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  Home >> Animal Issues - Dogs >> Stray Dogs


Also see Stray Dogs - Recommendations to Municipal Corporations 
Pro-killing stray dog responses - anti-sterilisation 
                  Pro-stray dog responses e.g. sterilisation, cleanliness 
              Committees for stray dogs  
              Gandhiji's writings on the stray dog issue, in his paper Young India 
              Animal Birth Control responsible for decline in human rabies cases 
              WHO technical report on rabies Seris931-part1 (PDF file) 
              Nov 22: Tues - meeting reg. stray dogs 

              Animal Welfare Organisations - Dogs 

Dog Control Rules, 2001 
              Dog Population Management & Canine Rabies Control 
              MRTI probe into stray dog control issue

Stray Dogs

Sep 1: two children killed by stray dogs

Stree Mukti Sanghtana
31 Shramik,Royal crest, L.T. V. Rd. Dadar (East), mumbai 400014
Tel. 55745848, 24174381

Recently two children were killed by stray dogs near Deonar Dumping ground. BMC
has expressed its inability to take any action in this matter. Stree Mukti
Sanghatana has organised a meeting of citizens to discuss this burning issue on
1st september 2005 at 5 p.m. at the above address. All are cordially invited.

Sharada Sathe
Stree Mukti Sanghatana

response 1: stray dogs

Dear friends   

  1. Animal lovers feed the stray dogs in the compound/vicinity. This has to be stopped first. The stray Dogs stay because they know that they can get food very easily. If animal lovers want to feed then they must keep dogs in their house.
  2. The female dogs should not be allowed to produce by removing their uterus. The birth control measures have to be followed strictly
  3. Municipality must be summoned and the stray dogs have to be lifted without any hindrance from animal lovers. Each time BMC catch, these people approach them to bring back the Dogs captured by them.  

Thanks and best regards

Anthony D’ Souza


As I am unable to attending working, hence giving my candid views, as I too suffered the same fate, only I did not die.
About 2 years ago, my office just behind Chooti Durgha, Near Paramount Resturant, Mahim West, I had just arrived outside the small lane adjacenet to Chhoti Durga. when I felt some scratching on my legs, those days I use to wear dresses, a minute later I screamed with pain, a stray dog had bitten me, not once but 3 bites on one leg and not releasing my leg. I in a dazed fashion, suffering from shock, I screamed my lungs out, I saw a piece of my torn flesh on the ground. Would you believe, none helped only looked. Time was 9 am weekday. Finally  a male colleague heard my hysterical crying, heard across the road 2 blocks away, God  bless his soul, is no more and two three motor mechanics near adjacent garage picked me up and took me to Hinduja Hospital, telling me, don't worry you are like our sister, we are there to help you. I was given an injection. and told to lie down. The dog had missed my vein by 1/4 inch, they told me I was lucky to be alive, but I was bleeding till 3 am next morning. with a large bucket ful of blood soaked tissues.
Since this dog was really bad , maybe rabied  type, I developed pus in my leg which flowed heavily  for 10 days, and initially my family doctor told me, If it does not heal, we may have to amputate your leg. I prayed, lord how can i come to work while traveling in bus and train to reach my work place, Fortunately my leg was spared. My office people had complained to BMC, nothing much done. Few days later, one child was bitten and then one of my senior boss's daughter, was the next victim. People told me do not wear dresses, when these mad dogs see any human flesh in the monsoon, when they are in heat, they bite, hence now completely swtiched over to sulvar kameez, thanks to the dog, who dictated what I could wear to work, even if it's pouring heavily.
BMC needs to clear Metro of strays, as most of them could be rabied type, and innocent lives can be saved.
You won't believe I spent a whopping Rs. 7,000/- towards medical treatment , Doctors fees for dressing in 10 days at home, going on Sick leave.  Fortunately I got most of the amount reimbursed. 
Thank you for allowing me to speak my mind in your forum.
Yours faithfully,
Ms Shirin Chaina  (THDC Ltd.)

response 3: stray mukti vs. stree mukti --- stray dogs

The action regarding the said matter lies with BMC only and they cannot run
away from same.There is an absolute need to control the no. of stray dogs as
they are getting harmful for mankind in mumbai and BMC has to take adequate
steps to control them. It's their duty in regards to welfare of citizens. In
my view serious steps need to be taken by BMC to eliminate old, infected
dogs completely as well stop reproduction in dogs. Any thing in excess is
toxic and to maintain the ecosystem balance, we have to take these man made
steps to prevent society from increasing dog accidents before they become

There is nothing inhuman in this or against animals welfare.

Manisha Vagal
Executive Assistant
Cell :932480 5505

response 4: stray dogs

Let me know how can I help? I find the laws ridiculous, where animal rights are deemed more important than children's safety.
Can we do something? What's the solution?

response 5: Stray dogs

The general environmental issues affecting the residents of area copntiguous to the Deonar dumping Ground has been a long standing issue without any positive governmental a responsive corrective action.

The fact that the lackadaiscial attoitude of the authorities has now led to the sad demise of two children only highlights the enormity of derelection of their duty and sheer callousness of the authorities towards their own moral and ethical srtandards.

added to this must be an apparent fact that the children must be some of those rag pickers and not the darling siblings of any of these highbrow scums.

It is time that organisations like your and karmayog and PUCL agitate to ensure that the Corporators of the affected Area are made answerable if not accountable.

Thanks for offering me a chance to react.


response 6: children killed by street dogs

It was terrible hearing about the children. While I would like further details before I can make any specific comment, I can only say that all of us who are interested in finding a solution to the issue of street dogs must be aware of certain facts.

One: the killing of dogs on the street has been going on for over a hundred years. In Chennai, for example, first records of dogs being killed (usually shot by the Collector or the Chief of Police) goes back to 1860.

Two: If the reason for this is to control either the number of dogs on the street or the incidence of rabies in humans, it has been a spectacular failure since both have shown a steady rise in spite of greater numbers of dogs being killed each year.

Three: Whereever the killing of dogs have stopped and replaced with a proper sterilize-vaccinate-and-release programme, the incidence of rabies and the number of dogs on the street have shown a decline. In Chennai, the killing stopped completely on a city-wide basis in Sept 1996. From a high of 120 rabies deaths in 1996, the number of deaths has come down to FIVE in 2003. Results in Jaipur, Kalimpong, Vizag, Bangalore and other places where there is an ABC programme in place show similar results.

The attached paper will give more details.

With warm regards.

