Anutosh Bagchi at the awareness programme-cum-seminar in Dhanbad on Sunday. Picture by Gautam Dey
Stray dogs need not be neutered. There are other “humane” ways of controlling the pitter-patter of tiny paws, say a group of pet lovers from Dhanbad who have joined hands to launch an animal birth control programme at Luby Circular Road.
The trio — general manager of Hotel Skylark Anutosh Bagchi, proprietor of Hotel Kuber Kuber Singh and Ranchi-based veterinary doctor A. Kumar — held an awareness programme-cum-seminar on Sunday during which they threw light on a number of dos and dont’s that can help reduce the constant threat of dogs to pedestrians and minors.
The team members, who have started administering pills laced with Centrochrome to more than 24 canines at Luby Circular Road from July 15, believes that oral birth control measures were more effective in controlling dog population than actual sterilisation.
“The swelling dog population has definitely become a huge issue today. However, instead of adopting a negative approach, we can be a little more careful and clear the garbage that attracts these animals more often,” Bagchi said.
He added that sterilisation was an expensive and cumbersome process which involved trapping the street dogs, their sterilisation and their subsequent relocation.
“However, we have been mixing two birth control pills in the food of around 24 dogs once every week. This practice will continue for a period of around two months after which the animals would no longer be able to reproduce,” Bagchi said.
The hotel manager, who is a graduate from Ranchi University and has worked in the pharmaceutical industry before, added that he got the idea of starting the birth control programme after watching Independent MLA Abdul Rasheed march in to the Srinagar secretariat on July 11 along with hundreds of strays to draw the chief minister’s attention towards the menace.
“I discussed the idea with A. Kumar and Kuber Singh, both of who liked and agreed to support my idea,” Bagchi claimed, candidly admitting that he had a soft spot for pets since his childhood.
If the birth control programme succeeds, then the team has plans to spread to programme to other parts of Dhanbad as well.
“In the meantime, we will continue organising seminars and discussions on the rising dog population and also launch a social campaign to put an end to the practice of animal sacrifice,” he signed off.