Interview: “Feeding of any animal, including stray dogs, in public places should be stopped”

Interview: Conservation biologist Dr Abi T Vanak weighs in on how Bengaluru can deal with the issue of stray dogs, monkeys and other wildlife in the city.

The Karnataka government has of late been mulling a solution to the problem of stray dog attacks. Prabhu Chauhan, Minister for Animal Husbandry, has said they are considering making Bengaluru stray-dog-free through vaccination and sheltering. The Karnataka High Court has also issued a notice to the state government on a PIL seeking effective stray dog management.

In this interview with Citizen Matters, animal ecologist and conservation biologist Dr Abi Tamim Vanak weighs in on the issue. Dr Abi Vanak holds a PhD in Wildlife Science from the University of Missouri, USA. He is currently a Professor at ATREE (Asoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment), and Clinical and Public Health Fellow at DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance Program.

Dr Vanak says that being allowed to roam free on the streets is harmful to the dogs, human beings and other wildlife. The solution is to get as many dogs adopted as possible, and to create long-term shelters for the rest, according to Dr Vanak. He also suggests humane euthanasia for dogs that are sick or unsuitable for adoption. “These measures are in line with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, as well as WHO guidelines on rabies prevention”.

He also explains how Bengalureans can respond to monkeys, bees and other wildlife found in the city. Feeding of any animal, including stray dogs, should be stopped as it increases their population disproportionately, he says.

Edited excerpts from the interview:

What makes stray dogs aggressive? Will neutering reduce the risk?

Aggression in an animal can be caused by many reasons – territoriality, competition, mate-seeking, defense or hunting. There is no evidence to suggest that neutering reduces any of this. Well-fed dogs will also be aggressive for all the reasons mentioned above. A simple example is that of guard dogs. They are well-fed and taken care of, but are still aggressive towards strangers or intruders.

Similarly, dogs on the streets will get aggressive when in packs or when they are “defending” their territory. Chasing two-wheelers or morning walkers is part of this aggression.

In Bengaluru, ‘Canine Squads‘ have been feeding stray dogs/cats, but are also neutering, vaccinating and promoting their adoption. Is this a good solution?

I am opposed to feeding of any animal in public spaces, whether they are neutered or not. Encouraging adoption of dogs is indeed the right thing to do. I strongly feel this is the key area where a policy shift can make a big difference.

Read more: Bengaluru’s Canine Squads ensure well-being of street dogs and the local community

However, by feeding dogs on streets, many dog lovers are shirking their responsibility of taking care of these dogs fully – i.e. ensuring that these dogs have the five freedoms of animal welfare–freedom from hunger and thirst – only partially taken care of by feeding; freedom from discomfort; freedom from pain and injury; freedom to express normal behaviour; freedom from fear and distress.

What policy decisions can the government take to promote adoption? Netherlands, for example, is said to have reduced stray dog numbers by incentivising adoption from shelters and increasing taxes on the purchase of bred dogs.

One is making pet registration mandatory. Second is to make the registration fee higher for buying dogs than when adopting from shelters. Basically, it has to be some kind of an incentive scheme for more people to adopt dogs. The Netherlands example is probably a very good one.

Also, currently the government has a policy of not allowing certain dog breeds that are considered dangerous. Government should instead look at it from the perspective of welfare of dogs. There are some breeds that are just not suitable in Indian conditions. For example, there’s a huge demand for huskies, but clearly you can’t keep them in cities like Chennai.

A comprehensive policy is needed on pet ownership – what are the rules and responsibilities for having pets, etc. These are basic policies that exist in every other country. We are the only country that has such a huge problem of stray dogs, and yet our policy actually encourages stray dogs to remain on the streets.

The historical engagement of dogs and cats with humans has resulted in them becoming more of a ‘companion species’. So do we not have a moral obligation to ensure the welfare of strays? Some also believe that community dogs can help keep the neighbourhood safe.

Yes, we absolutely have a strong moral obligation to ensure their welfare. That’s why dogs and cats should not be free-roaming on the streets like wild animals.