Dr. S. Chinny Krishna

response 7: children and stray dogs








Response 8: stray dogs - lose-lose situation

The situation

Killing of animals is banned by law. The ban was implemented owing to the inhumane way in which animals were being killed. This is an important issue, the ban however fails to achieve the objective of humane treatment of animals. Only yesterday, I saw a car run over a small pup, seriously injuring it. The animal has been limping around in pain since then. This happens all the time. All strays are diseased and malnourished.
Meanwhile the strays cause a health hazard and traffic hazard and cause human suffering and, in this extreme case, even death.
The proposed solution, animal birth control methods, is unviable due to the fact that (a) all civic authorities are basically incapable of doing anything* (b) the problem to be dealt with is huge.
Thus we have a lose-lose situation, usually the result of all Indian legislation.
The solution
1) Repeal the law
2) City to set-up a dog-catcher certification course in consultation with animal NGOs - this course should provide the equipment and brief training to anyone who wishes to catch dogs. [what should this course contain? i am not an expert, here's one idea. use blowguns, like those used by s.american indians, with darts tipped with a sedative. blowguns and darts should be cheap, sedatives may have to be provided by govt.]. the course should have a fee.
3) Pay certified dog-catchers for every dog caught alive. no reward for dead/injured dogs.
4) Dogs remain in civic dog-pound for a certain period of time. IF any NGO wants to save the animals or perform birth control procedure on it, they have to buy the dogs from the city and do the needful. All dogs in dog-pound after a certain time period (1 week?) will be destroyed using a barbiturate injection/dart.
Thinking behind this solution.
No point in expecting corporation to do something that they clearly can't. By "out-sourcing" the dog-catching part, there is a chance it might work. NGOs should be given a chance to "do the right thing" and save an animal from death BUT if they are unable to handle the load, then you ensure that people dont suffer and the dog dies. NGO can use this as a strong message to animal lovers "help us with funds and/or your time, else an animal dies. simple!"
I am trying to think of all ways in which people and authorities will try and subvert the system. NGOs will have to keep an eye on civic authorities. Demand that they keep records and publish them. Keep the price of the course and the reward such that a person/org can make a decent amount of money but not too much (to prevent someone from trucking in dogs from somewhere just to collect a reward). animals on which birth control surgery is performed should be marked with fluorescent dye. obviously no reward for catching it. (use a somewhat expensive and hard to get dye, to prevent people from "saving dogs" by marking them).
- Ranjit
* note on civic authorities
when we complained about strays in our area, we were asked if it was okay to poison the dogs. when asked how they would do this, they said that they would leave poison pellets (pedhe) in the vicinity. this shows that (a) they are quite willing to break the law (2) they seemed quite unconcerned about kids eating the poison by mistake.
when we opted for them to capture the dogs instead, we were first asked for money (albeit quite gently). we suggested a reward for each dog captured. one man in chappals and about 3-feet of rope proceeded to try and catch the dogs. as you can imagine, this was a laughable display. at the end of about an hour he finally captured one old dog after a struggle. it was a minor miracle that he didnt get bitten.
there are three things needed to be able to do a job well (at least)
  1. motivation
  2. training
  3. equipment
no prizes for guessing which of these they possess.

response 9- dogs also have the right to live

God has given right to  live, produce childs to every living species.

We have no rights to kill or sterlize any one without its permission.  so sterilization of dogs is a crime.

and if any one is dying due to dogs, it may be the wish of GOD.

response 10: stray dogs - from ex-hospital manager of Bombay SPCA

I was the hospital manager of the Bombay SPCA including the BSDP Hospital for Animals, Parel, Mumbai for almost 10 years. It was during that time that the Animal Birth Control/Anti-Rabies (ABC/AR) program was started in Mumbai.

>From the very beginning, we had maintained that the biggest cause of stray dog problem in Mumbai was the heaps and heaps of uncleared garbage that is found in every street in this city. This garbage provides food for not only stray dogs but also stray cats, rats and pigs, thus spreading disease and also causing the conflict between stray dogs and people.

The BMC has to put a stop to this and ensure that people who are found littering the streets are heavily fined, thus ensuring that they do not do so in future.

Also, the ABC/AR program, if it is to succeed, has to be greatly increased, to keep abreast with the number of births that are taking place.

I would like to hear comments on this.

With regards,

Supriya Bose

response 11: stray dogs - end-point to be decided by nature or mankind?

Here are my views. An acquantaince whom I knew was very actively involved in sterilising dogs in 2002-2004. He said since the dogs will end up giving birth sooner or later, the tribe of strays will increase, and too many of these strays have no food to eat, they end up fighting and killing one another, hence to put an end to it we can sterilise them. I was not in favor of that move and didn't join that cause. I have no idea how successful their cause was. I did not keep track of it.

But what I do wonder now is- isn't there any other solution to this problem? Yes strays do cause menace and children getting  killed by them is horrific but at the same time who are we to disrupt nature's balance? By making sure that they don't reproduce, aren't we going against the laws of nature? Can we think of any other solutions?


response 12: stray dogs - human, enviro & animal rights experts needed
I am referring to the case of the children killed by stray dogs at the Deonar dumping grounds. As a mother of a child I can thoroughly and truly feel the anguish that the children have gone through. I pray that no child or adult has to face this destiny ever.

However I must also congratulate Stree Mukti Sanghtana on taking up this issue and addressing it with the public. It is no doubt the most important issue to be addressesd as on today. I will hope that as a fair and just NGO they will take into account all the sides of the issue, like why two children as young as them had to be in a dumping ground in the first place, whether we have any social responsibility towards that end, why there are stray dogs roaming that area, since strays will not find any garbage dump interesting if vermiculture is practised there, and why the dumping ground is open to people and animals alike. I also hope they will  have on the panel,human, environment and animal rights experts together. Because the absence of any one of them would leave the discussion lopsided.

And then when this issue is dealt with, and all stray dogs have been verbally sent to the gallows, I will hope Stree Mukti Sanghtana will also call for city wide stirs against rampant truck driving which has squashed a 3 year old baby girl yesterday at Mira Road and the police came only after the SP was contacted, the Municipality showed up only 5 and a half hours after the incident, and the issues of young girls being abducted in broad daylight, and deaths of street children by starving..the death list by accidents is endless, but unlike the stray dog incident which is a "stray" incident, these are happening daily everywhere.

I wish the meeting to be a success.
For Thane SPCA
Shakuntala Majumdar

response 13: stray dogs - was it really due to them?

As soon as we come to know about the dog bite incident, we send out team over there & we investigated this matter & we did not find a substantial fact of Dog bite to the children. Out Ambulance went there & have picked up 14 dogs for sterilization.

Please note that, as soon as this incident reported to Vice President of IN DEFENCE OF ANIMALS, Ms. Fizzah Shah; immediately all the 14 Stray Dogs from Deonar Dumping Ground area have been sterilized at IDA’s Dog Center & they
have been vaccinated against Rabies Virus. 

Thanking you,
Sincerely yours
Fizzah Shah: Vice President: IDA

response 14: Stray Dogs

It has been interesting to read the regular mails about the stray dog issue on karmayog over the last few months. I for one am definitely better informed about this pressing civic problem than I used to be. However I do feel there is a general tendency to react emotionally rather than rationally on this subject.

The latest development, of a citizens' meeting to discuss the problem, prompted me to write this  message. Any normal human being must feel outrage and horror at the tragic death of children caused by stray dogs. However, in the inevitable search for a scapegoat, responsible citizens should not overlook the extent to which each of us is to blame. Since dogs eat garbage, large amounts of garbage quite simply translates into larger numbers of dogs.
Moreover most social workers will have noticed that people living in slums often encourage stray dogs by keeping them as pets. If we, as socially conscious citizens of Mumbai, consent to the proliferation of garbage and slums, we are responsible for creating the huge stray dog population as well. Moreover the BMC declaring its helplessness is simply not acceptable, particularly as the BMC actually added to the garbage in this case by leaving cattle carcasses at the site.

Some years ago, when the Thane Municipal Corporation was regularly killing stray dogs by poisoning, a little boy was mauled and almost killed by a pack of stray dogs. I am glad to read mails today about the Thane Municipal Corporation having high targets for sterilising stray dogs. Perhaps they should offer their insight to the BMC and concerned citizens so a permanent solution can be found.

Mandar Dhamdhere

response 15: stray dogs
I am a 17 year old, college going student . I am an animal-lover and regularly interact with stray dogs.

