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NAGPUR: Over the years, sterilization of stray dogs has been a complete failure in the city despite repeated directives from the judiciary.

Following norms laid by the Animal Welfare Board of India(AWBI), the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), has now constituted a special committee to monitor Animal Birth Control(ABC) operations in the city.

The seven-member committee, consisting of additional deputy municipal commissioner, district animal husbandry deputy commissioner, dean of Government Veterinary College, NMC's health officer and members of People For Animals (PFA), Indian Society For Animal Human Welfare and Green Vigil Foundation.

The committee is expected to make the sterilization process more efficient and transparent. ABC operations, which have commenced from January 3 in association with Government Veterinary College, are being performed at the government veterinary hospital at Alankar square.

As a single centre is not sufficient for operating the city's dog population which allegedly has increased to nearly a lakh, one of the main agendas of the committee will be starting-up more centres. "The purpose of ABC will not get solved till ward-wise sterilization is done. At least ten centres are needed in the city," said PFA city chief Karishma Galani.

During her recent visit, union minister and animal rights leader Maneka Gandhi had also expressed concern over lack of transparency in the sterilization process. TOI too had repeatedly reported about AWBI slamming NMC for not following proper methodology while conducting ABC operations. Last year, NMC was given strict instructions by the board to form a monitoring committee which will ensure the due prescribed procedure is followed to control dog population.

Most of the times, organizations bidding the lowest amount are roped in to perform operations. To avoid this, the board has advised that a standard amount of Rs700 per dog be sanctioned. Currently, the civic body is paying Rs650 per dog. "A budget of Rs25 lakhs was earmarked for ABC operations. From this financial year, we will try to get administrative approval for the amount suggested by AWBI," said NMC veterinary officer Dr Gajendra Mahalle.

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by activist Ankita Shah is also being heard by the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court. Seeing no end to the stray dog menace in the city, Shah had moved to the judiciary demanding compensation for victims of dog-bites and resuming Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme immediately and continue it till the dog population is evidently controlled.

Kaustav Chatterjee, founder of Green Vigil Foundation, said, "We will take efforts to raise awareness about the ABC programme."

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To curb the stray dog menace, teams of the Municipal Corporation, Bathinda, started a drive to catch stray dogs two days ago.

The terror of dogs in the city is such that as many as 1,040 patients visited the Civil Hospital from May 1, 2015 to April 30, 2016, for getting anti-rabies injections. The information was revealed by the Health Department under the RTI Act.

Last year in November, Mayor Balwant Rai Nath was bitten by a stray dog in the Sanjay Nagar area. Thereafter, it was expected that the civic body would initiate a new scheme to tackle the menace. The problem has increased manifold due to the lacklustre approach of the corporation.

Sunil, a resident of Pukhraj colony, said he had filed a number of complaints with officials of the MC regarding the stray dog menace, but to no avail.

Meanwhile, officials of the civic body claim that as many as 20 dogs have been sterilised in the past two days while earlier 50 dogs were sterilised in the city.

A dog shelter scheme of the civic body has been lying in cold storage for the past one year.

BJP leader Sunil Singla and Congress councillor Sherry Goyal said the civic body should take the issue seriously. They said besides stray dogs, stray cattle had also become a cause of worry for residents of the city.


Around 22 people died and more than 100 injured in the past five years due to stray animals.

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Five days after the golden-haired, nine-year-old Labrador was snatched from his master's hands while on an afternoon stroll, Hobbes was found, unhurt, tethered to a fence of a house's terrace in a village nearly 7km away.

His owners, who had put up posters in nearby areas for information on Hobbes, said they were led to their beloved pet by a caller who had read the report on Hobbes' disappearance on January 18. The caller, they said, did not identify himself but had noticed a golden Labrador, which looked similar to Hobbes' picture in the report, brought to a neighbouring house around the same time.

Supriya Chawla, daughter-in-law of wing commander B R Mehta (retd) from whose hand Hobbes was snatched on January 17, said they got a call around 9.15am on Saturday. The caller asked for Mehta, a name he had seen in the report.

"He refused to divulge his name but directed us to Begumpur Khatola village," Supriya said. "When we reached the house and asked the its occupants about Hobbes, they admitted a dog had been brought to them three days ago by the driver of an auto the family owns. They handed over Hobbes immediately and also gave the mobile number of the auto driver."

The dog was taken to a doctor for a check. "He is fine. He is sleeping a lot but looking relaxed now. I want to thank the media for the support in helping us find Hobbes. The report helped in not only finding him but in also raising awareness about dog-snatching in Gurgaon," said Mehta (80), who lodged an FIR of snatching at Sadar police station.

Police said the auto driver, 45-year-old Suresh, had been taken into in custody for questioning. Suresh claimed a drunk man had left the dog near his auto on January 17. "He says he took the dog to his house but his family members refused to keep him," said Surender Singh, the investigating officer. "The next day, he went to his employer and asked them to keep the dog for some days. We are trying to nab the main accused who snatched the dog after pushing the senior citizen", Singh added.




Hobbes was snatched around 4pm on Tuesday afternoon on the green belt outside Vatika City.