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What We Can Do to Handle the Issue of Street Dogs in India

For ages, dogs in India have survived on the open streets and fended for themselves. Living alongside humans, their relationship with us has been rocky, to say the least – sometimes peaceful, sometimes hostile. But the situation of street dogs in India has been brimming with uncontrolled malice. Staring into the eye of the storm, this situation is escalating to a point where people are resorting to the most inhuman, ruthless methods to get their way. 


While most of our youth is sensitized to the existence of these doe-eyed animals and their importance as a species, there are still quite a few individuals that believe in the supremacy of human life. While that is the ordinary people’s prerogative, it becomes a problem when they implement this theory.  


Planting hatred for these homeless animals, portraying them as fearsome and aggressive beasts that we ought to stay away from, and painting them as the reason why our roads aren’t safe are a few of the ways that people implement their “supremacy theory. While this is not a problem exclusive to India, it concerns this country to alarming extents. 


These dogs deserve a life where they are not constantly living in fear. Their days are filled with uncertainty that we would not even be able to survive 24 hours with. The cause of this fear? As you can guess, humans. 


In all the places in the world where street dogs exist, there will be people who will stoop low enough to kick them for their pleasure or those who hit them if they feel threatened by the animal in any way. While this would typically be too inhuman for us to even think of, some people are willing to go above and beyond. 


Recently, there have been a few cases where street dogs have mauled humans. In another regrettable incident in Hyderabad, India, some dogs attacked and killed a kid, creating an uncontrollable uproar. 


While these incidents are tragic and terrifying, it's up to us to control them. To make sure that similar incidents don’t take place in the future. A lot of you may wonder why exactly it's our responsibility to ensure the safety of both humans and dogs. But when you delve deeper into the issue, the cause of all these incidents traces its roots back to unexpected things. 


While many of us may believe that street dogs are inherently aggressive or wrong, there are studies to prove why dogs get aggressive. If you look up “why dogs become aggressive” on Google, you will find answers that will dismantle people's outlook on these animals.


For those that know dogs and their general nature, this won’t be a surprise. But for those who are entirely unaware of what these animals are like, this might be an unpleasant surprise that may not be readily acceptable. The reason why dogs become aggressive over time – and yes, they aren’t born with aggression or behavioral issues regardless of their breed – is because of fear and anxiety. 


While you may attempt to think of other situations that could make a dog anxious or fearful, you don’t need to because the answer is right here. It’s us. As I said before, some humans resort to harming dogs for sadistic pleasure. They also do so when they perceive the animal as a threat. It is these actions that instill fear and anxiety in our street dogs. 


They grow terrified of us and become reactive to even a slight human presence. Furthermore, their sense of safety becomes mangled, and living where they do becomes a constant source of stress. Imagine having to live like that every day of your life. 


Contrary to popular belief, street dogs don’t attack people with the intent of hurting them. Their behaviors stem from a long history of repeated interactions with humans that left their trust shattered and their lives altered forever. 


Of course, human lives need to be protected from dogs that have become aggressive over time, but there are still things we can do to ensure a better quality of life for both. Humans must be adequately educated on how and when to interact with other species, especially street dogs, as there is a large number of them on our streets. This way, they will be more aware of how to respect their boundaries and give them space if necessary.

On the other hand, dogs must also be treated with the same amount of love and care. We must realize that regardless of the species, all lives are equally important. We must allow these animals to survive in peace and harmony with us, and we must ensure that their lives aren’t negatively impacted because of our way of living.

Treating them with the same respect we do humans, showing them love when they don’t get any otherwise, and feeding them so that they don’t have to fight for food and territory are some of the basic things we can do to ensure that these dogs live better lives.

Neutering and spaying dogs, so they don’t reproduce, to avoid an increase in the population of street dogs is also essential. Moreover, since people don’t know about the importance of concepts like these, it is vital to educate and sensitize them. While it isn’t possible to rehome the entirety of the street dog population, it is possible to create a safe space for them and, eventually, for ourselves in harmony.

If we work together and believe in our humanity, there isn’t any feat that can’t be achieved. Needless to say that an issue so profoundly rooted in our society will take time to turn around and set on the right path. Nonetheless, it is an achievable success through the proper means. Over time, we’ll be able to confidently say that our dogs are taken care of and that we are doing the best we can.


Edited by Whitney Edna Ibe

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