Till date i have never been bitten. All the street dogs in my area have been sterilised and none of them cause any harm or nuisance. 
Coming to the issue of the incident where some dogs attacked humans, I think if the former had been sterilised, this incident would not have taken place.

Thus I feel that sterilisation is the key to such issues.
Prachi Vakharia

Response 16: Stray Dogs - here's a detailed FAQ

Please accept my deepest concerns for the safety of citizens from stray dogs attacks. The issue has many angles to take into concern. Hence I have put together a number of frequently asked questions. I hope they will shed some light on the solution to the problem. It is vast and complex and needs everyone's involvement and co-operation. The biggest help in this case will actually be the dog himself. Not the ones that attack and bite humans. But the ones that are devoted and give their life for us, the ones that gave the term "Man's best friend."
I live in Hyderabad and will not be able to participate - hence the attachment as a contribution. There are many animal welfare groups on Mumbai who can help.
With sincere regards
Amala Akkineni

FAQ’s about strays……….

By Amala Akkineni

Blue Cross of Hyderabad

 Some frequently sparked questions about stray dogs:

 It is common for people to demand frantic explanations concerning their trauma with stray animals. “ What are you doing about the stray dogs?” or “What are you doing about the monkeys?” or “I hate the way you are helping those wretched creatures – the dogs- they don’t let me sleep at night! Why don’t you help people instead?”  I sympathies that stray animals can pose threat to people and it is important we know how to deal with them. So I have rephrased the questions into more appropriate ones dealing specifically with the problems in the hope that readers will be wiser in their efforts to interact with strays. Alone nothing can be done, but together we can do something constructive to create safe and healthy communities.  Please read on….

(Forgive the repetitions that are essential to get the point across.)

Q1. Two Children were killed by street dogs. Don’t you think it is time that all the dogs were rounded up and destroyed humanely for the safety of human beings?

Ans: If that was a solution it would have been done and completed by now and there would be no street dogs. But it does not work , never has and never will, because we have external garbage disposal. Kill the local dogs and new ones will appear within days. The new ones cause more threat because they do not know you, could be aggressive, rabid, roam in packs and attack. The familiar community dogs however, if made safe and docile through screening, sterilization and vaccination, make the community safe by keeping out new dogs from entering. They are very territorial by nature. The World Health Organization , UN, recommends this and where ever it has been implemented it has worked wonders. The community dogs become an asset to the community and provide Rabies free zones. But wherever killing has been resorted to the dog attacks and bites grow in number and Rabies is still rampant. Humane destruction is necessary, but only for the dogs that attack and bite or show aggression. The others need to be protected to protect the community.

Q2. I can’t sleep at night. The dogs bark and no one seems to do anything when I complain. What are you doing about the dogs?

Ans: A more appropriate question would be “What can you do?” That’s the perfect question because the truth is that if you can’t sleep, no one else will be concerned except you. So here is what you can do: Firstly you must have the entire locality cleared of garbage. Garbage breeds strays. Remove the garbage and they automatically migrate elsewhere for food. Then you need to find out if the dogs barking at night are street dogs or pet dogs. The loudest, throaty barks come from large breeds like German shepherds. The guarding pets usually start off the barking and their little street cousins join in to deter sinister intruders at night.  They are actually doing a very important job in your neighborhood.  If it’s someone’s pet then there is nothing you can do. However, you can get yourself a pair of sponge ear plugs like the one’s on the airlines. They do a marvelous job of shutting out any disturbing sounds and give you a good night’s sleep as well- dogs or no dogs!

Q3. There are a number of dogs roaming on my street. Some seem to be having litters of puppies. I am concerned that they are multiplying and will overpopulate and cause severe problems later on. What can I do?

Ans: Good question. Firstly clear all the garbage. People often deny garbage when I say this but truth is there has to be garbage if there are strays. Look for hidden dumps in empty plots, or someone feeding them. Then, try to befriend them. The most difficult thing is to catch a stray dog. They can tell well before and run away to hide when the dog van arrives. By befriending them- placing food out regularly etc- you gain their confidence and have a certain idea about how many dogs there are, where they hang out, what is the temperament, what condition they are in, etc. If you can’t do it get someone like a gardener or watch man to do this. Thereafter you need to call the MCH dog pound and request for them to catch, sterilize and vaccinate the dogs. If they are too busy, request them to send the dogs to Blue Cross for the procedure. Once sterilized and vaccinated the dogs will form a stable population and a Rabies free zone posing no threat to your community. The puppies can be sent along with the mother to Blue Cross and put into our adoption programme. One may be misled to think that the dogs can be taken away somewhere else to solve the problem. This is impossible for new dogs arrive within days and take their place posing worse threat then the familiar ones.

Q4. I don’t want the dogs on the street. They should be locked up somewhere for the rest of their lives. What are you doing about this?

Ans: We are not planning anything of the sort because it is not practical at all. Allow me to inform you that the number of dogs in your street is directly proportionate to the garbage. Remove one lot of dogs and a new lot will arrive in days! If your solution was feasible there would be no stray animals. Yet after killing and removing dogs for decades all over India, we still have stray animals. The newly arrived dogs have no affection for the community- they could attack, bite and even carry rabies. This is also why there are increasing numbers of bites and dogs attacks- everyday there are people getting bitten despite the killing! So whether you like it or not it is better to have a safe friendly population of community dogs on the street that will protect the community from new maybe dangerous dogs from entering. We do sterilize and vaccinate stray dogs and cats for a fee if you wish to bring your locality dogs to us for the procedure. But the community has to take responsibility for their local dogs first.

Q5. The MCH never answer my complaints. They say you are not letting them remove the dogs. Why are you interfering?

Ans: Yes, I too wonder why they give you that impression. If you pay Municipal taxes then you deserve their service. However perhaps you complaint was vague or unreasonable. Did you complain that the dogs are barking at night? If so, what do you expect MCH to do? Please get yourself a pair of ear plugs and sleep well. Or did you complain that you did not want dogs on the street? If so, again there is nothing anyone can do. Remove the existing dogs and you will have a new lot within a few days because of the garbage. The new ones are more vicious and aggressive then the earlier ones because they do not have any regard for the community. Or did you complain that the dogs are biting? Well if you did and they gave you the lame answer that we are not allowing them to do anything- then you should have noted down the name of the employee and sent it with an official complaint letter to the MCH Commissioner immediately. It is the duty of the dog squad to remove any animal that is aggressive and a threat to the community. If they refuse to do so they must be reported to senior authorities.

 Q5. There are a pack of large dogs that are very vicious and frightening, that follow me on my evening walk. What can I do? I do not want them hurt or killed.

Ans: That is very considerate of you. But your concern may be misplaced. For the sake of a few aggressive dogs the entire human and dog community can be at threat. You must call the MCH dog pound and complain. The threatening dogs must be removed and destroyed humanely. When a dog starts biting or chasing, the local people complain about all the dogs in fear and the entire lot are removed and killed. They do not realize that new dogs will soon take their place posing more threat. The key is to get involved and ensure that only the aggressive ones, or the culprit is caught and removed. If you simply leave it to the dog catchers they will catch and remove the gentle friendly ones instead for the sake of answering the complaint. Are you willing to stand by and show them the dogs and help them catch the ones causing harm? If you do this your community can be safe again.

