Rule of barks & bites

Packs of street dogs scaring children indoors. Dogs chasing pedestrians and hostel girls. Dogs biting children. Street dogs have kept a crowded locality in the heart of Ranchi hostage, say its residents.

By RAJ KUMAR
  • Published 24.05.17
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Girls walk past a stray dog in Tharpakhna, Ranchi, on Tuesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh

Packs of street dogs scaring children indoors. Dogs chasing pedestrians and hostel girls. Dogs biting children. Street dogs have kept a crowded locality in the heart of Ranchi hostage, say its residents.

For the past six months or so, 25 to 30 dogs have struck fear in 5,000 Tharpakhna households, a residential locality in ward 31 of Ranchi Municipal Corporation.

A Class VI boy of St Aloysius School Ayush Kumar, 12, who lives in the locality, said he had been bitten on the knee by a ferocious black bitch four months ago while he was on his way to tuition. "I had to take anti-rabies vaccination," he said. "I think 10 more children in our locality have become victims of dog bites. So we don't play outside much, though it is our summer vacation," he claimed.

A grocer with a shop at DL Bose Lane of the locality said the dogs had made their lives miserable. He also called the black bitch most dangerous, adding: "She chases even adults, what to speak of kids."

Kiran Kumari, a woman who runs a food delivery system and supplies meals to 25 girls' lodges in the locality, called Convent Street and Radhagovind Street of Tharpakhana worst hit by the street dog menace. "Girls are afraid of walking on those roads due to dogs especially in mornings and evenings," she said.

Ward 31 councillor Asha Devi said she was aware of the problem and had recently requested RMC health officer Dr Kiran Kumar to send dog catchers. "So far, no one has come," he said.

Health officer Dr Kumar promised to look into the problem but asked for specific complaints.

"Generally we leave street dogs in the same locality after sterilisation. It not possible for us to reduce the number of dogs bred in a particular locality. But if dogs are biting people and pose a threat to health, we can plan mercy killing but only based on specific information about a particular dog," she said.

A well-known vet in Hinoo, Dr Suranjan Sarkar said street dogs normally did not bite or act violently without being teased or provoked. "But if they contract rabies, they bite without any provocation. A rabid dog needs to be identified," he said.