It is a heartrending fact that the attitude of the majority of the population towards our street dogs is one of hostility, abhorrence and utter annoyance. While we may live in a constant state of denial with respect to this fact, its practice comes into play very evidently by the widespread numbers of pedigree dogs being “bought” by most of us since times immemorial.
Owing to this fact, as much as individuals, who are positively inclined towards making a difference in the lives of our Indian dogs, detest birth control of these mute spectators, sterilization seems to be the only way forward. In India, sterilization will in fact, SAVE Indies from the harsh, brutal lives they are doomed to live, frequently run over by ignorant drivers, beaten up with rods by insensitive humans, starved to death simply due to their presence which is viewed as a “threat” by individuals who hate them.
Animal activists and dog lovers have worked tirelessly to reverse the situation, alter mindsets, and encourage adoption of street dogs. However, it could take a revolution to bring about the change that we have envisioned.
Just like every homeless dog cannot potentially find a home, and each mindset cannot be refashioned- its high time we hit the nail on the head and nip the problem in the bud. Sterilization is key- incase we desire change at the grass-root.
What is sterilization? Let us examine the medical epistemology of the term.
Sterilization is the surgical removal of the reproductive organs, of both male and female dogs. In males, the procedure is commonly referred to as neutering. Among the females, spaying refers to the removal of the ovaries and the uterus, which prevents the female from going on heat and thus acts as a hindrance towards reproduction.
Another essential reason pushing for the need for greater animal birth control is the small number of animal shelters, which are only declining in proportion to the growing street dog population. Take some time off and visit a shelter- to your surprise, you will witness dogs of all breeds. A plethora of abandoned, ill, young and old dogs, waiting to be taken to their forever homes. What binds them together is an untold past and an uncertain future. Thus, these shelters naturally find it difficult to cater to the needs of dogs beyond those, which can be housed in these particular shelters. Unfortunately, the greater the population of dogs in these small areas, the greater the possibility of diseases and infections, posing serious risks to the lives of the dogs as well as their care takers.
With NGO’s bursting at the seams, inadequate fosters and unwillingness to “adopt” over the popular mechanism of shopping pure breeds, the streeties are left to die on the roads. A few may receive regular meals and medical attention, while the majority scrounges for food in garbage dumps, with miles of no water. This is the plight of our indigenous breed-the Desi.
As responsible citizens, let’s pledge to sterilize our community dogs- not only do we rid ourselves of the uncared for and simultaneously expanding dog population, we also help the voiceless. An undernourished female with a litter of 6-8 is not an uncommon sight. Weak and tiny puppies are often run over by ruthless cars or succumb to their illness.
Animal Birth Control seeks to solve the widespread problem of home-less street dogs and at the same time comes out to be a more compassionate method of dealing with the large numbers as opposed to the “Catch and Kill” procedures adopted by areas such as Madras in the 1800s.