On the question of community dogs – people have this idea of keeping their streets safe by having dogs outside. It’s the responsibility of government authorities to keep the streets safe. If you want to keep your house safe, please keep a pet dog. You can’t keep a dog on the street, which may chase vehicles or scare passersby. After all, people also have rights to move about on the streets.

Should there be greater concern against disease transmission from strays, in the current context of increase in zoonotic diseases?

Dogs in India are already responsible for over 20,000 annual deaths due to rabies. In addition, dog feces and urine can be a significant source of pollution to surface and ground water, and also increases the risk of helminth infections (infections caused by parasitic worms). There is no positive value in keeping large numbers of animals homeless on the streets.

Read more: Bengaluru can ensure better health of its residents with the ‘One Health’ approach

You’ve said that the current government policy, largely focused on Animal Birth Control (ABC), is insufficient to control the stray dog population. What should the policy ideally be like?

If dogs cannot be adopted, then NGOs and animal lovers should come forward to support their long-term sheltering (as required under the PCA Act). If this is not possible, then humane euthanasia of animals that are old and sick or unsuitable for adoption should be done. Many individuals run large “dog sanctuaries” on private property. This is also fine, as long as these dogs don’t cause nuisance to others.

Stray dogs
Stray dogs. Pic: Bharath Jackson

Are there laws/rules on who should run the long-term shelters, and how?

PCA Act says that municipalities and animal welfare NGOs should be running these shelters. The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) is supposed to fund them for this purpose. I think there are guidelines on how the shelters should be run, but we should follow international norms.

The role of AWBI and animal welfare NGOs should be to ensure that shelters are run according to some prescribed standards, and to shut them down or fine them if they are not. For example, AWBI teams were sent to inspect the shelter set up by IIT Madras (which had run into controversy after dogs died and suffered diseases). AWBI’s role should not be to encourage keeping animals on the street. Currently that’s what’s happening.

If you want to know what a good long-term rescue facility or hospital looks like, ‘ResQ Charitable Trust’ in Pune is an excellent example. There are also lots of private kennel facilities, so it’s not like this can’t be done.

Don’t ABC Rules (that require dogs to be neutered, vaccinated and returned to their original location), prevent municipalities from moving dogs to shelters?

Yes. But in a ruling a few weeks ago, the Karnataka High Court has said that any dog that’s a threat or causes nuisance, can be removed by the municipal authority or panchayat. This was in relation to awarding Rs 10 lakh compensation to the parents of a two-year-old boy killed by dogs. Municipality can either move such dogs to shelters or euthanise them as per the PCA Act.

Animal welfare activists say street dogs are quite territorial, so it’s unfair to move them to shelters. Is this correct?

No. There are people who keep hundreds of dogs in their households or in private dog shelters, we don’t see territoriality there.

Is there an estimate of the stray dog numbers in Bengaluru? Would it be feasible to build shelters for all those dogs?

It will be expensive. Bengaluru is estimated to have 4-6 lakh street dogs, maybe more. But the city also has a human population of over 10 million. So only a minuscule proportion of people would need to either adopt a dog or support shelters. Currently the rate of adoption is very low.

We know from a study that it’s a very small proportion of households that feed dogs regularly and contribute to much higher dog densities. If you walk into any neighborhood in Bengaluru, you see 3-4 dogs outside some house. The people there feed these dogs regularly, but won’t take any other responsibility such as sterilisation.

What the government should do is identify those dogs and the people feeding them, and ask them if it’s their dog or not. If yes, it needs to be registered and kept inside their house; if not, it will be taken away from the street. This is all according to the PCA Act.

But ABC Rules run counter to this: it created a category called street dogs, which is completely illegal.

Given the high dog population in Bengaluru, wouldn’t a large number of shelters be needed even after adoption?

Certainly. Shelters will be needed on a large scale, and a large amount of money will have to be spent. But this would be a permanent solution, whereas crores of rupees are currently spent on the ABC programmes, for rabies control, and for people to feed dogs on the street.

