Bow..bow! MCC making Dog Owners Pay for Licence-Permit is Nonsense!
Mangaluru: One of the latest plan of Mangaluru City Corporation to earn some extra income is made public- the MCC officials are on the verge of charging pet owners in the City to obtain Licence and Permit for pet dogs. Like one of the comments posted on the blog by Yashpal Mendon says, “Mayor should use her power. She has not mentioned what will she do with the stray dogs. There is no connection between pet dogs and stray dogs… this agenda has no sense”. I fully agree with Mendon, because why are pet owners charged for keeping their pets at home or also while taking them for a walk leashed. What has MCC done so far when it comes to the increasing stray dogs in the city- the numbers of the stray dogs are increasing day by day. There are other important issues that MCC should attend to first, rather than harass pet owners on a silly issue of dog ownership.
My question is that why is MCC making dog owners to have a licence and permit when the pets are at home- and even if they are taken out, they are on the leash. Simply doesn’t make any sense to me. MCC also wants the dog owners to produce the documents of periodic vaccination- but by the way how about the documents of vaccination of stray dogs?? Does anyone in MCC care about the health of stray dogs, or check into what kinds of disease they carry. Forcing the innocent pet owners to apply for dog licence and a permit is unbelievable and senseless. I bet the person or persons who implemented this new rule, perhaps don’t own a dog or are allergic to canine? But for sure, I am not getting this licence/permit- MCC can take away my dogs- and when they do it, they will have to also take me along with my lovable dogs.
Moreover, that as per Indian law, street dogs cannot be beaten or driven away. Please remember that the only humane, legal and scientific way of dealing with street dogs is to get them vaccinated and sterilized under Animal Birth Control Programme (ABC). Under this program, stray dogs are picked up, neutered, vaccinated against rabies and released in the respective areas from where they had been captured, which is in accordance with the Animal Birth Control Rules 2001 framed, under Section 38 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 and as per the orders of Honourable Supreme Court of India. But has MCC followed this law- Animal Care Trust were undertaking this task for many years, but recently I haven’t seen their van come and pick stray dogs for vaccination.
According to the news- “Mangaluru Civic Body makes License for Pet Dogs Mandatory” in today’s (31 March 2017) print media it is stated, “Want to own a pet dog or have one, then apply with Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) for a permit/license for the canine. With the dog welfare committee of the civic body making licensing of pet dogs mandatory at its meeting held on February 10, owners will now compulsorily have to obtain one. While the license for the first year (FY 2017-18) is free, owners will have to shell out Rs 300 from the next fiscal year and also follow four-point conditions laid out in the license.
These are – dog license/permit is mandatory for all pet dogs in MCC limits, owners will have to submit documents about periodic vaccination of their pets along with application for the license, validity of which is one year and has to be renewed annually and follow all directives issued by the government under The Animal Birth Control (Dog) Rules 2001. The council of MCC had approved this agenda at its monthly meeting that Mayor Kavitha Sanil chaired.
An office note provided with the agenda stated that the main aim of making dog license mandatory is to keep a check on stray dogs in the city corporation limits and thereby minimize problems caused to people. But I want to ask the MCC officials how many pet dogs are let on the streets as stray dogs, compared to the thousands of existing stray dogs, which have been a menace to the public. There is an increase in stray dog population across the city and this has to be contained. A proposal was sent to the standing committee on public health, education and social justice which in turn adopted resolution 44/2015-16 and sent it to the council on September 28, 2015.
Based on the council resolution 103/2015-16 on January 25, 2016, the proposal was resubmitted on March 23, 2016 vide council resolution 166/2015-16. Accordingly, a decision was taken on March 31, 2016, to carry out a survey of both pet and stray dogs in the city and set up a dog welfare committee and dog licensing committee with the former entrusted with the task of castrating pet dogs. The same committee that met on February 10 cleared the dog licensing decision.
While looking at this issue, there is nothing new in the row over strays in Mangaluru. The city has always had those who abhorred getting rid of dogs and those who completely eschewed these ‘furry foes’. The reasons why the dog dodgers shun these mongrels are many — Besides their barks and bites, the flea bags woo the neighbour’s pedigree Pomeranian, they empty their bladders on their scooter tyres, sniff out the kids from their hideouts when they are playing I spy or wake up the whole neighbourhood when the man is trying to sneak into the house without letting the wife know after a night out with the boys.
