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Doggone It!

As a child growing up in Madras, I remember my granny telling me every summer during the baking 'kathiri veyyil' days (when the sun is reputed to be at its peak) that if I went out of the house, I might come across the dogs that were driven mad by the heat. Of course, I made sure I stayed put inside the house, all the while looking out of the window for any stray mad dogs, rather like Scout.

Why am I thinking of mad dogs now, you wonder. Well, in the past few months, the news reports I have been reading / watching about the doggie antics, makes me wonder if it is the mad dog season world over.

Things took a decided turn for the worse in England on New Year's Day when five-year old Ellie Lawrenson was mauled to death by her uncle's American pit bulls. Young Caydee-Lee suffered a similar, horrible fate - her parents were pub-sitting and whilst they were away, couple of dogs dragged her out of bed and killed her. As a mum, I cannot even imagine what those poor parents must have gone through and what they have to live with for the rest of their lives.

Last week on TV, there was a special news programme about the dogs suddenly running amok and turning on the people. One lady who was a victim of such attacks, talked about how her whole life is in ruins now. Apparently, as she was walking down a park near where she lived, two American pit bulls latched on to her and tried their best to drag her away. She held on to the railings for dear life and it was a good twenty minutes before a passer-by braved the dogs and helped her out. She's in excruciating pain now and is unable to use her left arm. She needs a full-time carer to help her and it was real pitiful to see this once confident and beautiful woman broken up in pieces.

There has been a widespread dog amnesty in Merseyside as well as in other areas of the country. Police have had owners of Rottweilers, pit-bulls and other ‘danger’ breeds come in and leave their dogs with the authorities, without fear of punishment. A lot of dogs have been culled, much to the RSPCA and animal activists' disgust. But even the police admit that the ones that really breed these dogs to become nasty killers are still at large and the public, still at danger from these dangerous beasts.

Around the same time this is happening in the UK, similar events have been taking place in India as well. By now, you might know the story of the children these stray dogs attacked and the resultant culling. Whilst the act has upset animal lovers, the sadness over what happened to the poor children reigns supreme. After all, we have all looked at these mangy curs askance at one time or another, wondering if they are going to take a chunk off you that day.

What has happened to these dogs to make them go on a rampage? Why are these random dogs across UK and India turning on the people? More importantly, what is the solution to this problem?

In the UK, the general belief is that these dogs, that have been especially bred to be aggressive killing machines, possibly for ‘entertainment’, must be culled and their owners, severely punished. Though it is no fault of the dogs that they are so, they still cannot go against their nature and it is in our best interests to protect ourselves and if the only way out is to put them down, then measures must be taken to do so. The ones that must be punished are those short-sighted people that bred these dogs in the first place, thereby putting the unsuspecting public in danger and causing untold grief to the sufferers. At the same time, proper legislation must be put in place to protect the innocent dogs , so that they aren’t mindlessly killed.

In India, the situation is completely different. As the dogs involved are not all domestic pets, one might think the prospect of putting these dogs down might not be such a wrench but these are still animals, and we need to think how we ended up with so many strays littering the countryside in the first place. We need to get some more dog shelters and find ways of funding them so these dogs are rescued from the streets. We must find it in our hearts to set up organisations like the Battersea Dogs Home, where these neglected and discarded animals are given a new lease of life.

Who knows, by doing so, we might make sure that these sort of horrific events do not take place ever again.

Posted by DesiGirl 6:17 pm  


  1. magicrna said...
    God, thats aweful! There were some such incidents here in the US a few years reminds me of Amores Perros...terrible:(
    DesiGirl said...
    it is, rather. some folks think as they are just animals, anything goes.

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