Come December, the incidents of stray dogs biting young children, old and the infirm takes an upward curve despite measures to control the stray dog population and the merciful killing of rabid dogs in the city.
It has also been reported that the incidents of dog attacks increases in the breeding season and the aggressive behaviour of the animals especially towards children aggravates when they roam around the dark streets of the city in packs.
It was only in 2007 that the city finally woke up to the continuing problem of dog bites when a young girl was butchered to death by a pack of stray dogs.
With the citizens raising a hue and cry, the authorities put in place a programme to curtail the fast breeding of these animals and also round off regularly stray and rabid animals from the streets of Bangalore.
However, the authorities faced lot of opposition from animal lovers as well as citizens who hid these strays from the dog catching squads.
A dog catcher told City Express that in the earlier years, they used to catch almost 50-60 animals per day but lately, the momentum has down with hardly 5-10 strays being rounded up on their daily trips.
Presently, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the animal husbandry department is carrying out a census in Bangalore as the last census in 2007 revealed a population of less than two lakh dogs.
The last five years, Bangalore has seen the death of five children and thousands injured from severe dog attacks.
This resulted in BBMP launching an aggressive programme for catching of strays, in addition to vaccination and sterilisation programme.
A few NGOs who are involved in the ABC programme say that over a period of time, the authorities have become slack with dog squads hardly seen in the city.
There is also an urgent need for setting up more animal shelters to house the stray dogs as otherwise most dogs including the feral ones are back on the streets after vaccination and sterilisation, they claim.
Preying in packs
Dogs are known to be wily pack hunters having an instinct to defend themselves and those they consider their ‘pack’.
This may include other dogs, human beings or even other animals and defending their’s and the family’s territory is their instinct and habit.
Sometimes, an old and injured dog too becomes cranky and snappish and may resort to attacks if troubled by children unnecessarily which is the case in most cities.
Multiple dogs in a colony usually indulge in predatory behavior having the ‘pack kill’ instincts and more often than not are involved in attacks especially the vulnerable sections including children.