Monday, May 25, 2020

Chandigarh

COVID-19 delivers the blow both migrants and stray dogs.

April 04, 2020 12:43 PM

CHANDIGARH: The big bang COVID-19 has also turned stray dogs as ‘migrants.’ States network of open borders has been hit hard by the exodus of migrant workers who have swarmed the city but also has succeeded in instilling a sense of insecurity among the stray dogs. With lockdowns being imposed across Chandigarh, Good Samaritans who feed stray dogs face an unusual challenge. In absence of human around their vicinity stray dogs have started their ‘migration’ to some other habitat where these could get eatables.

There is no one who can feed them. City’s parks and streets which were dominated by stray dogs present a deserted look. For example parks in Sector 48 of Chandigarh vacated by stray dogs because residents who used to feed them could not do so for the past one month. Resultantly, new born have died and young one are facing hunger. A few grown up migrated to some other places and co-existence between animals and human is in danger of being cut off from main source of food.  

A month ago, feeding to stray dogs was an usual scene. A number of housing society residents fed these dogs. A resident said that feeding of strays was as much a part of urban life as traffic jams. It destroys the primordial hunting instincts of animals and encourages co-existence between animals and human. “If we could not feed at all there will be starving animals all around and that is not good from the perspective of ecosystem and humanity, ” said Mr Negi. Hungry animals will vacant their habitat and start going outside for food. Closure of hotels, dhabas and eateries have robbed the animals of another fount of food.  The number of starving dogs has increased every day.

It might push the dogs into foraging in garbage dumps, which could intensify the spread of disease, said a pet dog owner.
Will this activity be counted as an essential service, on par with allowing grocery stores and chemists to stay open? Community carers hope so. “Perhaps something needs to be done wherein feeders are allowed to continue with certain protocols in place, ” Negi said. “Even in countries with lockdowns, you are allowed to take a walk and take your pets out for a walk. Perhaps something similar can be done here too.”

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