Besides, ABC will be effective only if done in more than 90% of the dog population. Nobody in India has estimated what it will take to get this done. It requires huge facilities, which don’t exist anywhere in the country. When we asked under RTI, the government said it has no data on the number of dogs that have been sterilised in India.

So AWBI’s funds for NGOs to conduct ABC programme can be diverted to municipalities, primarily for setting up shelters.

Are there better alternatives to euthanasia?

The policy in many American and European cities is that animals are taken to shelters maintained by NGOs. They are kept there for between two and four weeks. If nobody adopts them within that time, they are euthanised.

There are also ‘no-kill shelters’ where they are not euthanised – they are kept in the shelter till they are adopted or die. If there are people willing to spend lakhs of rupees every year feeding dogs, they can instead subsidise the cost of such long-term shelters.

Dogs at rescue shelter
Dogs at a rescue shelter. Pic courtesy: CUPA/Facebook

Are there cities managing stray dogs without euthanasia?

No, worldwide there isn’t. In India we’ve let the problem get so out of hand, it’s become an insurmountable task. India has around 60-80 million dogs. There’s no country in the world that has as many dogs roaming around, killing people, as India does.

Is euthanasia supposed to be for dogs that are dangerous or for those not getting adopted?

It could be either way – that’s a call to be taken by the government.

Which dog is dangerous dog, is also subjective. Because a dog, when it forms part of a pack, can attack people. The same dog will be perfectly fine when in a house. So it’s not possible to make a blanket statement that a certain dog is dangerous. Animal feeders will say that the dogs they feed are not dangerous; that’s because they’re feeding those dogs. For somebody else passing by, especially on a cycle or other two-wheeler, it could be a dangerous dog.

So in the Indian context, given that large numbers of people are already engaged with dogs, the solution could be shelters. But euthanasia would also be required, especially for dogs that are diseased. Humane euthanasia is mentioned in the PCA Act, and is also well-practiced across the world. Animals shelters or hospitals regularly euthanise dogs that are sick, injured or rabid.

The Supreme Court has made an observation that stray dogs can’t be indiscriminately culled and they also have a right to life. Even under the ABC Rules, dogs which are sick, injured or incurably ill (except rabid dogs), are allowed to be euthanised.

Stray monkeys seem to be more common in the outskirts of the city that are newly developing. State government has proposed measures like sterilisation and relocating them to forests. What approaches would work?

Monkeys are wildlife, and cannot be called “stray”. They are highly adaptable commensals of humans, and will gather wherever resources are available. All feeding of wildlife should immediately be stopped, as it is an offence under the Wildlife Protection Act; the government should strictly enforce this. Sterilisation and relocation have no basis in science and are cosmetic and knee-jerk reactions with no value whatsoever. There’s no silver bullet to solve the problem – it will take time to resolve.

The only way forward is to stop feeding all wild animals – whether it is crows, pigeons, monkeys, and certainly dogs. Because the more you feed them, the more they’ll breed. So in essence you’re feeding the problem.

Once feeding stops, the population will reduce in 2-3 years. And over time, they will move to areas where they’ll get food.

There have been instances of leopards and elephants being spotted in the city outskirts. Would retaining the forests around Bengaluru reduce this problem?

So what if leopards are spotted around cities. As long as there is no direct conflict, we should learn to tolerate them. It is ironic that we mandate that dogs, which actually attack and kill people, are allowed to be on the streets, but wildlife are seen as dangerous by their mere presence. As our human footprint is expanding and wild spaces are shrinking, some species have become better at adapting to increasingly human-modified areas.

Cities around the world are trying hard to make themselves more wildlife-friendly, whereas Bengaluru, a unique city with large charismatic wildlife in its backyard, is trying hard to get rid of them.

On the one hand we are feeding animals and also saying they are creating nuisance, and on the other hand we are destroying whatever habitat is left for them around the city. You can’t have it both ways.

There are many cities around the world being re-wilded to encourage urban wildlife – there are coyotes in New York Central Park, leopards in Mumbai, foxes running around in London and Birmingham. It takes a lot of careful planning, education and awareness, but it’s very rewarding. There are several examples that the government can look at for this.

