Photo by Anoir Chafik on Unsplash

An incident which happened during the COVID lockdown comes to my memory. Josh and Tania were my neighbor's children. When the pandemic hit, the neighborhood park was closed, and their play was restricted to their home. One of the highlights of their day was watching the antics of a pet cat, Milo, which Ms. Lara owned. Ms. Lara lived opposite to their home, and she spent a lot of her time with her beloved cat in the porch.

One evening, I was sipping my hot sweet tea, enjoying the sounds of the birds and the sight of the colorful butterflies in the balcony garden. Usually, tea time went tandem with online work, but surprisingly that day, I was done with work for the day. I noticed that Josh and Tania had found a new past time. They were feeding a few street dogs, just inside their house. I observed that the dogs had taken shelter inside the garage. I was amused at the enthusiasm of the children’s good deed. I did not give it much thought.

A couple of days later, I heard the sad news that Ms. Lara’s cat was killed by the stray dogs. The cat had ventured out in the dark and went too close to the newly born puppies of one of the stray dogs. The dogs must have attacked perceiving it will harm their little puppies. This incident made me research on stray dogs. It is okay to feed or shelter stray dogs, but we have to keep in mind the following points.

If they are given shelter they have to be vaccinated, dewormed, and de-flead. They should be neutered as well. An anti rabies shot is also essential annually. The caretakers should also take responsibility should a person get chased or attacked at night since stray dogs are very protective and defend their territory and their puppies.

Street dogs can be aggressive if they feel threatened. This might explain why they chase people who are jogging on the road, or children on their bikes. They should not be a nuisance to neighbors. Dogs start guarding the territories they are fed in, and that becomes a problem. They should be fed away from homes. We should be humane but also be responsible. 

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