Monday, October 22, 2012

Indian City Aiming for Stray Dog-Free Streets

A report in The Times of India on the stray dog “menace” in Patiala contains the quote, “We want Patiala to be the First Stray Dog Free City of India”. This comes from a group called The Society for People's Welfare & Awareness Patiala.

I really hope they don’t succeed as this would mean destroying an element of culture that has been around since long before pet dogs became the vogue.

An internet search on “Patiala dogs” highlights the fact that dog shows and the pet dog trade is big business in Patiala with one breeder even advertising “wholesale prices”. This makes me suspicious. How much of this “stray dog menace” is actually due to pets on the loose and abandoned pets rather than the indigenous street dogs who always get the blame? Exactly what happens to all those puppies that do not sell when they are young and cute?

Rather than constantly calling for the authorities to take action on the street dogs perhaps a greater focus should be on the dealers and owners of pet dogs. If they are the root of the problem then this has to be the long-term solution.

The other possibility that would explain the apparent increase in dogs is that, as elsewhere in India, the city has a waste management problem.

Either way the issue seems to be human behaviour not dog behaviour.

Learn more about the lives and issue of unowned dogs in my e-book ”A Stray View” available from Bangkok Books (readable as .pdf on any computer)

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