 To solve stray animal problems in the community here are a few important tips:


  1. Have all garbage cleared regularly. Garbage breeds strays.
  2. Try to befriend the local strays to enable them to be caught, sterilized and vaccinated.
  3. A safe population of friendly community dogs will not allow new dogs to enter the area that could carry rabies.
  4. Report any dog that is attacking, biting or showing aggression. Humane destruction is necessary, but only for these dogs. The others need to be protected to protect the community.
  5. A community volunteer can keep an eye on the general health of the local dogs, repeating the anti rabies vaccinations annually. Blue Cross can help you with this.
  6. Call Blue Cross for advice. If you seek our help, we can help provided you are willing to take the responsibility.

Important phone numbers:

Blue Cross of Hyderabad: 23544355, 23545523

MCH Dog Pound: 24617017

Amala Akkineni
Yoga Jyoti
Saptaparni Center
21, Rd.# 8 Banjara Hills
Ms.Sunita: 55667707 Or
Tel: 924687 5040 for enquiries / booking class

response 17: Stray Dog Incident in Mumbai

I live in Bangalore not Mumbai but the problems faced with stray dogs are universal. We have several stray dogs in our area  and they hang out in vacant lots where a lot of waste and rubbish has accumulated. I do think the issue of waste disposal and sterilisation has to be simultaneously handled by the responsible authorities to get rid of the menace.

While we are are on this subject, I wish animal lovers wouldn't get overemotional on this issue. While I am all for animal rights, I
definitely want the right for my children and me to be able to walk freely on the streets without being bitten or mauled by a rabid dog.

I also wish dog owners would put their dogs on leashes while taking them for a walk and not allow them to roam around freely. I do like dogs but from a distance!

Priya Anand

response 18: stray dogs

Yes, Sterilised dogs become less aggressive.

Anuradha Sawhney

Peta India

Response 19: stray dogs - My support, my ideas

Namashkaar to all Karmayog members..

I'm a development professional currently working with a Government Department in Chhattisgarh. I've been a member of Karmayog since past 5 months or so. Though i've never worked in Mumbai, i like reading the responses and feel impressed by the kind of enthusiasm the members show in addressing social and developmental issues.

Upon the stray dog issue, I feel solutions are much above the level in which the municipal corporations usually think on. Well, I, being an animal-lover myself, have always felt strongly upon the fact that these Indian stray dogs are really intelligent and smart, apart from being affectionate and extremely loyal. The poor creatures are always seen as a source of menace and their innate appreciable characteristics are never considered.

People would rather feel proud moving around with a lap pomerian or daschund than any of our local ones. While I can bet our local ones are any day at par with the Videshi Boxers or Alsatians in being watch-dogs. Moreover, they look much better (when healthy)!! And what's better than the fact that they can survive all the worse conditions of Indian living. The Indian police also must seriously consider including them in their team of search dogs. training them would certainly make them more useful.

well, i dont know if my mail sounds amusing, but I have conviction in saying that they are not just 'menace', but of serious use and very much a part of our lives.

Thanks for reading. I welcome honest remarks on this.

response 20: Stray Dogs - perspective of an American in Mumbai

I am impressed with the recent few emails regarding this issue. they are very well informed and give very accurate information about the dog situation.  Unfortunately though, there are a lot of people out there that pass on age old stereotypes and misinformation regarding strays and why they exist and why they act as they do. We must each do our part to educate ourselves and spread that on through our family and friends!
Disclosure: I am an animal lover and I am "one of those" that feeds stray dogs/cats in my area.  I am also a foreigner living here and have a much different perspective on the state of affairs here and how PEOPLE, not organizations can go about making small changes on a daily basis.
The real issues thati think that need to be addressed are:
1. Sterilizing all dogs/cats as soon as possible, from a government level, not just NGO level, and also initiated from a local resident level.

Sterilization:I understand people's religious views against sterilization or interfering in mother nature, but if you ever hope to live in a city that is not overrun by dogs, then you must put some of your own personal issues aside and think of the greater good of your city and community.

  • Sterilization and/or capture are the only real options for these animals.  It is difficult often times to catch the pack dogs to sterilize them. But when they are caught, they should be sterilized and then kept in animal shelters where they can be either trained or just kept away from the public where they could harm people. Through mass sterilization campaigns you will find the incidence of strays decline year after year. Killing of dogs does not generally affect the overall population.  And random sterilization will also have little effect. 
2. Educating people on the difference between packs and solitary strays

A distinction needs to be made between the neighborhood stray dogs and the PACKS of dogs.  the neighborhood stray dogs are usually very docile and gentle and are only looking for attention and love.  If a dog puts its leg on you, it is wanting your attention, not wanting to hurt you.  Feeding these dogs has absolutely NO impact on whether they attack humans or not.  A well fed and well treated dog is 99% more likely to treat ALL passerbys gently.

On the other hand, the packs of stray dogs are dangerous and scary  - even to those of us who handle strays often.  The precense of these dogs does not depend on people giving food - in my experience the wild dogs will not even accept food from people and run away when approached (or bark and cause a ruckus). These dogs are very wild, raised in packs and continue to live in packs, much like their ancestors, the wolf.  And yes, these dogs are typically located around garbage dumps.

3. Educating people on the ill effects of abusing animals
  • the more you abuse animals, the more aggressive and unpredictable they become
  • Once an animal has recieved constant beatings from passerbys, they tend to get shy and sometimes aggressive when they are scared. 
  • Think about your own actions - how do you react when you are scared? 
4. Putting some responsibity in the hands of local residents on "their" strays
  • for example, there used to be 12 stray dogs in my little lane of 5 buildings. They were all sterilized many years back and now, through normal life on the roads, there are only 2 dogs left.

This is not just an "Animal NGO" issue. This is your issue. If you see a liter of pups born in your neighborhood, please call your local animal NGO and make them aware that there are new pups that need to be sterilized. If you notice a female dog in the area that often gives birth, again call your local group to have that dog sterilized.  YOU have to start to take responsibility for YOUR enviornment. You cannot always sit back and blame the bad state of affairs on the government or others. It is your responsibility as well.

On a side issue:
Furthermore, If your street is dirty - get a collection of money from residents and hire a local person from the slums to clean your street daily/weekly.  Collect money to put up a garbage can or several in your area.
Yes, the ideal situation would be for the government to be doing these things, but since they aren't you must take responsibility for your area. 
And as Gandhi said:  Be the change you want to see in the world.
and  my favorite -
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
Thanks for providing a forum for letting people share their own thoughts and opinions. Obviously the stray dog issue is very controversial, but with education and information dissemination I think real progress can be made.

response 21: stray dogs!

I see that this stray dogs is quite a big topic these days. And I also see many misconceptions amongst the general public.

There is a rule for any living species ­ the population will always be a little more than the food supply available. Even if all the stray dogs in the Mumbai municipal areas were killed or removed, their places would be taken by dogs from the surroundings. Killing has been tried in some municipalities and has failed miserably for this reason. Therefore Ranjit Gadgil¹s solution is likely to fail even though it sounds perfect. The number of dogs is dependent on food available and not on how or if they are removed. Even if the stray dog population did artificially go down, the rat population would go up since the dogs feed on rats too.

Sterilization of dogs will not dramatically reduce numbers but will reduce the suffering from starvation and disease.

Those who really detest dogs can help reduce their numbers just by finding ways to reduce the street garbage. In Pondicherry they cleaned up a section of the city and the number of stray dogs automatically reduced. This means every citizen in Mumbai is responsible for the stray dog population.

