Saving “nuisance” dogs from harm

 In Blog, Outreach & Programs

1Animal Aid is in its 8th month working hard to assist the local municipal government in humanely responding to complaints about “nuisance” dogs in order to protect dogs from harm and educate communities about dog behavior and dog bite prevention.

Twice a week, Animal Aid’s team of educators and expert dog catchers and handlers goes out into the community to vaccinate street dogs against rabies and meet with people who have complained to the local municipal corporation about dogs to hear their concerns and help explain the dogs’ side of the story.

Vaccinating dogs is not only critical to ensuring the eradication of rabies, but it also helps dispel the fears that can lead to dogs being harmed.

Since May of 2014 we have vaccinated more than 700 street dogs and interacted with thousands of people on dog issues as well as general animal protection such as calling our helpline to inform us about injured and ill animals and reporting animal cruelty.

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We vaccinate more than half of the dogs without using the net, which gives onlookers a chance to see us interact lovingly with dogs in their neighborhood they may have been fearful of.

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We were thrilled to welcome Udaipur’s newly elected Mayor, Mr. Chandra Singh Kothari, to Animal Aid’s shelter earlier in the month to introduce him to our rescue and sanctuary work, and discuss further ways of working together to create harmony between Udaipur’s residents and community dogs.

udaipur mayor

BACKGROUND

When you first come to India, one of the first things you notice are the animals on the streets–dogs sunbathing on the side of the road, cows peacefully ambling through crowds, monkeys preening on terraces, and pigs cooling off in open gutters.

For animal lovers, the presence of animals and nature intermixed with city life can feel almost magical.

As you know from following our rescue work, life as a street animal isn’t always easy. Dogs can be hit by speeding cars, cows can get sick from eating plastic, and monkeys can be killed by touching electric wires.
But there is also another threat to street animals: their status as “nuisance” animals in the minds of many Indians, particularly towards street dogs.

Fear of being bitten, annoyed at their barks during the night, or bothered by their defecation in the streets, free roaming dogs are not always welcomed.

Indian law gives dogs the right to be born and live in peace, protected from cruelty, on the street. Dog’s territories on the street are protected by law and the displacement or removal of healthy street dogs for any reason other than adoption illegal.

Most street dogs are by and large accepted or ignored by the residents of the neighborhoods they live in. They are given left-over food, children play with puppies, and almost every neighborhood has several families who give names to dogs and allow several dogs to come into their homes and live as pets.

In general, people are afraid or uninterested in petting dogs but as long as the dogs keep their distance they don’t object to a dog’s presence.

However, in some neighborhoods there is a family who strongly dislikes or hates dogs. This family might find it intolerable for a dog to so much as sit beside their gate. They might throw rocks, hit them with sticks, or they may go so far as to leave rat poison in sweets to intentionally kill neighborhood dogs.

Hurting a neighborhood dog in any way is against the law, but there is rarely a neighbor interested in filing a complaint with the police and starting a conflict with their neighbor. (Animal Aid actively encourages Udaipur residents to inform us of animal cruelty.)

Municipal corporations receive complaints about dogs on a regular basis. Sometimes the complaint is about a specific dog who has bitten someone, but most of the complaints are about harmless activities like dogs barking in the night or sitting on top of someone’s car. Animal Aid is forwarded calls about biting dogs and we go to assess the complaint and bring the dog back to our shelter for observation. In the cases of general “nuisance” complaints, we go with our team to vaccinate and educate.

Our twice-weekly rabies inoculation camps have been extremely effective in dispelling fear of dogs, helping cool down situations of negativity towards dogs, and meeting hundreds of adorable dogs all along the way!

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Showing 20 comments
  • Janelle Kent

    I am appreciative and supportive of your work on behalf of the animals in India. I am glad to see that you are able to vaccinate. Is there any law to prohibit the neutering and spaying of dogs (and cats for that matter. This would reduce numbers and actually, neutered males are much less aggressive…than if left unneutered. Thank you again–you are doing great work!

  • jean Fitzgerald

    I absolutely agree with the above comment with regard to neutering and spaying of the dogs and cats. Tackle the problem from the source rather than coping with the numbers of unwanted and uncared for animals.

  • Patricia Gangloff

    I just want to thank all of the kind, compassionate people at Animal Aid Unlimited. Your programs and rescue efforts have saved so many lives and touched the hearts of people across the world. I hope others who see your site will donate so you may continue with what I know is very hard work—both emotionally and physically. I hope you will forgive my alluding to Western religious ideology here, but we have a saying in the U.S. that there is a special place in heaven for people like you. It has never been more true.

