Stray dogs have the right to live too…
Unfortunately, this is easier said than established. For some citizens, strays dogs will always be considered a huge menace. There have been several instances of stray dogs being poisoned, tortured and forcibly relocated.
Ironically, there are several hundred volunteers who work tirelessly to feed, vaccinate and sterilise stray dogs in the city. Often, they are left to face the wrath of citizens who are in constant conflict with small animals.
Adding fuel to the fire. a recent news report pointed to worried citizens taking preventive measures against Rabies. The report suggested that two rabid dogs had killed several puppies in the locality and the residents now believed that the disease is being spread.
Speaking to Pune365, Neha Panchamiya, Founder and Director of Resq says, “Rabies is endemic to India and has existed on our streets for a long time. It is 100 per cent preventable if you get the right medical attention when scratched or bitten by a stray dog.
There is no basis to attribute all these cases to Rabies- If 6 puppies die, Rabies is not the only factor that could have affected their mortality.
Puppy litters get wiped out every single day and there are very various factors that contribute to their deaths. Neha adds, As far as my knowledge there has been no positive rabies case from Lohegaon in the past two months.
Moreover, PMC has given out a contract for Mass Anti-Rabies vaccination to the Blue Cross very recently. All the dogs getting vaccinated against Rabies will be collared red, the same way that last year all the vaccinated dogs had green coloured collars.
Rabies exists, yes. Just like Dengue and a myriad of other life-threatening diseases. But it is 100% preventable, EVEN IF YOU GET BITTEN BY A RABID DOG, Neha added.
Trisha Joshi, an active volunteer from Lohegaon shares, “These articles actually create human- animal conflict especially since the number of dogs have increased.
Speaking to Pune365 on cases of Rabies, Trisha remarks, “I can vouch for the fact that there was not a single case of rabies we came across in the past few months.
Corroborating Neha, Trisha says, “Resq is our first point of contact if there is any rabid dog, and there are no rabid dogs in the area for the past few month.”
These are just reports that end up fuelling hate towards dogs. Citizens get carried away and may harm the animals, Joshi added.
Allaying these fears, Dr Ravi Pratap, Consultant & Head –Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medical Services, Sahyadri Hospitals says, “Rabies is a rare disease, we barely get cases of rabies in our hospitals.
And, in the last few months we have not encountered any such case. Moreover, if there is a outbreak of rabies, we get to know about it and almost immediately, a circular is issued to all the hospitals in the city.
But, so far there have been no rabies cases reported these recent months, Pratap added.
#All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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