In reference to Prachi¹s statement about sterilized dogs not biting and Vinay¹s question regarding it ­ there are 2 factors. Dogs competing for a mate are more territorial and bark and fight more. Sterilisation makes dogs calmer and they are usually vaccinated against rabies, which makes them safer.

Before we comment on dogs being in excess and upsetting the balance we should also look at what other species is doing the same, even to a greater extent.

However after reading all the mails it seems that this is one issue where everyone wants the same end goal ­ the dog lovers want to reduce the numbers so that the dogs don¹t suffer and the dog haters want to reduce the numbers so that they don¹t suffer. The dog lovers are already doing their part by doing the sterilizations. Dog haters, please do your part.

Nandita Shah

Response 22: stray dogs -- vinay's stray thoughts

Some random thoughts on issues such as this stray dog one.

How would the world be if the numbers increase or decrease?
The estimate of stray dogs currently in Mumbai is two lakhs.
What would it be like if the numbers were to become five or twenty lakhs?
What would it be like if the numbers were to become five thousand or twenty thousand?
Accordingly, which seems to be the range that is optimal or agreeable or desirable?
Accordingly, what are the different ways to move towards those numbers?
Who should be the ones to decide this?
People's attitudes towards dogs would need to be identified. Also percentage of population in each.
Here's a wild and wrong guess.
   5% -- irrational dog lovers (presumably, the dog welfare ngo's, etc. -- the "blinded by love" situation)
 30% -- rational dog lovers (pet owners, some of the ngo's, etc. - those who can accept others' views)
 30% -- unaffected indifferent people (the 'don't care so long as I am not affected' type)
 30% -- rational dog fearers (have had or heard of a scary experience or are theoretically scared)
   5% -- irrational dog fearers (I would like to believe there are no dog-haters)
All the arguments for and against can be listed by the above groups. Doing so is worthwile as it will sensitise everyone concerned but on its own it will not lead to a conclusion as each segment will not change its stance. One of those"necessary but not sufficient" situations.
So on what basis can / should society take a decision?
- by vote? Not really the correct way as the majority then trample on the rights and feelings of the minority which may indeed be ethically, morally, spiritually correct.
- by lobbying? Again not really the correct way, as the strong can then overcome the weak.
- through court? Maybe ok -- the assumption being that judges will have full knowledge of the facts and that the law can be changed, if they feel it is necessary.
- through compromise? It would be worthwhile to discuss if this is the best and if indeed we are mature enough as a society to achieve this.
So I see the stray dogs discussion as symptomatic of all the problems and situations that we are facing today -- as a locality, as a city, as a country. I am extremely keen to hear all ideas on possible solution methods else I wonder how we can reach acceptable and practical solutions on plastic usage, slum rehab, hawker zoning, rental laws, land usage, etc.
A good method of deciding a solution may also lead to good methods of implementing them.

Response 23: Stray Dogs - Vinay's query

Dear Vinay

I am replying to your query on the connection between sterilisation and dog attacks, because I believe the brunt of stray dog aggression is borne by people like us who handle strays on a daily basis, in slums and elsewhere. Our views are based on our experiences with the 80,000 stray dogs we have dealt with in the past twelve years.

Dogs are territorial and fiercely attack other dogs who migrate into their area. In the course of these dog fights, passing humans are inadvertently bitten since at such times dogs easily redirect their aggression onto others. Bitches with pups also bite people who walk close to their litter. These are the causes of almost ALL unprovoked dog bites.

Dogs migrate for these reasons: To mate with a female on heat, to look for new territories as they grow up, since the ones they are born in are defended by older dogs, and dwindling food sources (garbage in this case) in the original area. The first two reasons are directly related to breeding. A sterilized dog no longer leaves his territory, and sterilized dogs don't enter his. No more dogs being born means no more young dogs looking for new territories. Therefore
migration-related aggression comes to an end with sterilization. (Dwindling food sources are definitely not a problem given Mumbai's current garbage scenario, so no migration for this reason either.) Two other ways in which sterilization reduces dog aggression: Bitches who have no pups to protect no longer attack people, and male dogs after sterilization become less aggressive due to the drop in testosterone. This is why sterilization of males is critical for the success of any dog control programme.

We have witnessed the reduction in dog aggression and in dogs per se in South Mumbai, where we have been sterilizing dogs for years. In fact according to the count we carry out in the course of annual on-site vaccinations, the dog population in these areas(A,B,C& D wards) is around 6000.Thus there has been a drastic fall in the stray dog population. Hence it is hard to imagine children being mauled in any of the slums of Colaba or Nariman Point, even if the BMC
suddenly provided incentives for dog migration by piling up buffalo carcasses there. There simply aren't that many hungry dogs left, and their nutritional needs are more than met by the existing "kachra petis". 

The same situation could have existed in the suburbs had we been allowed to replicate our programme there. Strangely, the BMC has blocked rather than encouraged the scaling up of the programme by not granting us and other NGO's permission to construct the additional kennels we need. We've been awaiting their NOC for our construction plans for the last 6 years.

It should also be remembered that there is no data on the number of children who were mauled when dog-killing was still being practised. However, BMC figures shown to us last week reveal a sharp drop in human rabies deaths, and also a drop in dog bite cases since 1998. Perhaps you should ask them for a copy.

For further information, we recommend a visit to our website : especially the Stray Dog issue section and the FAQ's section. 

Abodh Aras
Chief Executive Officer
The Welfare Of Stray Dogs(WSD)

Adopt a street dog ! They are a breed apart!
The Welfare Of Stray Dogs(WSD) Tel:23733433/23891070 

response 24: stray dogs! not connected with loving or hating them

Two posts (both informative and well written) by Nandita and Abodh seem to be saying the following.

rule 1
number of stray dogs is proportional to amount of garbage (food). hence no change in amount of garbage implies no change in number of stray dogs.

this means that *sterilization drives will have no impact on the number of dogs*.

rule 2
sterilization reduces substantially the risk of injury or death to humans through dog aggression.

of course stray dogs (in addition to other animals), sterilized or not, will still cause traffic accidents that will endanger humans as well as cause suffering to the animal.

Maybe a group poll will be illuminating

Do you consider stray dogs right now to be a "problem"?
[so basically some people may not think that there is even a problem that needs to be dealt with. some people will get bitten and in extreme cases will die, but that's ok. as an example, there is no move to ban firecrackers or the kumbh mela even though we know for a fact that a certain number of people will get injured and will die.]

I dont think this issue hinges on being a dog-lover or a dog-hater. Large number of stray dogs in a city is a civic problem not a personal issue.

