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The number of stray dogs in various neighborhoods has increased dramatically in the past year. It seems like everywhere you go, you run into a group of dogs lazing about or barking at passersby.
I have always been a dog lover [actually an animal lover], and that is why when I heard that stray dogs in the city are being put down, my heart broke. Obviously, we can’t afford to have such dogs multiplying exponentially, and with that in mind, the decision to rid the city of their presence is understandable.
Although this may sound a bit unrealistic, I always thought that the way we handle animals is an indication of how civilized we are. Caring for a life, whether human or animal, is a sign of maturity and kindness. I believe in this country we have yet to get to the point where we start caring about the life of other species in general. There are so many other issues to worry about (poverty, cost of living, meeting MDG and GTP goals etc). that worrying about dogs on the streets might seem quite insignificant. That may be why many of us do not care if a dog is run over by a car or that we have dogs in our homes we barely see and keep locked up until they become crazy and turn violent. Taking care of animals teaches people a lesson; a lesson of responsibility, a lesson of caring and of value.
Still, we of course need to be very careful when we come across stray dogs because rabies is transmitted mainly through dogs. With the number of dogs roaming the streets nowadays, it would be very easy to spread the disease if one of them gets infected.
In developed countries, vaccinating animals against such diseases is mandatory, especially pets, and owners are held responsible for the safety of their animals. In our own country though, getting pets vaccinated is literally unknown, and the very few who do have them vaccinated have either lived abroad, or are educated enough to understand the dangers involved in not doing so and also have the means. Who can afford to spend money on animals or pets while people don’t even have money to spend on themselves? I believe the government should establish some sort of authority that will be in charge of such issues. Maybe it could be called the Pet Control Authority, but I am just voicing some of my ideas here.
This so called ‘Pet Control Authority’ could make sure that pets are vaccinated and also make sure that stray dogs are adopted by those who seek pets or are put down in a humane way. Dogs usually breed twice a year, and the number of litter they have ranges from 3 to 9, depending on various factors like breed, the care they receive and the environment they live in. The number of stray dogs appears to be increasing to the point where they might start causing serious problems and a humane solution must be found to address the issue.
In rural areas, dogs are used to guard livestock and also tend to breed with wolves. This has previously caused the wolf population to decline when they were infected by dogs which have contracted the rabies virus. Therefore, the effect of not taking the matter seriously and in a timely manner is significant. If people living in such areas are infected by the rabies virus, their means of reaching a health facility in time to combat the disease and survive is minimal.
For those of us who can, let’s make sure that we provide our pets at home with what they need and a little more. There is no animal that is better at teaching us what love is than a dog. A dog’s love is uncluttered by selfishness and it is unconditional; they protect their masters and the whole family and they never leave your side no matter what. They are not called “a man’s best friend” for no reason and they deserve better treatment from us.