Pune: There is nothing unusual about a census for the human population every ten years. However, for the first time the residents of Pimpri Chinchwad area will come to know the exact population of dogs in the Pimpri Chinchwad area. On the backdrop of increasing cases of dog bites in the PCMC limit, the civic administration has decided to carry out a dog census by appointing a private agency.
The sample survey of the dog census has already been carried out and now the extensive survey to know the dog population, understand the dogs to human ratio, etc is being carried out. The civic administration has given a proposal to sanction Rs 1.1 lakh to Worldwide Veterinary Service firm which is carrying out the dog census in the PCMC area.
PCMC veterinary chief Dr Satish Gore told dna, “This is the first time that such a census has been carried out. Though we have been carried out various drives in areas where there are complaints of dog bites, we do not have exact figures of the dog population in the area. In order to understand the number of dogs, their ratio with the human population and their presence in particular localities, we have decided to carry out the survey.”
“During this survey, the surveyors collected a lot of information on densely populated PCMC areas, where garbage piles up. The surveyors are also collecting the data regarding male, female dogs, the number of dogs who are operated. The statistics will help us in controlling the population, and reduce dog bite cases,” Gore said.
Gore stated that the preliminary survey has been carried out by the private firm and the final survey would be complete by June-end.
With 14 rabies deaths, city sees rise in stray bite cases:
Even dog lovers cannot ignore the stray dog menace in the city. Despite, Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) efforts, 14 deaths due to Rabies caused by stray bites have been recorded so far this year.
Although, there have been 4,154 cases of dog bite cases so far in the the city, it has reduced in comparison to 6,905 in the year 2012 and 7,572 till June 2013.
“PMC is running various programmes along with NGOs to curb stray dog menace,” said Anjali Sabne, Deputy Health Officer of the Pune Municipal Corporation.
PMC catches stray dogs and takes it to the NGO, Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Animals (SPCA) and Blue Cross Society. There the dogs are sterilised via vasectomy for male dogs and given anti-rabies vaccination. After three days these dogs are let loose in the area from where they were caught.
“Citizens should understand that when we pick up dogs, we pick them up for sterilisation and vaccination purposes and the dogs will be brought back to the area after three days as per the law. We cannot leave them in some other place because like humans they have their own living area and removing them from there will amount to cruelty. Moreover, it is law that we can not pick up a female dog, who has puppies till the puppies are six months of age. So even if the puppies are creating a nuisance do not demand the PMC workers to take them away,” said Sabne
Every year the PMC releases tender for programme such as Animal Birth Control (ABC) scheme and Anti-Rabies vaccine program so that private bodies can carry out these programs in the city.
Other measures taken up by the PMC include adding two more vans for picking up dogs and making changes in the van itself. Earlier the van used for picking up dogs was closed from all sides with a hole on the roof from where dogs were dropped inside. After the changes in the van, it is more animal friendly as the door at the back has been provided along with a flap.
The staff involved in catching dogs are given proper training and vaccination to ensure safety. All the information regarding the dog picking up programme is painted on the van.
“Recently, the PMC has been allotted premises by the government which will be used as a dog farm,” said Sabne.
“We carry out sterilization and vaccination of stray dogs which are picked up by the Pune Cantonment Board,” said Dr Ushakant Gaur, Honorary Secretary of Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Animals (SPCA).