Urban parks itself can become great places for wildlife. Chennai has a national park next to IIT campus. Though ironically, dogs have been killing the wildlife there.

Apartment residents in Bengaluru tend to remove bee hives on their balconies and premises; and the bee population in urban India is said to be declining. Is coexistence possible?

The Xylocopa latipes is India’s biggest bee, and the world’s second largest (Need to confirm). This is a female who has collected pollen and is carrying it on the fine hairs on her legs. Xylocopa’s wings are iridescent not due to pigmentation but due to light refracting through nanostructures in their wings.
Xylocopa latipes, a solitary bee native to India. Pic: Arati Kumar Rao

If only bees had as many friends as dogs do, and a law that made relocating them illegal, we would not have this problem. Most people are afraid of bees, even though the probability of getting stung by them is very low. My colleagues at ATREE have started a bee hotel for solitary bees to encourage more people to enjoy both the company of bees, and the valuable services they provide.

Also read:


  1. Dr Kajal Chandiramani says:

    Dogs don’t kill people. It’s people who kill dogs. It’s people who murder dogs. Dehumanizing them.

    • Amit Banerjee says:

      VERY CORRECT! Humans kill and harass far more dogs than the other way around. India does not have to blindly follow what the predominantly carnivorous population of countries like U.S.A. follow for euthanasia of dogs, if they are not adopted within a specified amount of time. What authority does any human possess to end the life of another sentient being?

  2. Shivani Mundra says:

    Making dog free city or its just another way to get rid of dogs , if feeding of dogs publicly is not right ,then you banglore citizens stop eating in roadside hotels or restraunt. Go and eat at home.. Karnataka govt is not been taught that coz of these animals we r free from harmful bacteria n insects which can be increased by all the wastege food , throwing all over the cities by people or hotels.. these dogs wat all the junk food , veg or non-veg which helps any city free from disease..

  3. Deepmala says:

    Sad to read such articles that add fuel to the already existing hatred towards dogs.

    The suggestions shows the apathy towards a particular animal. This article should not have been published.

  4. Venkataraman says:

    Why only Dr Vanak
    Why don’t you interview me my point of view
    Matters , and such a lengthy interview on a wide range of topics with sweeping remarks not done

    In future your article should be able to take a balanced view from a wide audience, you can get somewhere if only you select a subject and run it for months , which you cannot and will not do , because of business issues

    So overall such contentious issues is better left alone , where views are as divergent as the universe itself

    We should stop talking about Europe , and other countries , if only one travels , one will realise the hypocrisy all round and the inner fissures in their society so nicely glazed.

    I can go on but I need to stop . Made my point for people who are really sensitive and who can read between lines

    Good day

  5. Riti says:

    To sit in comfortable place n come up with unrealistic ideas like sheltering n neutering is all personal experience .funds for ABC programs hardly is utilised on helpless animals rather there are many scavengers all through the ladder,and the eyewash, is just a few, who get neutered..there is no need to be US educated for a simple and honest approach..even the outskirts have huge population due to barbaric human intervention the poor animal do travel to different locations in search of food . THIS ISSUE CAN SURELY BE DEALT IN HUMANE WAY PROVIDED THE FUNDS ARE USED HONESTLY AND TO THE FULLEST EXTENT.

  6. John Fernandez says:

    Will the learned minister tell the street dog feeders where to feed them? Generally, stray dogs are driven away from their compounds by residents. Are the stray dogs supposed to starve and become more dangerous? Does the minister know that dogs don’t get pregnant by having food?

  7. Hyacinth says:

    LIV & LET LIV .

  8. Sandeep says:

    That’s such a human-centric insensitive take on life…. As if the world was created for just one species, humans…. And all the recommendations are mostly impractical….. The delusion of intelligence and education of this species, that upsets the balance on this planet is on full display…. Sorry to be so harsh… but its really upsetting to see this species, set the terms for all the other milions of species on this planet… as though we own this planet…

    • Amit Banerjee says:

      Correct! Thank you for expressing your views so frankly.

