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Mysuru man's quest towards giving stray dogs dignity in death

Mysurean picks up carcasses of dogs dying on ring roads & gives them a burial

Published: 25th April 2021 03:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th April 2021 01:30 PM   |  A+A-

Umesh and his team member burying a dog on the Ring Road in Mysuru | UDAYSHANKAR S

Express News Service

MYSURU: As soon as a message pops up on WhatsApp, or a call comes in, Umesh Vijayaraman picks up a pickaxe, shovel and other necessary equipment, jumps into his vehicle and hits the road. His mission is noble: to reach the stray dog run over by a speeding vehicle, and give it a dignified burial. The WhatsApp picture is not pretty, and as he rushes to the spot, this dog lover shudders to think of thoughtless drivers running over and over the carcass.

Such accidents are common on the ring roads around Mysuru, and burying the unfortunate dogs has become a routine for Umesh (45), who runs the Bow Bow Pet Resort on the Udbur-Sindhuvalli Road on the outskirts of Mysuru. Over the past six months, he says he has buried over 60 stray dogs which have died in roadkills. It all started when Umesh frequently started spotting strays dogs killed in accidents on major ring roads, and vehicles running over the remains.

Having buried several pets in his pet cemetery, Umesh decided to take up this initiative as a social responsibility and plunged into action following the relaxation of the Covid-19 lockdown last October. “When I was out on the ring roads, I would spot motorists running over the carcasses of dogs. Seeing this, I decided I must give these dogs a decent burial, and whenever I get information about such accidents, I rush there. I bury them near the plants on the medians of ring roads,” said Umesh.

He points out that dumping of meat waste along these broad suburban roads, dysfunctional streetlights and rash driving by motorists are among the several reasons for deaths of strays dogs. “Many strays get attracted to the meat waste and run to consume it. While crossing the roads, they end up being run over by speeding vehicles. At night, the roads are badly lit and often motorists who are unable to spot them, end up hitting them," he said.

There is a need to instal signage and display boards on these roads where dogs often cross, says Umesh, adding that he is in talks with several organisations and NGOs to install boards at spots where roadkills are common. He plans to set up a similar system in Bengaluru and other cities across the country. He suggests that vehicle users who spot such carcasses, should stop and move them to the side of the road so that motorists don't run over the remains.

It can also avoid accidents as some drivers suddenly brake or swerve on seeing a carcass in their path. Though most of the time Umesh does this solo, he has a team of three – Suresh, Dr Prajwal and Vidushi -- who help him in this novel initiative, and also take on responsibility when he is not in town. Umesh's Bow Bow Pet Resort holds the Limca record for collaring the maximum number of community dogs with reflective collars to prevent accidents, in 2019. “We are setting out to break our own Limca record and attempting it collar many more dogs in May, with scores of volunteers from Mysuru and Bengaluru,” he said.



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