causing motorists to swerve or brake, possibly losing control and hitting someone. Some I know has a friend who swerved to avoid a dog and killed a woman on the pavement.

b. They have a tendency to chase things, cyclists and motor cyclists are particularly vulnerable. A yapping dog at ones heels is very disturbing, the sudden barking tends to shock the rider and make him swerve, possibly into the path of other vehicles. I have experienced this myself. Although never bitten the barking has sent me all over the road, luckily without incident but I have friends who have plenty of broken bones as a result of dogs chasing them. There is an added danger at night on darkened roads (many of our roads are not properly lit): when the dog sees a light approaching, they sometimes jump at the light. Again, the dog landing on the handlebars sends the cyclist (or motorcyclist) crashing on to the road, who may get hit by a car from behind. Again I have a number of friends who have experienced this problem. I used to cycle everywhere for years and so did a lot of my friends.

c. Because they are pack animals and territorial they tend to congregate in certain spots. First there is one, then a few others gather and soon a pack is formed. The territory then becomes their own and they try to defend it whenever someone comes close by, barking and growling as a pack. This tendency tends to be heightened in the evenings when they are settling down. I have seen reports of patients being afraid to enter the Badulla hospital because there is a pack of dogs that is near the entrance and attempts to attack people.

Bottom line is animals in general should not be on the street. Another person I know is now in hospital with a broken leg after he ran into a black cow on an unlit road on his motorcycle.

Sterilisation has not worked, dogs breed too fast and its very difficult to sterilise them all. Miss a few and the population keeps growing. The CMC has been catching dogs for decades, there were always a few around but we never saw the large packs that we see today, post the no-cull policy. People don't want the CMC to kill the dogs but what should the solution be?

My suggestion is that genuine animal lovers should collect money, put up shelters and take the stray dogs off the streets and into care. Its expensive but if there is a will, there is a way. Letting them starve on the streets, foraging through garbage is not kindness and imposes huge costs on society. People should also be educated so that they do not abandon puppies, but hand them into the shelters.


papertrails said...

Killing dogs is NOT the solution, and yes sterilization and animal shelters will work.If all animal lovers pitch in i think we can resolve this without killing dogs. Humans don`t have the right to decide which animals that should live or not.

Jack Point said...

Papertrails, thanks for the comment. I have no problem with a no-kill policy.

My position is that the animals should not be allowed to wander the street, they should be taken and kept in shelters.

santhoshi said...

I totally agree with your post. I stopped walking at Independence Square because I saw a pack following an aunty she looked terriefied.
Just Last week there was a girl walking her dog in Queens road and a pack of dogs were following barking trying to disturb the dog she was walking. I was driving past and saw the girl throw something far off to distract the pack.

The packs of stray dogs are dangerous, and they have to be put in shelters.

Aria Milan said...

You bring up very good points. And you're right, they are pack animals and they do tend to congregate which can be extra scary for cyclists or pedestrians especially. I do feel killing dogs is not good but there are always consequences to certain blanket policies. Where there is a will, there is a way and hopefully there will be a way to deal with the issue of strays humanely.

Jack Point said...

Thanks for the comment and welcome to the blog.