      A large number of humans have become insensate. When people have to flaunt their academic qualifications to justify their opinions, at least a few educated humans need to stand up and speak out for sentient beings that do not speak any human language. Dogs, birds and ALL living creatures have an equal right to feed, be fed and live.

  9. sujaya jagadish says:

    It’s only fair that the same set of questions are asked to a leading Animal Welfare Officer – Ms. Nevina Kamath. Also, Navya (the author) to take a role as moderator in organizing a one to one conversation between Prof. Vanak and Ms. Nevina Kamath at the earliest. This you must do please. Nevina Kamath may be contacted on +919620203316 or +918041105616
    Thank you

  10. Indu says:

    Animals deserve their own habitat, where they live out their natural lives according to the rules of their society. This includes dogs. We all know that this is near impossible in the Anthropocene era, because of the dominance of 2-legged animal.

    The stray dog population should be controlled and if it this done effectively thru ABC then the fight for resources will reduce, adoption becomes easier as there are smaller nos of dogs that need a home and if that fails shelters will be able to handle the remainder (including ones that are ill, disabled and old). Offering euthanasia as an option just because it is used in these other countries raises the question – what population controls practised in these countries should be applied to India, which has fewer economic and environmental resources, but will become the most populous country in the world starting in 2023?

    A country in which the boom in feeding humans in public spaces (restaurants and street vendors) generates traffic, noise, garbage, indiscriminate parking in residential areas, and drunken violence. What recourse should be available to citizens not interested in or involved with this public feeding? How should the spread disease (like the spread of rabies) from public urination and defecation be controlled?

    Interestingly the questions raised in this article apply to the world of the 2-legged animal as well. Let us hope the answers to these questions are not the same as those offered here.

  11. Rishi Dev says:

    Very one sided article with twisted facts and incorrect legal information. At places the interpretation of supreme court orde is close to contempt and hence this article should be rewritten or pulled down. If this is presented before the bench who passed orders against pounds and set out clear guidelines wud be offended

  12. Neha says:

    I want to say this here , that if one dog bites a human and here as they said a boy was killed so it becomes a problem. So when humans killed dogs , drown them in water , bind crackers to their tail, beat them ruthlessly it is fine? Just 50 rs . You will keep them in shelter. Okay fine keep them but how about changing fines for the causes of innocent dog deaths by humans. You know god has made us and them as well so do changes in fines too , its there land too, maybe their population has increased but that goes for humans too, just because we are on top of the food chain doesnot give us right to take away their freedom . Think about from an animal perpective if you people want to be this practical. Also the population increase is also our fault when it goes to strays. Indian law ignore animal law, I don’t think they believe in updating Animal laws and punishing those who do animal abuse.

  13. Anirudha Lakshminarasimhan says:

    I have raised a request to sterilize street dogs around our community with BBMP through animal husbandry, the docket number of which is AH05465 in June. As nothing is done, I caught three dogs aged about 8 months and got them sterilized at my expense + Antirabies vaccination and dropped them back. This is because I feared that they will reproduce. The rest are adult dogs and nothing has been done till now by BBMP. Can I know the reason why?

  14. Girija Rajan says:

    Lot of ill legal and inhumane breeding of pedigree dogs are there for getting quick money. The dogs are then kept in house instead of a watchman. These ill legal ones should be stopped

  15. Alka says:

    I think like stray dogs even human population should be controlled .We should stop showing our strength and power on these voiceless creatures.Every life matters.Even they have the right to live.Let us stop being insensitive.Show some empathy for the same.Please do not force your fear, hatred in them.

  16. Anita says:

    Like this dogs will also become EXTINCT.wr can only show the picture of dogs to our next generation.We are encroaching their territories in the name of development.Lets be humans.

