The stray dog menace has become a major concern in Gurugram. The rising number of street dogs in the city is visible in all corners -- from major roads to small side streets.
As the population of stray dogs has increased, the city residents have been terrorized by several cases of dog attacks.
To curb this menace the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG), in the previous year had issued an order that dog owners must register their pets (one per family) and if they are found in public places without tags they will be caught and neutralised if not claimed in a week.
However, amid huge protests by pet owners and animal lovers, the civic body amended its order with officials saying the intention was never to kill unclaimed dogs.
Following this, the MCG issued directions to ban over 11 foreign dog breeds in Gurugram.
The steps taken by the civic body to tackle the menace posed by stray dogs include cautioning various housing and residential colonies and registration of pets with immediate effect upon payment of necessary charges.
Residents have complained that due to the poor sterilisation drive, the stray dog population in the city is on the rise, and the civil hospital, on average, receives as many as 15 dog bite cases daily.
"The problem has been attributed to the fewer number of sterilisation and vaccination of dogs. Another reason is the poor system of garbage disposal in most of the cities. Open dumps are abundant in our cities. These dumps become feeding grounds for stray dogs. Many roadside food stalls and slaughterhouses also discard their waste in the open, which provides food for the pack of dogs easily."
Nikhil, Pet Lover
"The MCG should continue to interact with NGOs and individuals who are keen to find answers. It should also post on its website an announcement seeking suggestions from the public. The MCG can launch a public initiative seeking partners to carry out sterilisations," Ram Mehar, president of Vatika 21 RWA, said.
Meanwhile, according to experts, the MCG needs to increase its capacity and start sterilising and vaccinating 700-1000 stray dogs per day.
"The MCG is planning to enhance its sterilisation and vaccination process. Sterilisation of animals on a large scale is the only solution to tackle the problem. Dogs keep changing their places, hence increasing in number," Dr Virender Yadav, chief medical officer of Gurugram, said.
He said they have been receiving at least 15 to 20 dog bite cases daily and the victims are mostly kids. At least 10 such cases are reported from private hospitals daily. Yadav said in 2022, the district reported over 9,000 dog bite cases.
A senior MCG official, on condition of anonymity said, there are nearly 1,50,000 stray dogs in the city and at least 15,000 pet dogs.
However, according to data between 2014-22, the corporation led the initiative by sterilising 42,228 stray dogs at a cost of Rs 2.87 crores.
"There may be a lot of cases of dog bites, but we need to understand the causes too. Many people feed dogs, which is a kind thing to do, but then the dogs make such feeding grounds their own spot. Then some people pelt stones at them or scare them with sticks. In defence, the dog gets aggressive. The MCG should conduct a massive sterilisation drive to curb the stray dog menace in cities," said Dr Abhishek Singh, a veterinary doctor at Friendicoes NGO.
In August 2022, in Gurugram's civil lines area a 36-year-old woman was attacked and repeatedly bitten by a Pitbull for at least half an hour, resulting in serious injuries on her neck and all across the body.
In November 2022, the owner of a German Shepherd pet dog was booked after it attacked a college student, who received injuries on her mouth and hand. The incident took place in old Gurugram.
In February 2023, a twelve-year-old girl narrowly escaped after a Labrador dog jumped at her and attacked her in Uniworld Garden City-2, Sector-47 in Gurugram.