Dog sterilization and vaccination is still to meet the minimum target.
Rajarajeshwari Nagar: Animal Birth Control (ABC) and Anti Rabies Vaccine (ARV) programmes has covered 12 percent of the total population of the dogs in Rajarajeshwari Nagar zone (RR Nagar zone), from when it started in September 2020.
Rajarajeshwari Nagar zone has the highest number of stray dogs (52,961), in Bangalore city, according to a 2019 census, conducted by the Goa-based Worldwide Veterinary Service Centre (WVSC). Recently, the ABC-ARV programme was extended to two wards, Jnana Bharathi and Laggere, in RR Nagar zone.
Shyam Bahadur Singh, who owns a paan shop at the corner of T-point on Laggere Bridge, RR Nagar zone said that he hasn’t seen any vehicle catching dogs since February 12.
Nischal, member of a residents’ welfare association, Shanthi Vidya Nagar, Jnana Bharathi, said, “Once they cover the main road of an area they don’t come back to check if there are any dogs left.”
ASRA (an animal welfare NGO) has received the contract from Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for ABC-ARV programme and started it on September 15, 2020. It initially began from Herohalli and is presently covering Kottigepalya and Ullalu. So far, 1,749 dogs have been sterilized and 2,899 dogs have been vaccinated in these three areas, shows the latest data of BBMP RR Nagar zone.
Assistant Director, BBMP RR Nagar, S.M Manjunath Shinde said that there are two vehicles to catch stray dogs in RR Nagar, which target around 60-80 stray dogs per day.
Naveen Kumar BV, a trustee of ASRA said, “We are working five days a week and using two vehicles every day to catch around 30 to 35 stray dogs in RR Nagar, as one vehicle has the capacity of bringing in only 15 dogs. BBMP has given us a target to catch 600 dogs per month, which should include 60 percent female dogs.” BBMP receives around five to 10 dog bite complaints in a month, he added.
The BBMP dog catchers don’t bother to look for dogs inside the area, said Nischal, “Dogs can smell if any danger is coming to them, so they vacate their territory, and BBMP squad ends up catching just a few dogs who roam on the main road of the area,” he added.
Nischal suggested that they should properly study the area and talk to local people before catching dogs.
Assistant Director, Shinde said that the number of neutered dogs in RR Nagar Zone is less because people don’t bring dogs to them. “It will be helpful, if public can bring stray dogs to us for sterilization, but it won’t help the drive if they continue to give them food and click pictures,” he added.
“The public is not aware about such programmes,” said Dr. Pednekar, veterinarian with CUPA (Compassion Unlimited Plus Action). He further said that there should be awareness programmes from village level to state level and should include schools and colleges. “These programmes will eventually go a long way. In such awareness programmes doctors and professionals must be present,” he added.