The stray dog problem: What's love got to do with it?
The stray dog problem: What's love got to do with it?
I have been working with WSD since 1993 and I am responding to Ranjit Gadgil's comment that love or hatred of dogs should not be connected with the stray dog problem. First I wish to say that I was bitten by a rabid animal at a time when the BMC was still killing dogs, before I had ever heard of WSD. My love of dogs did not make the bites less painful, the injections less expensive or rabies less frightening.
It is perfectly correct that love of dogs should not be a factor in solving this civic problem. However, neither should a bias against dog-lovers be a factor . This is as irrational as the pro-dog bias, and will cloud one's judgement as effectively. I believe we animal welfare groups are looked at through a cloud of clichés. Since the   dog control programme was introduced by us (by default),that, too is seen through an equally distorted filter.
Here are the cold facts, for unbiased readers:
· In the 1950s, 60s and 70s, the WHO (World Health Organisation) advocated mass killing of stray dogs as the most effective way to eradicate human rabies, since the link between canine and human rabies was well established.
· They then reviewed the rabies situation worldwide and found that rabies was actually on the rise. This led to a radical departure in policy in the late 1980s.
· The WHO correctly concluded that dogs which were killed were quickly replaced due to the sustaining factors of slums and garbage.
· It also correctly concluded that methods which work in developed countries should not be blindly applied in developing countries, as conditions are very different there.
· It then recommended, quite logically, that mass vaccination rather than removal of dogs was the most effective way to eradicate human rabies in developing countries.
· Subsequent WHO reports, including the latest, continue to uphold this view.
· Mass vaccination campaigns in South America , Mexico and the Carribean have been very successful, thanks to a high level of government commitment.
· The WHO emphasizes the important role of government support in implementing the programme.
These conclusions should be common knowledge in any responsible civic body, individual or group seriously motivated to eradicate human rabies. Perhaps one should conclude that such individuals and groups do not exist.
What about canine rabies? In contrast, there are groups motivated to eradicate this: WSD is one of them. We have taken the trouble to find out the views of the highest healthcare authorities and track developments in rabies control worldwide. The WHO findings reinforced what we had already experienced in our on-site interactions with stray dogs.
But what happens when groups like ours advocate a practical, scientific, proven, large-scale public health programme?
It is immediately perceived as an impractical, unscientific, small-scale animal welfare programme which deprioritizes human beings. Because we are perceived to have an emotional flaw: We love dogs.
Simultaneously, bureaucrats with no great knowledge of rabies control or canine habits, sit in airconditioned offices far removed from slums and garbage, promising a stray dog-free utopia to be brought about by the mass killing of dogs. Their spectacular past failure is instantly forgotten, their own admission that killing has failed is instantly forgotten, and the fairy tale is bought by a rational public. The only reason they are believed: They definitely do not love dogs.
The logic escapes me. Is it actually scientific to assume that a humane procedure is bound to be less successful than an inhumane one? What's the connection between kindness and effectiveness? Why is a secondary and relatively minor feature of the programme - kindness to dogs - being given primary importance by one and all? The objective of the earlier mass killing programme was after all rabies eradication, not sadism. Cruelty was incidental. Similarly, in the new rabies eradication programme, kindness is incidental, not an end in itself.
The sterilization programme is based on the realities of canine behaviour, human behaviour and urban conditions in a developing country. Here is what should have happened: The programme should have been introduced in India by municipal health departments, or some other large state agency, with at least the budget put into it that was earlier put into dog killing. Animal welfare groups should then have been called in to help with the implementation.
Since this did not happen, we animal welfare NGOs - a small and marginalized group - took it on ourselves to introduce this scheme. We have been implementing it with funding only from dog lovers, and have had to constantly struggle to get basic co-operation from the civic authorities, usually through intensive lobbying or prolonged legal battles. For instance, a High Court order demanding municipal co-operation has been openly flouted for the past 7 years.
No NGO can match the scale and resources of a legally elected/appointed state body. Predictably, the programme has not been implemented on the scale it requires, with the result that large numbers of harried citizens are sceptical about it.
A final fact: Despite being handicapped by the lack of state support, NGOs with the help of dog-lovers have managed to minimize the dog nuisance in South Mumbai and to bring down the number of human rabies deaths in the city. Please consider what we could accomplish with state support. And as Mr Gadgil cautions us, do leave your emotions out of it.
(I am not responding to Mr Gadgil's remarks on sterilization having no impact on the number of stray dogs, as I believe the topic is very thoroughly covered in our website on   Of course if anyone has any queries after going through the site, we will answer them.)

Rajashree Khalap
Project Manager
The Welfare Of Stray Dogs(WSD)
Adopt a street dog ! They are a breed apart!
The Welfare Of Stray Dogs(WSD) Tel:23733433/23891070

Response 25:  R U bogged down by Dogs ? Well, Doggone then like this...

Dear Dog Lovers and Dog Haters,

Some technical information below from garbageguru.
1. Very crudely speaking, each scavenger animal is a function of Carbohydrate band and its radical features and behaviour  are accentuated by Nitrate band.
A man be be an ordinary man, or wear an ARMY, NAVY or AIR FORCE uniform as required.  Similarly for scavenger creatures.
Ganapathi is coming and his VAHAN is a MOUSE.   Higher nitrate will create a rat.   (Larger rats are safer than smaller ones.)  Very high nitrate, say from buried buffalow carcasses combined with nitrate laden rain ( caused by indiscriminate use of fossil fuel) will lead to the rats transforming into Plague rats, in the next or next to next generation.
Again, these scavenger creatures are the ECO POLICE of Mother NATURE, they are not the disease carriers and its ONLY when they get sick, that they could cause sickness inadvertently to us.  If you could just comprehend how much loving is Mother Nature, then you will see the line of defences to the threat to us, which is caused by us, by our misbehaviour and flouting Ecological laws and then worship these creatures  Thats why i am setting up Mumbai's first Cockroach Mandir for Ganapathi festival.  These are the very incarnations of the Lord.
The Military may be in the barracks but when the Commander gives an order, they will come out and fight.   The military aircraft are not carrying bombs but in times of crisis, they are loaded, and when the commander gives the order, they are dropped.
To demonstrate this in terms of your own experience, let me explain.  You may 
3. Hear `singing` mosquitoes
4. Get bitten in the evening during Diya time.
5. Get bitten in the day. (Not good sign)
Instead of solving the root cause, you light mosquito coils to drive them away.  This is akin to switching off the FIRE ALARM.
Its when these creatures fail to control the NPN, that the bacteria and Virus sets in.  Thus, as long as creatures are VISIBLE to the eye, there will be no disease. 
We permit Spiders, Black ants, Lizards in our homes.  They clean up the NPN so we do not get sick.  How kind of them !
In SOUTH INDIA, we do not move into a new house unless a lizard first moves in.  The tradition is there, the reason is forgotten or known only to the Brahmins.   In Singapore, where the houses are `CLEAN` with pesticide, therefore, they had no warning signals and the punishment awarded was DEATH. 

