But now dog pounds in Chennai don’t just seem an illegal inevitability but turns out the decision to make them was taken in the presence of Chennai AWOs including the Blue Cross of India, PFA & SPCA. This comes out clearly in the minutes of the “monitoring committee“meeting held on 15th February, 2013. The meeting was convened by the Commissioner, “regarding animal birth control“. It was in this meeting that the dog pounds were agreed upon.
- In the minutes there is is no evidence of a strong push back from the AWOs on this to the Municipal Commissioner/ Mayors office. Other than an observation of PFA asking for ABC at the same location there is nothing to suggest that Blue Cross and SPCA having voiced anything at all! This amounts to concurrence not protest.
- If this decision was made and the intent of the Mayor was clear why is that the AWOs (and the AWBI Rep) did not ring the alarm bells and we get to learn of this from a newspaper report 10 days before the ‘supposed due date’ of pounds opening?
- And now that the cat’s out of the bag why have the AWOs not taken the bull by the horns and given the pushback to the Mayors office and seen to be giving that pushback (since no evidence of that has been seen so far on the e-mail chains & Facebook communities related to stray dogs in India in which the members of these organizations are active and do engage with the ‘dog activists’ and where a great deal of concern is being voiced).
- “Principal Secretary / Commissioner requested the N.G.O.s to render assistance in maintaining the ‘Dog Shelters’, which are proposed to be established in all the zones by the Corporation of Chennai and one shelter initially at Madambakkam for accommodating 2000 homeless, sick and aged dogs.” (Item 10)
- “Principal Secretary / Commissioner expressed that dogs caught near the hospitals and educational institutions are left at the same place after Animal birth control operations and insisted that , this practice should be dispensed with. N.G.O.s agreed to this suggestion.” (Item 9)
- Every stray dog is a “homeless” dog. So the intent is clear – that all dogs be bundled into these ‘Dog Shelters’. This is clearly contrary to Rule 7(6) of the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules ; and what is ironical is that this illegality was mooted and adopted at a monitoring committee meeting, “regarding animal birth control” (as per the minutes). As we all know, the ABC (D) Rules clearly mandate that dogs have to be sterilized, vaccinated, and then released back at the localities that they were picked up from. In fact, dog populations stabilize only if the dogs are released back at their own territories. If the same is done, they keep newer dogs from entering the vacuum created by their absence. In any event, what was decided at this meeting was contrary to the ABC (D) Rules ; and it was decided in the presence of the Blue Cross of India, PFA, and SPCA representatives, who did not protest. In fact, even an Assistant Secretary from the AWBI is supposed to have been present. The AWBI has openly taken a stand against the pounds ; but have the animal welfare NGOs of Chennai done so too? Not that we know of. The letter written by the Chairperson, AWBI, to the Mayor and Commissioner, Chennai Municipal Corporation, strongly protesting against the illegal pounds, can be seen HERE.
- Moreover, the animal welfare NGOs of Chennai have specifically agreed to displacing dogs picked up from near hospitals and educational institutions. This is, again, clearly contrary to Rule 7(6) of the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules. What becomes of these dogs? That is not disclosed. Don’t the NGOs realize that newer dogs will enter the vacuum thereby created ; and that the same is likely to cause greater ‘peril’ – if peril is what was feared from the poor, targeted dogs of Chennai.