  17. Anita says:

    If dogs are agressive.then we humans are even more agressive and dangerous than them.If you have power why don’t you show it to the antisocial elements in the society.Why these voiceless creatures .May be because you know you can get away by doing anything to them . Please STOP.Live and let live!!¡!¡ please Do something productive and beneficial to the society

  18. Sumit says:

    I’m wondering which clauses of the PCA Act, doctor Vanak is invoking to suit his agenda of getting rid of dogs

    • C jhansi says:

      It’s a pathetic interview….he has not mentioned about vehicle deaths…people killing people…for greed and lust…there are so many deaths due to narrow degraded roads…the colonies and human beings are responsible for we don’t want to take the responsibility of sterilisation/neutering the animals…we so called civilized people despite knowing the plastic waste effect on ecosystem…have encouraged it for it is convenient to human beings…all the filth in the water system in Bangalore is not because of dogs its because of human beings…dogs only spread rabies which can be avoided by giving rabies inj by the responsible citizens…but what about the deaths due to accidents…polluted rivers…contaminated soil by humanbeings

    • Ravi says:

      Respectfully, which world do you live in? get some education and then put some real effort into researching this topic. if you referring to encroachment in reference to street dogs, you are way off. dogs are human creation – selective breeding. please read up.

      • Jitu says:

        How can we adopt a street dog? How to get them vaccinated and where since we are not sure they will allow us to put leash. Where to get them registered?

        I must point out here that the street dogs are the most intelligent dogs. The ones near my street are so gentle, respectful in the sense like they follow u till the house but won’t cross your path, give time for u to park ur vehicle n then seek your affection. They have never peed or pooped in our area. Even when the street dog takes shelter in our compound, she will go out on her own to poop n pee n be with her pack whole night.

    • Ross says:

      exactly why world over humane euthanization (like it should be India) is the right thing to do!

  19. Alyia Krumbiegel says:

    Compassion for all living creatures has always been the philosophy of India.
    I am pro dog and I will absolutely accept that there are people who do not like dogs. I think everyone will agree that there are simply too stray dog and cats . The population swells multiple times a year as pups and kittens are born.
    Most puppies and kittens in a litter will die before adulthood, suffering in road accident’s, disease or human intervention.
    I would just like to point out stray dogs don’t just appear out of anywhere. Domestic, owned, household dogs have been dumped by people for decades.
    Dumped because they are not “designer” breeds. Dumped because they are told that cats/ dogs can harm new born babies. Dumped because they are not cute anymore. Dumped because they pee and poop!
    And the list goes on.
    There is another dimension here. Backyard breeders forcing dogs to breed and dumping infertile dogs on roads or outside shelters which I have seen for myself.
    Only last week there was a Breeder with no licence trying to sell designer puppies with no papers in Cubbon Park with hoards of people round him stroking the puppies.
    India has the most number of deaths due to rabies, according to worldwide statistics, are all rabies deaths considered and recorded as deaths caused by rabid dogs? There are other animals which a bite can cause rabies too. Also, not all dog bites cause rabies.
    People treat dogs as commodities and use them for protection, pleasing their children and as status symbols. .
    Sterilization is the most sound method for population control Yet, most organizations and NGOs are too swarmed by rescue cases and abandoned animals, leaving little time to make a concerted effort for sterilizations. Even if the 10 or so major organizations were working at full capacity doing spaying and neutering, it would hardly make a dent in the overall population of stray dogs. Though it seems hopeless, to call this a lost cause would be to leave the millions of Indian dogs to their painful and miserable fate.
    Prohibit backyard breeding and impose heavy fines and sentences on such breeders, Sterilize and vaccinate our street dogs with compassionate ABC and eventually this problem will be solved Currently I think any organisation would struggle with finding land and funds for a shelter.
    Cruelty against animals is a criminal offence under Sections 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Injuring, poisoning, relocating them or taking away their shelter are punishable offences under the provisions of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The Animal Welfare Board of India has formulated extensive guidelines regarding feeding of stray dogs and there are multiple judicial pronouncements for protection of dog feeders and care-givers facing the ire of ill-informed residents. Attempts to interfere with or harass persons who choose to look after and feed community dogs amounts to criminal intimidation punishable under Section 503 read with section 506 of the IPC.

