General Tips for animal non-lovers: Stray Dogs The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) dictates by the law that stray dogs have equal rights to co-exist in our society as any of us. It is not necessary for all of us to be animal / dog lovers, but we certainly need not hate them and definitely must not harm them. Such acts could attract legal penalty or even jail term in some cases. Now that we must learn to accept to live with dogs around us, here are a few general tips:
- Dogs, by birth are friendly and docile. They do not harm or attack unless they feel threatened. If you see a dog walking towards you and you do not want to befriend it, you may ignore it and keep walking if you cannot change the direction of your path.
- We were told that a mother dog had 6 puppies in the fountain area at Nyati Empire and that she is very aggressive and has even tried to attack some people walking by. The residents wanted that place vacated as they wanted to play Holi. As we approached her, we just found her to be very vulnerable, seeking help. As we fed her with our bare hands, she snuggled into our arms. She seemed very tired and exhausted. We rehabilitated her family. Her puppies are put up for adoption and she also will be neutered soon.
- Dogs are territorial and possessive of their private space. The same way how humans would not allow strangers into their home, dogs also take time and need to approve of the human being trying to get close to them.
- If a dog comes to you prancing around, wagging his tail, hopping, he is happy and wants to play. Don’t think he is trying to attack you.
- If a dog is incessantly barking, howling, he probably needs help and wants human intervention to solve his problem. Reach out to him.
- If a dog is growling, exposing his jaws, he is angry and is better left alone. Approach him later when he is calm.
- DO NOT panic, shout, shoo it away or throw a stone. That will only make the dog hyper and it might react in a way which cannot be predicted.
- A dog is a non-judgmental animal. It loves all human beings equally. If he sees that humans attack him, he is scarred for a long time, develops a scare for human beings, which could rise further into aggression.
- Never hit, beat, yell at animals. They cant talk and express like humans. The best we can do is to leave them alone if you cannot love and hug them.
- If you do intend to befriend it, then as it approaches you, start talking to it like you would talk to a baby, pat it on its back FIRST and not immediately on its face or anywhere else. Let the dog sniff you – this is their way of getting to know you while you stand still like a tree. The trick is to be calm and at ease, don’t be nervous.
- Dogs NEVER bite or attack for NO reason. If you are inexperienced, do not try to get close to a dog that has had puppies. They are protective towards their young ones, will feel threatened and could react. Get help of dog lovers to find out why a particular dog may have turned aggressive.
- Food is the best way to win a dog’s trust. A biscuit once in a way will make them your faithful friend for life. Of course, you must feed responsibly without littering and dirtying any areas.
- Avoid foods with salt and sugar
- Avoid feeding in plastic containers and throwing them away, avoid newspapers, use recycled paper, leaf bowls, or containers which can be washed and reused
- The responsibility of dog birth control rests with us human beings. There are several organizations like Blue cross, SPCA who help us to catch dogs and get them neutered. The cost is subsidized for citizens by the Government.
- There are several NGOs which work for this cause, help neutering the dogs, keep their census and administer vaccines. Like many other social causes in our country, this also needs assistance of us citizens.
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