PMC dog squad to get 4 more vehicles, budget doubled to Rs 80 lakh

Stray dog

With stray dog population growing in the city, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) will now add more vehicles to its fleet to help the dog squad take up effective sterilisation of dogs in all the four areas of zonal offices. At present, the PMC dog squad has three vehicles, while four more will be procured on Thursday.

"Ten vehicles, including three from NGOs, will help the squad travel to different areas. We were waiting for clearances as the demand has been pending for long,'' said PMC deputy health officer Dr Anjali Sabne. With many complaints coming from Kothrud and Yerawada areas, she said the vehicles would take stray dogs to dog pounds for sterilisation and anti-rabies shots and drop them back after three days.

Of 40,000 stray dogs in the city, she said, only 8,000-9,000 were sterilised in a year. "With more vehicles moving in all the areas, it would help us provide a better reach,'' said the PMC official. They would also recruit more employees for the squads. With the budget increasing this year to Rs 80 lakh from Rs 40 lakh, she said, they would be able to allocate good budget to NGOs working with the civic body. "Three bodies — Blue Cross Society, Society for Protection to Cruelty to Animals and Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) — are helping us and they too have vehicles,'' said Sabne.

"The dog squad can catch the strays, sterilise them and even vaccinate them but they would have to send them back to the very area. This has irked residents, though this is as per the rule,'' said Sabne.

Whenever there has been a stray dog bite case, the health department has conducted camps in the area. This year, the number of dog bite cases crossed 5,755 in the first five months. In 2006, this figure was 4,281, in 2007 it was 4560, 9,645 in 2008, 12,539 in 2009, 11,523 in 2010 and 12,840 cases in 2011.

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