Stray dogs or abandoned pet dogs being labelled as “aggressive” will be the first to get admission to the VOSD Sanctuary and Hospital. We are waiving the one-time surrender fee for such dogs in response to the outrageous killing of dogs in Kerala and are trying to save as many dogs as we can. Rescuers will need help to transport the dogs to VOSD Bangalore. Anyone who can help dogs in Kerala by sponsoring their transportation costs to reach VOSD, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dog surrenders to VOSD from all other states are being put on hold temporarily to handle this crisis for dogs in Kerala.
RAMPANT KILLING OF STRAY & ABANDONED PET DOGS IN KERALA
For the past few weeks, news reports are filled with articles about the rampant killing of stray dogs and abandoned pet dogs in Kerala. Stray dogs are being poisoned, killed brutally, and hanged in certain towns in Kerala. It is utter lawlessness and blatant disregard for India’s Constitutional rights granted to stray animals including stray dogs. As per some online news reports, the Kerala Animal Birth Control Project, initiated by the animal husbandry department, has achieved sterilisation of only 20,000 dogs since 2016, highlighting the failure of the programme and the State Government’s negligence on this pertinent social and animal welfare issue. Culling of the strays in Kerala is in contravention of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, which restricts the killing of any animal (including stray dogs) by any method.
The State Government says it has initiated steps including setting up Animal Birth Control (ABC) centres in 152 blocks as per news reports. Currently, there are 37 centres in place. Many dog haters have roped in media and online agencies to propagate fake news about dogs and create fear and hate against dogs in people’s minds. Post-Covid there has been rapid abandonment of pet dogs adding to the increasing population of stray dogs.
STERILISATION TO CURB POPULATION OF DOGS
Sterilisation of male and female dogs is the only effective and humane method to control the population of stray dogs and annual anti-rabies vaccination can eliminate the risk of rabies in the state. Kerala has a huge population of unsterilised pet dogs that keep adding to the increase of the stray dog population. Illegal breeding of dogs and sale has to be curbed immediately.
THE LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL STANDPOINT
The Supreme Court of India has, vide order passed on the 23rd January 2009, in a Special Leave Petition titled ‘Animal Welfare Board of India versus People for Elimination of Stray Troubles and Others’, numbered as S.L.P. (Civil) No. 691 of 2009, stayed the operation of a Bombay High Court order, which had permitted the killing of “nuisance” dogs by the Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai under their municipal law. That is to say, the Supreme Court has expressed a view, and the view expressed / order passed by the Supreme Court is applicable all over India.
Even before the passing of this order, several efforts have been made, by several persons and organizations to stop the killing. In fact, even the Indian Constitution casts a fundamental duty upon ALL to show compassion to living creatures vide its Article 51A(g). No effort has however borne fruit. The killing of stray dogs is rampant in Kerala; animal cruelty rules the roost. The state of Kerala has acquired the dubious distinction of being perhaps the only Indian State where the very polity, and all agencies and instrumentalities of the state, municipalities, and panchayats, openly facilitate, participate in, or actively support dog killing. Such acts bring shame and criticism to our nation globally.