In a bid to put an end to the dog menace the Kerala government has decided to set up shelters for strays in 14 districts across the state. The government has decided to set up dog pounds to shelter strays whose population has reportedly touched 6.5 lakh. 

Local bodies minister K T Jaleel informed media that the dog pounds would be set up in the land owned by the government. “We are planning to set up dog pounds across the state. Two acres of government owned land in each district will be used for setting up pounds,” the minister said. 

The government took the decision after a 50-year-old was mauled to death by a pack of vagrant dogs near Pulluvila in Thiruvananthapuram.

Also read: Stray dogs maul fisherman to death in Thiruvananthapuram

It is the second time that the residents of the coastal village had to bear the brunt of the tragedy caused by government apathy. Last year, a 65-year-old woman was fatally lacerated by a pack of strays.

Read more: Elderly woman mauled to death by stray dogs in Thiruvananthapuram

The strays have attacked over fifty persons in the area in last one year. 

 

District wise list of stray dog attacks reported in 2015-16

  • Thiruvananthapuram - 5,948
  • Kollam - 3,670
  • Pathanamthitta - 2,892
  • Alappuzha - 2,967
  • Kottayam - 1,614
  • Ernakulam - -2,050
  • Thrissur - 2,044
  • Palakkad - 4,916

 

The minister said that the state has moved apex court seeking legal clearance to set up pounds. Collectors of all 14 districts had been directed to identify required land for the project, Local Self Government Department principal secretary T K Jose said. 

“The plan is to make use of the land with state-owned farms. There are 54 farms across Kerala. Two acres from each one could be used to set up dog pounds. The department will seek the help of animal lovers to maintain the facility. The state government will meet the expenses,” Jose said. 

The department has also started animal birth control measures to check stray’s population. It will coordinate with Kudumbashree to implement the programme. 

Also read: Kudumbashree trains women to catch stray dogs in Kerala

“There is a shortage of trained dog catchers. We have 379 dog catchers who are trained to get hold of the strays and to bring them to sterilisation centres. Kerala government will pay ₹1,900 to Kudumbashree for every neutered animal. Veterinarians conducting surgical procedure will get ₹400 per dog,” the officer said. 

Once sterilised, the dogs will be kept at the centre for five days where they will be fed and vaccinated. The strays will be then released at the place from where they were caught.