    • Priya G says:

      Absolutely true. Thank you for standing up to the rights of strays and calling out on this baseless article and this person who has been interviewed

    • Lakshmanakumar T says:

      Can’t agree more with the views of Alyia. U cannot compare dogs with bees and other animals. Dog is mans best friend. I live in a place where ther are around 10to 15 stray dogs, incl two that I have adopted. Someone or other feed them and they co exist peacefully. Yes, we have an organisation that takes care of neutering them to reduce their population. I strongly feel that stray dogs turn violent only due to extreme hunger and desperation. If any community is unable to look after the stray animals, then the local administration should take measures to relocate them to animal shelter. The views of an expert whos not part of our society will always be unsuitable in such matters. There is absolutely no compassion in his views which this budding journalist could have avoided.

    • Tushar says:

      I agree with you, sterilisation & vaccination is the only way out to control the canine & feline population. Feeding of stray animals,in adesignated area must be made mandatory, and all feeders has to own up to sterilisation and vaccination of animals they look after. I, am from Kolkata, and in my small way have been able to sterilise 90% of canines in my area. Now we hardly see any puppies. Dogz do come from other areas, but they are sterilised at the first opportunity

    • Lis says:

      Very well said! Years ago it was much worse but now so much better in Goa, i got all my area sterilised, more than 150 so no more babies to suffer, this helps tremendously! Abc is helping so much, when I feed they trust more to catch to sterilise an vaccinate! So many people are doing this as volunteer community work an if more people did the same the results would be even better! Goa is free from rabies for a while now! It’s a win win situation, the ones too sick I bring home, I have 21 cats and dogs. They don’t need euthanasing at all! Just need more citizens to help!

  20. Stray dog says:

    Mr Vanak And Ms Kavya should not publish such prejudiced articles. Just because you have freedom of speech does not mean you get to write such insensitive and wild theories. Look at the growth rate of human population and compare that to any wildlife including the stray dogs you are talking about. Humans have dislocated the natural life since millennia, first educate yourself and then try to educate the world !

    • Daya Prahlad says:

      Don’t we have enough cruelty in the world, already? I have seen sleeping strays being wantonly run over. Many a time, humans may chose to ignore us, but not a friendly stray, that too, each time, every time. Their love is so unconditional. To many, I suspect that a stray may be a psychological support, the only one perhaps, when all else has failed

  21. Antara Sengupta says:

    Why take away food from a living being ? Whether they are Dogs or any other stray animal, when people are ready to feed them, why not ? As far a aggressive Dogs are concerned, who is asking you to go near an aggressive dog ? This is such a nonsense article with selfish views of some so-called highly educated person with no feelings for the voiceless.. Please remove this article immediately.. Everyone has the right to feed stray animals..

  22. Rachna Ravikiran says:

    Disappointing and distasteful! There are more compassionate citizens whose views you can cover for betterment of all beings on Earth. Do better, Bengaluru Citizen Matters!

  23. Paul says:

    I dont agree, practical knowledge is more effective than book knowledge. Only common person can know the problem. Common man knows the problem of animals. So plz stop this usless discussion. It’s just a time pass for few.

  24. Margaret Dias says:

    No time to read the entire article. But stopping feeding is no solution. Absolute rubbish. Does he know hunger? Govt. getting dogs neutered is solution. Teaching self centred humans to behave humanly towards animals. Secondly humans & kids hit dogs what do you expect. Humans are becoming selfish & ruthless to a point hating myself being human. 95% behave as though world was created just for humans.Stray dog’s life is pathetic because of nasty humans. Disgusting!

  25. Ravishankar says:

    Hope is not exposed to bangalore culture .

    Negative exposure for him .
    He needs to exposed bangalore civilization

  26. Priya G says:

    Absolutely ridiculous suggestions. People like these and such articles only serve to fuel the already growing hatred towards these unfortunate beings. If people can’t help stray dogs left to fend for themselves rummaging through garbage and succumbing to horrid cruelties at the hands of humans, the least they can do is stay away and stop spreading such misinformation. It shows the mindset of such people – cruel, apathetic, no conscience and not rooted in any logic. Ironically it’s humans who are growing at an uncontrollable pace and contributing to menace, not dogs. Instead focus on ABC and regular feeding of strays. Oh and how about we Indians stop with our breed obsession and adopt indies instead. Shame on this guy who despite his credentials seems absolutely clueless and illogical.

