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Barking dogs seldom bite? Not if you live in Amdavad

July 13, 2019 06:24 AM

COURTESY MIRROR JULY 13

Barking dogs seldom bite? Not if you live in Amdavad
AMC registers 650 complaints of dog menace every month; Jodhpur residents carry stick every time they walk out of societies and Goyal Intercity residents refuse to allow their kids to play in common area after 43 dog attack cases
Harita.Dave@timesgroup.com | TWEETS @harrytaMIRROR

It is a dog’s world, quite literally, if one goes by the number of calls that Amdavadis make to AMC to complain about stray dog menace. The AMC receives at least 650 complaints of dog menace every month from across the city. The problem, however, seems quite aggressive in Jodhpur and Thaltej where stray canines are keeping people confined to their societies. And, in some cases, even sequestered in their houses.

While people living along the lane leading from Iscon Emporio on Jodhpur Road to Mansi Crossroads carry a stick any time they walk out of their societies after four cases of dog bites were reported in just one month, residents of Goyal Intercity near Surdhara Circle in Thaltej think twice before allowing their kids to step out of their homes after residents witnessed 43 dog bite cases in the last one year.


In the past one month, dogs have bitten four people in the Jodhpur locality. While 20-year-old Mansi Shah – a resident of Surya Puja Flats – had to undergo surgery to fix the gaping wound on her leg after a dog bit off her flesh, the rest have been left bitten and bruised from head to toe.

Mansi was attacked by a pack of dogs on June 28 morning when her mother Kirtida was on her way to drop her off at the bus stand where her college bus was to pick her up. Kirtida says, “It was around 8.15 am. We were on my two-wheeler when at least seven dogs started chasing us. I squeezed my legs into the front space so that they could not get to me, but they attacked my daughter and bit her leg.”

Recollecting the horror, Mansi said, “My bus stand is just two minutes away from my residence. Walking down is out of the question due to the ferocious dogs so my mom drops me off at the stand. That morning, two dogs began following us. Soon five other dogs joined in. Before we realised what happened, one of the dogs jumped and snapped at my leg. Its sharp teeth tore through my jeans and bit off a chunk of my flesh. The wound was so deep that I had to undergo surgery to fix it.”

Mansi is scared of venturing out of her house since. “My mother called AMC but they said they will vaccinate the dogs and leave them back here. However, that will not stop the canines from attacking. The corporation needs to take them far away where they cannot cause harm to humans,” said the engineering student.

Kirtida adds, “My family loves dogs but innocent people should not suffer due to this. I called AMC the same day to complain about the incident. On July 3, I received a message that the problem has been resolved. But no AMC official approached me or called me up about the issue, then on what basis did they ‘resolve’ the matter?”

About a fortnight ago, six-year-old Rajveer Yadav who was playing outside his house in Ranuja Nagar Part-I in the same locality began screaming loudly. Hearing his cries, his mother Raksha rushed out and saw a dog mauling her child. She hit the dog, but it still managed to bite the boy’s posterior. “The incident occurred around 4.30 pm. It has been 15 days since then, Rajveer is scared of going out of the house. We are worried that he will carry around the fear for the rest of his life. Civic officials need to be more vigilant in tackling stray dog menace.”

A month ago when Dr H C Joshi, who lives in Sagun Castle in Jodhpur, was walking his pet dog at 7.30 in the morning, he was attacked by a pack of ferocious dogs. The 55-year-old ended up with bruises from head to toe. His wife Rashmi said, “My husband had to take rabies injections. We are animal lovers and have a pet dog at home. This is the first time in 22 years since we started living here that such an incident has occurred. My husband has 11 wounds on his body from the canine attack.”

The residents of Goyal Intercity in Thaltej are no better off. Lalita Tibrewal, 67, refuses to move out of the house without someone accompanying her. She was attacked by a dog in April. In an attempt to escape being bitten, she suffered a head injury and was in the ICU for two days.

Tibrewal said, “I have been going to the temple for 45 years now. But since the attack, I have not left the house without someone by my side. My head wound has not healed completely.”

As per residents of A Block, there are at least 10 dogs on the premises. Aarav Balasaria, 7, was chased by dogs in May. He said, “I was riding my bicycle when dogs suddenly chased me. I jumped off my cycle and ran. I have stopped cycling since then. At this age, instead of playing outside, I am forced to stay at home out of fear.” Aarav’smother Nidhi said, “The AMC closed down our complaint without resolving it. There are people who feed dogs inside the society, which has emboldened them to attack residents.”

The dogs also recently attacked the son of Anil Jiwnani, a 35-year-old businessman residing in Goyal Intercity for the past six years. The kid was lucky enough to escape with torn jeans. “Even guests are scared of coming to the society. Recently, a woman was visiting someone in my block. She was waiting by the lift when the dogs surrounded her and started barking. I was coming down the stairs. When she saw me, she was so relieved. I helped her drive away the dogs. It is not suprising to find people walking around with sticks, or find one near the lift.”

Jagdish Tibrewal, Chairman of Goyal Intercity A-Block said, “We have informed the AMC and local councillor about the menace but nothing has been done. I know at least 30 residents from A block who have had to take rabies injections following dog bites.”

When approached, Pratapsinh Rathod Superintendent of AMC’s Cattle Nuisance Control Department said, “Due to a Supreme Court order, we have to sterilise or vaccinate the dogs and then release them back in the same area that they were captured in.” Asked about the increasing cases of dog attacks, Rathod said, “I will ask the NGOs to observe dogs and report back.”

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