Stray dogs on prowl in Srinagar

Stray dogs continue to prowl city areas with locals accusing SMC of not taking effective steps to curb the menace.

Mohammad Muqsit Wani, a resident of Tulsi Bagh said, “We hesitate to venture out after the dark due to the dog menace in the area. One can spot scores of stray dogs roaming freely and chasing people even during the day in the area.”

Aashiq Bhat, another resident of Tulsi Bagh area said: “A week ago, one of our neighbours Shahid Aziz Naik was bitten by a stray dog during the day time. Most of the dogs in our area are rabid.”

Some residents from Eidgah here accused the SMC of not taking effective steps to check the dog menace.  “Even though the Srinagar Municipal Corporation has admitted that the stray dog population has reached alarming proportions, but it has failed to act against the menace.”

According to an official data, 15,000 dog bite cases have been reported from Srinagar city and registered at anti-rabies facility of the SMHS hospital Srinagar from April 2018 to November 2020.

Locals from Shivpora, Khanyar, Rawalpora, Solina, Bemina, and Lal Chowk also claimed that the stray dogs have hampered smooth movement of people especially in the morning and evening.

Srinagar Mayor, Junaid Azim Mattu said that the dog sterilization in Srinagar has to be done in a manner so as to “reach a reproductively stagnant population within a year – after which the stray dog numbers will start dwindling at a rapid pace and naturally.

“We estimate that we need to reach a sterilization number of around 350-450 dogs a day to achieve a stagnant population within the stipulated time-period.

“This cannot be achieved at a single government run facility. The dogs – as mandated – have to be given post operative care for at least 3 days. Our plan is to have at least 30 zonal sterilization centers across the city on a Public Private Partnership model – working with unemployed veterinary surgeons and doctors who will be specially trained under this program. This would help us achieve the daily numbers required and also provide a source of employment to unemployed veterinary doctors.

“We are going to work with other government departments to make this happen. We have prepared a project report and are following it up. Once finalized, this process would help us achieve a stagnant stray dog population within a year. Following which, within 5 years the number of stray dogs would reduce in Srinagar by almost 75% – eventually reaching complete eradication – legally and naturally,” he added.