A mother first chides her misbehaving child with a stern face  (VISIBLE MOSQUITO), then may shout (SINGING MOSQUITO), then may slap child (BITING MOSQUITO)  Worst case is mother killing the child for unacceptable behaviour.
Dogs indicate acidic PH of the garbage.  If you do not want dogs to  1. Be seen, 2.  bark, 3. bite  then just understand the laws of Mother Nature which are PERFECT.
Dogs come to resolve problems created by us.  Anyone can try this simple experiment.  Get fine rock dust (from stone crushing quarry) and sprinkle on the garbage heap properly such that it gets in contact with the food waste especially.  The ROCK DUST will neutralise the Organic PH and  thus deny role to dogs.  The grit will also deter dogs. 
All scavenger creatures are a function of Non Proteinous Nitrogen, Moisture and Temperature.  This is one of the pivots of Dr. Uday Bhawalkar's PHD thesis of 1996.  Seems no one has read it yet.  Then, I have sat here for 10 years to explain this ONE graph, but neither municipality nominees (those who can change policy) nor the NGO groups (who advocate) ever visit for this official education and training center of GREEN CROSS SOCIETY, c/o Municipal Sewage Pumping Station, Opposite Indian Oil nagar, Andheri (West), Mumbai 400 053.  Phone: 26329978  Mrs. VERONICA  DIAS
Dogs being visible is 1st Digit polution.
Dogs barking is 2nd Digit polution
Dogs biting is 3rd  Digit pollution
Dogs dying of disease is 4th Digit pollution
Humans dying of disease will be 5th Digit pollution.  
Thus, you can clearly see that they are the warning signs.  If you dont heed them, then you may not be alive to feel sorry.
There is also a clear relationship between body weight of the animal, its life span  and the food it consumes.  Hence, when the larger creatures cannot consume the food, which is being wasted then in a biofire, Mother Nature quickly sends the bacteria and Virus (depending on conditions)  Very crudely speaking, the VIRUS is but a small `mosquito` inside the body. 
If you can understand the fire fighters triangle work, then just lock up the nitrates (NPN) with spices and be saved.  South Indians in Kerala are blessed with Pepper since thats a high nitrate area.  The Kerala fold are known to swallow two or three pepper corns with their food.  They may not know why but I do.  Also why food there is fermented, or sprouted (This utilises nitrates)
NITRATE IS FOOD FOR PLANT, NOT FOOD FOR ANIMAL.  If you ensure conversion of wasted organics into top soil, then the scavenger creatures will NOT multiply and there will be NO DISEASE.  
When the dog is eating nitrate poisoned food, it suffers from `NITRATE  MADNESS`  This is our fault, not the dogs.  We are in a habit to blame others always.
Flies thrive in acidic condition, but breed in alkaline conditions.  Hence, fly maggots are correcting acidity.  NAPOLEON knew this, hence he saved his soldiers from Gangrene by ordering them not to remove fly maggots from wounds on the battlefield.
A little excreta on the road attracts flies.
Take this excreta and add water, put in a chamber, and you have created a factory for cockroaches.
Take the same excreta and add lost of water, and you have the factory for mosquitoes.
Reduce the temperature of this water and you get.....
Vag Shantharam Shenai
(In honour of Dr. Uday Bhawalkar PHD , I.I.T. Bombay and Chemical Engineer from I.I.T. Bombay and his PHD guide, Dr. H.S.Shankar from Chemical Engineering department, I.I.T. Bombay)

Vinay's views on stray dogs

Someone from an animal-related NGO felt that I should also state my views regarding stray dogs. So here they are.

I normally refrain from taking a position (even in my own thoughts) until I really have to (as is the case now) as I feel I will not remain receptive to all the viewpoints thereafter. Also I found that when I voice my thoughts, then those opposed to it, tend to leave the yahoo group or fall silent, which is contrary to what any of us wants happening in this public forum.
Anyway, I am trying to think through my views on stray dogs as I write this email.
Emotional reaction (to stray dogs, pets, any animal for that matter):
- I don't feel the urge to pet an animal. I am also a little worried of unpredictable behaviour. If I am walking past a dog, I would look at it to be prepared for unpredictable behaviour.
- My wife is very scared of animals. She can't recall any incident to justify it. If she is walking and spots a dog, she would widen the distance as much as possible.
- Our daughter loves animals. She finds stray dogs cute. If she is walking and spots a stray dog, she will go to pet it. She is the type who would reach into the kangaroo's pouch to pet a joey (she actually did that in Australia as we watched petrified.) A career with the likes of Animal Planet and she will be in seventh heaven so if anyone has any contacts so that she can visit, please put us in touch.
So based on an emotional reaction, my decision would be wrong.
Practical reaction (to dogs - strays or otherwise):
So long as stray dogs don't keep me awake at night (which they rarely do in my area), don't hurt anyone I know personally (which they haven't), or kill anyone (which however did happen as reported by Stree Mukti Sangathan), I am pro stray dogs.
Given my nature, I am sure if this changes, I would rather not have them around. (In small towns, I have often wondered how people manage any sleep at all.)
 Spiritual reaction (to dogs or any animals):
I wouldn't be for killing animals.
 Intellectual reaction (to stray dogs):
I had asked this in an earlier email. There are about 2 lakh stray dogs in Mumbai. What would be the problems if the number becomes 5 lakh dogs or some such high number? Is it possible that by effective sterilisation, numbers may stabilise at some acceptable level? Or, in fact, keep on decreasing? What problems would arise if the numbers were to decrease? Is there an eco-balance based around dogs? Is sterilisation the only solution?
What would happen if BMC were to succeed with a zero-garbage plan? Where would stray dogs get their food from? Would stray dogs get adopted as community pets? What would happen to those who don't? Would they move out on their own? Or would they become aggressive and hurt people and then some forcible action be have to be taken against them?
I am more of a conceptual type and would thus get biased in favour of the results of studies / hypotheses that may be carried out regarding such questions. Of course who would do such an analysis is a moot question. Animal-welfare orgs will certainly not as it will only dilute the current situation. Any other group will not because there is no motivation for them to do so. The government will not because why should they care? They don't even care to re-deploy the 140 people who were connected with this department who have no work and earn regular salaries while sitting absolutely idle.
So what is likely to happen is that some more kids will be killed and then someone will approach the Supreme Court again and the law will get modified. An unfortunate approach of using / misusing the legal system that society seems to be having to take.
The approach I think is worthwhile to pursue:
One of the responses in the yahoo group had suggested to form a group with those who value animal rights, along with those who understand civic rights, and those who have deep environmental perspectives. Such a group aided by those who can help in elaborating what-if scenarios would be a good starting point for society to agree to a solution. (But again, who would initiate such a group?)
I would be most comfortable with this approach and the recommendations emanating out of such an approach. My individual opinion to society's problems does not matter to me.
Thanks for the opportunity to clarify my own thoughts to myself and the patient reading.
Responses would be valued.

Sterilization of Stray Dogs & Cats to Prevent Animal Cruelty

You know there is an explosion in Mumbai of stray dogs and cats. Dogs and cats ruthlessly attack each other in territorial fights and end up contrating and spreading disease and go through a inhumane life. It doesn't have to be this way. With appropriate sterilization process we can help prevent them from multiplying so that they won't  go through so much cruelty. The bigger problem is that everytime Animal Control catches hold of them most of them end up being electricuted or are put in gas chambes to die. 

We can prevent this from happening by sterilizing dogs and cats to prevent them from multiplying. There is a very scientific way of doing this. There is an organization in Phuket Island, Thailand which does exactly that. They have been doing this for last 5 years and had a tremendous success. We can implement the same process and begin a journey of eliminating animal cruelty and prevent spread of disease and suffering for animals that don't have the ability to communicate their challenges to us. I encourage everyone to visit the website listed below and e-mail me if you are interested in taking up this cause. 