  • Dean Kotula

    I continually watch the videos you post since they are so heart warming yet attest to the ongoing necessity of the vital work you are doing. I was so thrilled to be a small part of the action having volunteered at your sancturary in Udaipur last year. Never have I witnessed such love; the love amongst the staff for each other and all the animals around them. As a volunteer, I was immediately welcomed and made a part of the miracles happening there. A few days in, two guys invited me to join them for lunch – this meant inviting a third person to share the motorcycle ride! Their love and generosity is astounding….and infectious! Please Donate so they can continue with this valuable work!

  • Deepak Purbia

    Thank you Animal Aid Unlimited team for your work. I respect your efforts for save stray animals. Your team is doing great work to rescue ill, injured animals in Udaipur Rajasthan.
    Thanks alot to work in India and educating us.

  • Tiffany

    G Great Job India needs more shelters and education about animal rights.

  • Albert Barnes

    Certainly the heart speaks ever so much more profoundly than the mouth. My heart is kindled into flames when I see what is done for the animals of India. If only the so called leaders of the world cared as much about people as you people who do this work. We would then have good world to live in.

  • Katie

    Is there any chance that a spay/neuter drive would be legal?? I’d love to come and help with something like that.

  • didi magnin

    As a child in Burma, pie dogs were a part of the scenery, no-one cared about them. I’m glad to find Animalaid is working for them.

  • Judy Mandelbrot

    I too admire all the work yon do in helping & saving animals lives. Everyone who works for animal aid unlimited
    seems so kind & caring for the animals. Please keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • elly

    So happy with people like you, deeply respect for you all and everything you do for the animals.
    I was lucky to donate a few times and it feels so good. I keep doing it for your good work, i love you all!

  • Aryn Alexis

    Just happened to see your site when I was doing some research. I have never been more profoundly impacted by such compassion and dedication as that demonstrated by yourself, your staff and volunteers. I am a member of the ASPCA in the US and now will happily will make a monthly donation to Animal Aid Unlimited. I have rescued about over 30 animals, mostly dogs over the past twenty years and currently have nine various breed dogs that live in my home. These were animals that required extensive medical attention and could not be adopted out. I certainly understand the magnitude of your project and am so very impressed. As I am not a tax deductible rescue all their care is out of pocket and average about $300.00 a month to care for the dogs veterinary expenses, food and all aspects of their care. As my pack declines due to illness and simply old age I will increase the monthly donation to your organization. I can’t imagine a more satisfying way to put my federal tax money to work. God bless you all.

  • Maya

    Hi! I am almost 12 and really admire your work I recently went to a camp in Missouri called “Cub Creek Science Camp” and it was based off of animals and learning how give injections on an orange and leading how to take care of the exotic animals.My dad is from India and I I was wondering how old you have to be to volunteer

  • Ankita

    hello animal aid people.
    I m from udaipur. once my family had 14 stray dogs and they are like our babies. but our neighbors never like us just because of them. now I am not staying in udaipur but I always miss all of our babies.
    I am very much touched, that someone like u people is working in udaipur also. thank u so much.

  • Viki Sdepanian

    the only thing to say is thank you
    very inspirational… love your hard work, dedication and patience

  • Nouman Ali

    I have no words for you guys after watch your videos you are doing such a great job and that’s what the God needs from us. Love you guys.

  • Becky

    You are truly wonderful people. Thank you so much for all you do. Your hearts are strong and beautiful. If there’s any proof that heaven exist, it’s all of you. Absolutely AMAZING!!!

  • Zuzana Balajová

    Thank you very much for your work.It is very important and necessary.I hope,you will save a lot of anomálie.Thank you

  • Zuzana Balajová

    Thank you very much for your work.It is very important and necessary.I hope,you will save a lot of animals. Thank you

  • Liz stolle

    I sort of stumbled upon your organisation while watching another.dog/rescuer situation. It was the story of Jeremy. The sweet boy who was severely injured. I could barely get thru to the “happy.part”. I volunteer with an organisation that rescues captive wildlife. Their territory is NOrth American continent. Wild Animal Sanctuary. I know,first hand, the cruelty and neglect animals receive from some humans so I know your plight. I donated 75.00.today and will become a monthly contributor. Very uplifting endings for so many you have helped. I know it’s a tough job and am glad you all care. Thankyou, thankyou. With gratitude, Elizabeth Stolle, Roggen, Colorado

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