About Me

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Mumbai, India
I'm a landrace dog fancier, birder and amateur arachnologist. Founder of the INDog Project (www.indog.co.in) and the INDog Club. Before that, worked with urban free-ranging dogs of Mumbai from 1993-2007. Also a wildlife conservationist working in the tiger reserves of central India with Satpuda Foundation.

This blog is for aboriginal breed enthusiasts. It is part of the INDog Project www.indog.co.in. Only INDogs (Indian Pariah) and INDog-mix mongrels are featured here. The two are NOT the same, do please read the text on the right to understand the difference. Our aim: to create awareness about the primitive natural breed called the Indian Pariah Dog/INDog. I sometimes feature other landrace breeds too.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dislocation 5 - Causes, solutions

What's the reason for displacement?

A crucial aspect of the ABC programme, the catching and release of dogs, is left entirely to the municipal corporation staff, with no participation by the animal welfare organizations.

The flaw in this system is over-optimism. After all the corporation has never shown any real commitment to the ABC programme and has actually tried to hamper it in different ways over the past 17 years. Is it realistic to trust them to carefully return each dog to its own area? The evidence suggests no.

There IS a solution

If they chose to, NGOs could follow the example of the Visakha SPCA, a dynamic NGO in Andhra Pradesh.

VSPCA has strict procedures to ensure that neutered dogs are returned to their own areas. They send their own personnel with the municipal team on catching and release trips and maintain records about the exact location of each dog.

While I don't work in the birth control programme any more, I know and respect several of the NGO managers and I am aware of how hard they work and what a struggle it is to raise funds in a society that doesn't prioritize animal welfare at all. The reason they do not hire personnel to accompany the catch and release vans is not apathy though it may appear that way; it is simply an understandable wish to cut down expenses.

However this kind of economical measure is self-defeating since it results in extreme suffering and possibly the death of many dogs.
Which means all the hard-earned money spent on neutering those dogs has actually been wasted.

Displacement is a cardinal error, violating the principles of both animal welfare and animal control.
It also destroys the credibility of the ABC programme. Vizag SPCA is as strapped for funds as any other animal welfare NGO; yet they do not cut corners when it comes to a dog's safety. Their's seems the responsible way to use donors' money, which is given in good faith in the expectation that it will be used for the betterment of dogs' lives.

Time for my disclaimer:

This is NOT an attack on any NGO or on NGOs in general. In the unlikely event that any NGO people read this, there will possibly be indignant reactions like "does she know how hard we have to work" and "does she think it's easy to raise money" and "easy to criticize when she just sits at the comp and does no real work."

Yes I do appreciate how tough and thankless animal welfare work is. I've been there. I also have great respect for the intelligence and honesty of the NGO people I know, and I believe they will acknowledge the truth of what I've written here.

These dogs can't tell people about their distress. I'm doing it for them.
I can't do much else, but I can at least do that.



georgia little pea said...

sad situation. strange that the authorities would go to all the trouble to catch and neuter, and then don't follow through to ensure the dogs' survival and welfare on the streets. may just as well have put them to sleep :(

georgia's human xox

Rajashree Khalap said...

It's supposed to be a collaboration between animal welfare organizations and the municipal corporation, with the corporation catching the dogs, handing them to the non-profits for neutering, and then taking them back to their own area again. That's where the problem lies, the fact that the non-profit animal welfare organizations don't take part in the catching and release themselves. Only VSPCA seems to be doing that, they don't leave it to the corporation. If all the welfare organizations would follow the VSPCA procedure of accompanying the municipal catching staff, this whole problem would be solved.