BENGALURU: Dog lovers and animal rights activists can now breathe a sigh of relief as their demand to make the birth control programme more effective, is being addressed. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is working on developing an app to track each dog, their birth control surgery, recovery and relocation. Titled Shwana, meaning dog in Kannada, the app is being developed in-house as a part of the Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme. Animal lovers welcome the initiative and hope it functions effectively.
Animal rights activists have been complaining that the programme has been inefficient. Animal organisation CUPA was also conducting ABC programme with BBMP but had to shut its centre about two years ago due to unavailability of funds from the municipal corporation. There have also been several allegations against BBMP about improper surgeries, leaving dogs with open or poorly sutured wounds, back on the roads. Randeep D, Additional Commissioner (Admin) and Special Commissioner (Solid Waste Management), said, “The NGO or respective contractor who will pick up the dog, will now have to take photos and upload it on the app. Details of the surgery performed by the doctor or NGO will have to be entered, along with the animal’s recovery and release details.”
Randeep added, “There have been allegations earlier against the corporation of not dropping the dog back to its original territory. This app will make sure that the dog is dropped back within a 50-metre radius of its original pick up point. Only once all these details are entered, will the payment be made to the NGO. Apart from the app, micro-chipping of dogs and geo-tagging of dog pick-up vehicles will also be part of the ABC programme.”
While the tenders for ABC will be floated by the end of the month, the app is under development. The beta version is being tested as a pilot in some zones and the full-grade version will be launched by January 31. This will help control the increasing population of stray dogs and will also ensure that the rights of animals are not violated.
Sanjana Madappa, adoption and outreach officer, CUPA, said if the BBMP follows what they say, the app can be good to regulate the ABC programme. “This will also ensure quality care to the dogs. The issue of wrong relocation will also not come up. It will also ensure that the organisations adhere to the standard of care,” she said. Harini Raghavan, a CXO Search Consultant, suggested that anti-rabies programme be also included in the app. “If the rabies helplines can be included, it will be great. It takes two to three days for BBMP to attend to a rabies case which is dangerous for the dogs and humans as well,” she said. But she believes that it will definitely help authorities monitor the ABC programme. “The authorities should take feedback from the people once they launch the app. It could help increase the number of surgeries being conducted in a year and improve the efficiency of the programme,” she added.
Shwana app check-list
NGO enters photo of dog picked up
Details of birth control surgery performed by the doctor
Recovery details of the animal
Release details within the 50-metre radius of original pick-up location
Payment will be made to the NGO by BBMP after all details are provided