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Call for pet pooch registration
Darjeeling to build stray dog shelter

Darjeeling, May 11: Darjeeling municipality has decided to register all pet dogs in town and create a shelter for the upkeep of stray pooches.

The registration fee has been fixed at Rs 300 a year and pets vaccinated against canine hepatitis, rabies and other diseases can apply.

The announcement was made at a dog show organised by the Darjeeling Kennel Club at Chowrasta here today.

Amar Singh Rai, chairman of the civic body, said: “Till some time back, I used to hear that kofta (meat ball laced with poison) used to be given to stray dogs but this practice has stopped. We are taking initiatives for the proper care of dogs in Darjeeling.”

The 164-year-old civic body still has a post of a dog shooter.

“But the dog shooter has been working as a peon at the Darjeeling municipality and no longer shoots dogs,” Singh Rai said.

Sources said the primary objective of getting pet dogs registered was to keep tabs on them.

“We will charge a nominal amount (Rs 300 per annum) for registration. Since a lot of animal lovers gathered here today, I would appeal to everyone to take the initiative,” Singh Rai said at the dog show today. “Dogs would not be allowed to litter everywhere and create nuisance in the neighbourhood. If the owners do not get their pet dogs registered, we would be compelled to take adverse action,” he added without elaborating.

Singh Rai, however, did not say when the registrations would start.

Prawi Pradhan, a businessman and the proud owner of Spotty, a two-and-a-half-year-old Dalmatian who took part in the show today, said: “This is a good initiative. Once registered, every dog will have a tag and it would be easy to find them out if they get lost.”

The civic body would not hold camps or vaccinate the registered pets, sources said.

The municipality has also decided to create a shelter for the upkeep of stray dogs.

“We are in the initial stages of discussions with NGOs to set up a dog pound where strays would be looked after and given vaccines, like anti-rabies vaccines,” said Singh Rai.

Last year, Darjeeling witnessed few incidents of suspected dog attacks

On January 11, 2013, Chengba Sherpa, a resident of Toongsoong, was found dead with his flesh ripped apart near Chowrasta. It was suspected that a leopard had killed him.

Few days later, on January 22, Sachadev Lepcha, 21, was chased by stray dogs and bitten in the same area. Local people came to his rescue and managed to scare the dogs away.

Forest officials had laid traps and installed CCTVs in the area and the footages had shown that a goat that had been kept as bait was attacked by stray dogs almost every night.

Manish Lama, the president of Darjeeling Kennel Club, said: “The objective (of creating the dog shelter) is to vaccinate as many stray dogs as possible.”

Today, 70 pooches of 13 breeds participated in the dog show

A pair of Russian Samoyed — Sky, 5, and Lilian, 6, — said to be the only ones in the country, attracted shutterbugs throughout the show.

“I got them flown in from Siberia through a Taiwanese breeder. The dogs are used to pull sledges there and are very friendly with humans but they are cruel to animals,” said Diamond Oberoi, the owner. The pair cost him Rs 3 lakh around five years ago.

Gangtok resident Roshan Tamang’s five-year-old German Shepherd Liger won “dog of the day” title at the show. Liger enthralled the crowd, almost 1,000 people, with tricks like jumping through a ring.

Lama said: “The dogs participated in small, medium, large and giant categories. In the giant category, we had Tibetan Mastiff, Saint Bernard and Great Dane.

MASTERS OF THE DAY

Seventy dogs of 13 breeds took part in a dog show organised by the Darjeeling
Kennel Club at Chowrasta in the hill town on Sunday. Some of the showstoppers:

Breed: German Shepherd
Name of dog: Liger
In what category did the dog contest: Large category
Name of owner: Roshan Tamang, Gangtok
Ownerspeak: “I am really proud of Liger’s performance.”
Did he win: Dog of the Day title
Breed: Doberman
Name of dog: Coddy
In what event did the dog contest: Large category
Name of owner: Rahul Gurung
Ownerspeak: “I brought the dog from Calcutta. The show was the first for both
of us.”
Did he win: Third in the large category
Breed: Russian Samoyed
Name of dogs: Sky and Lilian
In what event did the dogs contest: Medium category
Name of owner: Diamond Oberoi
Ownerspeak:“I am happy
that they participated in the show. I had to look around for two years to get them.”
Did the dogs win anything: Sky second in medium category