Gautam Parekh

BMCs does not deal with stray dogs as AWOs do it

What a pertinent question. BMC won't like you anymore for  having asked this
And as for the question per se, we really would have liked to know why BMC is not doing this. Speaking for ourselves, I can tell you this: Myself and our Secretary have been the non official members of the District PCA ( Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Managing Committee which had been formed under the presidentship of the District Collector. The other official members are Police Comm, SP, Municipal Comms or CEOs, Mun. Health officers, Dy Com of District Animal Husbandry Dept who is the standing Member Secretary, Representative of the RTO com etc.
From the first meeting I and our Secretary in the PCA Committee have been fighting to get the Committee to pass a resolution to get all Municipalties to start sterilisation in individual areas. It was one hell of a difficult task to convince the DC himself, but I was headstrong and by the end of the first meeting he became aware of all pros and cons and the scientific reasons behind non killing of dogs. He immidiately passed the resolution. We convinced the Comittee that it was impractical to have one or two sterilisation centres to cater to dogs from th e 4 corners of such a large district, and the NGOs of Thane had no space to start off with the programme.The DC immediately passed the resolution for each Mun corpn. to start their own centres.
It was at this juncture that I personally started interacting with the officials of the different Mun. Corporations and goading them to have the law implemented. Soon Thane Mun. Corpn, then Mira Road Bhayander one by one started their centres. Kalyan Dombivili was taking a long time because of technical delays, but they too have now started. Note that this is not on the priority list of any Corporation's agenda, though it should be. Most of the credit goes to the two District Collectors who are very pro active and the present DC who believes that animal welfare should be a top priority for any Mun. Corporation. I make it a point to meet the officers of the different Mun. Corpns every other week to follow up on their activity or plans. Frankly, we are on very good terms with all of them and they have all been very open to our suggestions.
All said and done, this is what we have done in Thane district. It is still not an answer to your question.The NGOs in Mumbai are doing a wonderful job, all by themselves, without much help from the BMC. Maybe its because the Mumbai NGOs have taken it all upon themselves that they are taken advantage of.
Warm regards

stray dogs: BMC - NGO Sector Collaboration on Cleanliness

Dear Vinay,

In the cleanliness drive,AIAWA can render some help since AIAWA is situated near the city dumping ground, (Dhobi Ghat, Mahalaxmi E). The concerned NGO can contact AIAWA and perhaps we can work out something positive togehter.

Another aspect that needs to be dicussed are the stray animals, which include dogs, cats, cattle on roads and near garbage dumps. What plan has been designed for these animals? Every road in Mumbai have some animals loitering in search of food and shelter. Apart from BMC,I am afraid that some NGOs also have different ideas in dealing with these strays. Therefore
this aspect needs to be kept in mind too in the proposed claeliness program. Though slaughter houses and tabelas have been covered, what about the chicken shops and illegal slaughter joints that are operational in many parts of the city. The BMC and Police are aware of them but do nothing. 

These aspects are important for any cleaning program therfore I am drawing your attention. The on going animal birth control program for stray dogs is a program of clearing Mumbai streets of stray dog. But very few people understand this program. This program has to be viewed as a health related program and not so much an animal welfare program.

So much for now.

Jigeesha Thakore  

stray dogs have to be curbed!!

I had I think sent a plan for Dog control and I thought I will retransmit that to you But I could not retrieve that from the system.

However let me ask you, has the BMC totally abandoned the dog control issue? They used to have vehicles which used to pick up these dogs and almost on regular basis.

Secondly our honorable ministry which has professed Dog protection should come up with solutions/suggestions for the control of thee dogs population which has really become a menace There are several children affected due to dog bites and have received mental and physical harm and not to speak of the ones who had to take then to clinic and hospitals for treatment.

There should not be any dog on the street unless it has a owner or care taker. sorry to say but our Municipality must re establish a section atleast for temporary period say six month or year till the popuaalation is brought under conrol.

and then there are control measures which can be put into effect.

People first and then the dogs should be the slogan

Best regards


[1. I do not recollect receiving the email. Pl send again. It sounds interesting.

2. Some protection from dogs is indeed needed. I hear many complaints nowadays.

3. Your concept of no stray dog however needs to be broadened e.g. community to take care. Else it is not a nice one.

4. The slogan is highly incorrect. No planes till trains for all, no cars till buses for all, no colleges till schools for all, etc., will not do.

regards, vinay]


Mumbai: In an attempt to find a viable solution to the stray dog menace, the BMC has drawn out an action plan to expand its sterilisation programme from 8,000 dogs every year to about 25,000.

    The action plan was chalked out after the issue was raised time and again by corporators in the BMC general body meetings. "Presently, there are only five NGOs helping us with the sterilisation programme. We plan to enlist the support of some more NGOs. Moreover, students of the Parel maternity college have agreed to sterilise at least 1,000 dogs per year,'' said additional municipal commissioner Vijaysinh Patankar.

    Patankar added that the drive would be intensified in the western suburbs where the menace is the most. Also on the anvil are plans for a helpline which people can contact in case they want to call for the dog van. The BMC was killing 35,000-odd dogs every year till 1994, when the practice was stopped after the NGOs obtained a stay from the high court. After the HC ordered the civic body to stop killing dogs in 1998, it roped in five NGOs to help control the stray dog population. "Our requests to the BMC to increase the number of NGOs have been turned down in the past. The five NGOs have to sustain on their own resources. Unless they provide us with adequate funds and space, there is no way that the BMC can achieve its set target,'' said Fizah Shah from In Defence of Dogs, one of the five NGOs working on the sterilisation programme.

    Meanwhile, corporators from different parties are persistent in their demands that mercy killing of dogs be allowed. Shiv Sena corporator Bala Sawant has started a signature campaign to enlist the support of at least 3 lakh Mumbaiites, who are in favour of killing of dogs.

    Health committee chairperson Yashodhar Phanse said during the next HC hearing on Dec 13, the BMC will place forth its demand to allow mercy killing of dogs. "The BMC has only nine dog vans and as per the HC guidelines we can't have more than 10 dogs in one van. Recently, we waived off even the nominal fee that the civic hospitals charge for a Rs 600 worth rabies injection resulting in an added burden of Rs 3 crore on the civic exchequer per year. The only way out is to resume killing of stray dogs,'' said Phanse.

I am always fascinated on people who have the time and energy to get irritated by another living species going about their own business. Do you really think that dogs have nothing better to do than go around biting people or irritating you?

Go to the source of the trouble and you will find it ALWAYS the HUMAN SPECIES - Have parents taught their children to live with other species? Have The authorities cleaned up the food source i.e. the garbage so that it is not necessary for dogs, rats and other scavengers to clean up OUR mess? Every now and then it comes in the papers - Municipality to kill dogs - I have had the same experience in my Collector's office - Can we kill the street dogs - they asked me. Fed up with answering the same question again and again I said Yes - do that ,but for my report please officially give me the criteria for this action. The Collector said then - Oh they are a nuisance - Okay I said - But then All that are a nuisance will be killed - Oh yes he said. At which I turned to the DSP and said - as far as I know 96% of crimes committed in The Nilgiri District are committed by men , is that right? So that does make them a nuisance correct because without them we would have an immediate drop
 of 96% in crime rates? and if I took a survey of a few wives I am sure alot would also find their husbands who are drunk, don't work and beat them up for fun also a nuisance, correct so under your criteria we would have to kill off quite a few men too. Then all would have peace and quiet.

  There was a horrified silence, when I asked why the sudden crossed legs and muttering I was told I was too radical - Oh why I asked - When women, dogs and girl children are a nuisance we are killed off - no one from the authorities seems to blink an eye or move an arm to stop it but when I say kill of the actual nuisances you are upset.

  Need I say the topic was shelved for that meeting.
  So let us have enough of this Kill The Dogs and get down to tackling the real problems in life.

Also see Stray Dogs - Recommendations to Municipal Corporations 
Pro-killing stray dog responses - anti-sterilisation 
                  Pro-stray dog responses e.g. sterilisation, cleanliness 
              Committees for stray dogs  
              Gandhiji's writings on the stray dog issue, in his paper Young India 
              Animal Birth Control responsible for decline in human rabies cases 
              WHO technical report on rabies Seris931-part1 (PDF file) 
              Nov 22 - tues - meeting reg. stray dogs  
              Animal Welfare Organisations - Dogs 
              Dog Control Rules, 2001 
              Dog Population Management & Canine Rabies Control 
              MRTI probe into stray dog control issue


It is one of the beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. --Charles Dudley Warner