Times of India
Sub: Regarding poll on stray dogs
I am writing to you with regard to a poll being conducted by the Times of India regarding stray dogs. It seems to be nothing more than an attempt to create more divisiveness in terms of; whether one loves stray dogs, hates or is neutral towards them. I will rather put all these under just one category; fellow humans, who need to come together, no matter what their emotional opinion is, to arrive at a solution, i.e. spay and neuter, instead of just cribbing about an issue. Let me elaborate how.
Based on the scientific recommendations of the World Health Organisation, the Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme is meant to be the bridge and the common point of consensus that brings the entire community together, regardless of like or dislike for stray dogs, to engage in their sterilisation, in order to learn to live harmoniously with them as a part of the community. The programme has not been made to please the animal/stray dog lovers but to control the spread of and eradicate rabies, which is a public health matter. Thus, being a public health programme that ultimately benefits mankind, participation of the community is a must for the ABC programme to be successful.
Those who do not like strays often end up resorting to the most barbaric methods to eliminate them. Other than being an inhumane and illegal approach, killing and removal of stray dogs is an impractical stop gap arrangement. We cannot wipe off any species even from the smallest ecological unit until and unless nature wants to. Killing and removal of stray dogs is never going to create a stray dog free zone. On the contrary, it is counterproductive as it increases the dog population. That is how the dog dynamics work, wherein a new pack of unsterilised stray dogs, unfamiliar to the area and humans, come to occupy the vacuum and proliferate, making the situation back to square one. Therefore, it makes sense to direct all our energies and efforts towards science and humane approach, i.e., sterilisation, that first contains, then stabilises and eventually reduces the stray dog population.
In a world that is gradually losing on compassion, the last thing we need is fanning more hatred and divisiveness in our society.
If we really want to address the issue of stray dogs, we first have to let go of the stubborn hate filled mindset towards strays and stop promoting cynophobia.
I expect Times of India to be a part of the solution.
Dr. Kuhu Roy
Clinical nutritionist | India’s first certified pet loss grief specialist | Author 5 steps to harmonious living with stray dogs | Director Bridging Rainbows Foundation
PS: As a woman, I am far more concerned about my safety as sexual predators and rapists roam free.
#straydogs #spayandneuter #compassion