Among the dog lovers are those who consider strays as disposable dogs but use their foreign breeds to move up in society. While Alsatians and Pomeranians used to be the most popular pedigree pups some time ago, Hollywood hits and television commercials have triggered a mad rush for breeds like Dalmatians, Pugs, Dobermans, Labradors, Great Danes among others.. And with this, like the city’s population, its dog mix too has turned cosmopolitan, with a lot of mixed breeding thrown in. And so, one fire morning, the proud dog owner is aghast at seeing the pups from her spotted Dalmatian’s litter resemble the neighbourhood mongrel.
Dogs are sought for various reasons. For some it is fashionable to have a pedigree pet, some have them for the real love of animals and others to discourage burglars and salesman. Hence, today, besides the ubiquitous‘ No Parking’ board on the gates of houses, the sign ‘Beware of Dog’ warns anyone trying to barge into the house. But with a spurt in demand for pedigree breeds that command fancy prices, the very dogs that are reared to keep burglars away are stolen by thieves, who sell them off for a premium.
After acquiring a pet, naming it is another exercise in itself. While there are several common names that are typically given to dogs, a few owners name them after comic book characters like Jerry or Snoopy or famous dogs in many dog related movies; The family sits around the uncomplaining new arrival in the house and drops names like Tommy, Jimmy, Timmy, Ramu — the little black Labrador, who is probably of a very high lineage, maybe the offspring of a prize winning pedigree named Maria, waits with his paws crossed as the most bizarre names fly around. His hope for a decent name finally ends. The little one then cringes as the family settles on ‘Karia’ (son of Maria), but has no option but to answer to the name, for he is supposed to be man’s best friend. And for that matter I have named my four dogs as Oobama, Troomp, (both Daschunds), Boosh and Clintoon (both Labrador-Shitshu mix)
The city of Mangaluru known as India’s Coastal city or the more familiar term, the ‘Education Hub’, but lately its residence dared to rename it as the “City of Stray Dogs”, when its newspapers/websites reported dog menace and also two cases of stray dog accidents recently – one where a 2 year-old boy was mauled by stray dogs and was hospitalized with serious injuries, and in the other case, a two-wheeler rider lost his life while avoiding hitting a stray dog. Last year there have been 671 dog-bite cases treated at the Government Wenlock hospital, out of which five persons have died due to rabies infection. There are stray dogs-bite cases happening every day, but people don’t report it to the concerned authorities.
According to sources from Wenlock hospital, on an average 100 people are bitten by stray dogs per month somewhere in Mangaluru, and treated at the hospital. There could be more dog-bites than the above numbers, because many a times people don’t report dog bite cases nor they seek treatment at hospitals. I can say there could be over thousand dog-bite cases by looking at all the stray dogs roaming in the city. It is reported that MCC had spent in lakhs to control the stray dog nuisance in the City. The Animal Birth Control (ABC) initiated by MCC has been showing no positive results – just by sterilizing the dogs and put back where they belong will not serve the purpose in decreasing the stray dog population. The MCC and the Animal Care Trust should come up with some suitable measures in getting rid of these dogs.
From the reports of the stray dog menace, it is sad to observe that kids are the main victims, especially the slum kids are more prone to these sorts of attacks. Also, kids enjoy playing out in the evenings or at dark and thus are left to the fury of the stray mongrels. They also pose a lot of threat to road commuters, especially to cyclists and two wheelers, traveling at dusk. They chase these travelers, in most cases, cross frenziedly across the streets unexpected. The result is obvious, the travelers hurt and left to bleed on the road side and in some cruel cases, attacked by these ruthless packs. With their bites, men are at the risk of contracting Rabies. But none of the activists fighting for Animal Rights are coming up with a solution, how they can avoid all these dog attacks. Just by raising their voices against animal cruelty will not serve the purpose. Seems like, “The stray dogs can attack, injure or kill people, but people can’t attack or cull stray dogs?”- that’s not right.
In conclusion, all I have to say is that the stray dog menace is in fact a grave problem in Mangaluru and NOT the Pet Dogs- so the authorities should act immediately to tackle this issue seriously and effectively, and not go behind the pet owners urging them to pay for dog licence-permit. MCC should try to make money from other means, and not from PET OWNERS? And for that pet owners should raise their voices and protest against this new dog rule implemented by MCC. If anyone is ready for a mass protest on this issue, I am ready- let’s all march to the MCC premises along with our furry friends. Dogs are man’s best friends forever if we care for them!