This year, in May, over three dozen people in Srinagar have been mauled over by stray dogs. Many of the victims were seriously injured. The canines went on a biting rampage and unleashed their fury on hapless passersby without any provocation. Earlier this year, another fifty fell prey to their fright. This had resulted in a near curfew like situation.
Presently, up in arms are animal rights activist against harming animals that hurt humans are the animal welfare organizations. For them the paramount importance is the welfare of animals. But serious questions arise when they start mauling kids to death. Given that we have death penalty for humans who kill other humans, therefore, it is still not correct to euthanize them.
A dog dies a natural death if it is suffering from rabies but one that is not and critically injures human beings is led to a dog pound where the care taker is at its mercy. There is the argument that only when humans drive them to a point where they have no option but to retaliate, they behave in such a manner. Dogs have been known to attack teenagers and at times, adults and injuring them fatally. However, ne should ask, what has led to such a situation. Why canines become aggressive?
Animal rights activist suggest that when canines perceive that food is being withdrawn from them, they become aggressive, even though the sufferer might have unintentionally come between the dog and its food. With mounting worry for hygiene, the refuse is left in bins and often removed, leaving little or no food for them. Anything that seems like prey to them and they feel they can restrain, becomes the next victim. A dog that has been injured or is not in the pink of health will get agitated at the slightest irritant, just as we tend to snap when we are unwell. Even when there is no threat to a dog’s wellbeing or his food, he still may attack.
So, what needs to be done is that can save children from incurring the dog’s wrath is educate kids to stay away from spots where dogs roam freely and ask municipal authorities or animal rights activists to put stray dogs away in dog pound. Kids should be trained not to seem scared and to lower their eyes without making any eye contact. If he accidently comes face to face with one, they should be trained not to run, as this would be the worst thing to do. Running will reaffirm the dog that you are frightened, therefore, fit to be prey. Remember, one should not make any swift movements; one needs to back away slowly.
Aditi Garg, a member of team Halabol Team . She has written several articles for Halabol on different issues such as; animal rights, animal welfare, social campaign, education, health, environment, youth affairs and online Petitions.