  27. Nate says:

    First try to stop cruelty against animals. Ban the Zoo. Free the animals back to their nature. Protect only endangered species. Stop cruel games with animals by hurting them in the name of festivals and traditions. Stop polluting seas, rivers. Stop air pollution. Ban plastic completely. There are many things to think about and then talk about stray dogs. Stray dogs are not the problem. We humans thinking we can do anything without any consequences are the problem. Focus on main things rather than silly things. If dogs are helping the neighborhood let it be. Dogs are doing what police can’t.

  28. Madhurangani says:

    Dr.Vanak is very much concerned about much of rabid death cases in India.I wonder how an expert doesn’t have concern for vet doctors who suffer from huge stress and depression making them to commit suicide for euthanizing dogs in shelter.In US,UK and many countries this is the situation of vet doctors. Many vets are suffering psychological problems. Dogs are wonderful creatures. They are here to show what an unconditional love is.The Almighty has created them for a purpose. They don’t deserved to be killed or euthanized for the welfare of inhumane humans.

  29. Sreekanth says:

    Supposed to be literate but absolutely uneducated and narrow view about a very sensitive matter. Seems like an agenda based article than an interview, which is clearly just a view of a narrow minded fanatic who has absolutely no idea about what our culture is. Forcefitting foreign models have always failed in India. We have learnt you live happily with all kinds of diversity and differences in our country and animals have a blended part of our society from thousands of years. If conflicts are suddenly arising, it’s only because it is selectively being picked up and reported for an agenda. No one talks about how many animals are hungry on the streets and how many die of human cruelty. We can’t have a view merely based on cases of attack. If shelter and culling is the solution, we’ll need to do that with humans first. There are many more deaths from humans being fanatic than any other animal. This person needs help.

  30. Tushar says:

    Sorry Dr. Vanak, yours is a lopsided view. You are part of the most dangerous species in the world.

  31. Mallika says:

    I am an animal lover and I am one of the few commenters here who largely agrees with the article. We can bury our heads in the sand but street dog (and street cat) over population IS an issue. As always this is another issue created by humans. While public feeding may be a problem, IMO the larger problems have gone undiscussed in the article i.e. lack of pet sterilizations resulting in abandoned puppies and kittens. Public policy should be around compulsory pet neutering/spaying, and against abandonment of young or senior pets. Today’s abandoned litters are tomorrow’s stray animals roaming around the streets subjected to starvation, disease, human abuse, weather conditions and traffic. Those who survive these problems, reproduce on the streets. Another big issue is breeding and sales of exotic pets. (Yes it was sort of discussed in the article but this is a big issue as well). Let’s curtail breeding, abandonment, and enforce pet sterilizations. There will be no need for feeding or animal shelters if these measures are taken.

  32. Trisha Laxman says:

    This is unjust. Since when has feeding been a cause of population growth? If regular spaying and nurturing was done by bbmp, then the population would not have grown so much. Besides its high time humans learn to co exist with other species. They have equal rights as humans do to populate the earth. Staving the animals and causing them death due to starvation is a very inhumane thing to do. And also since when do humans have a right to decide whether a certain species have a right to thrive or not? Every species on this planet contributes to the well being of the planet…..except humans. By the way when human pee and poop and other waste is dumped into the rivers, oceans and seas, it doesn’t cause diseases and pollution is it? Dogs dont even pee n poop in the water…..the do it in mud and trees bushes…..due to this, the trees and bushes thrive and it provides manure to the bushes and trees….this is one less task for the bbmp to take care of. If they had to provide manure and care to the trees in Bangalore, all trees would have been dead by now.

  33. Raj says:

    You also don’t eat stop using your car it releases carbon monoxide very dangerous to humans you stop using cell phone lots of radiation

  34. Raja says:

    You also don’t eat stop using your car it releases carbon monoxide very dangerous to humans you stop using cell phone lots of radiation

  35. Swati Suman says:

    Disappointed !!!! How not feeding dogs and euthanasia are different???

  36. Vedavathy says:

    This is absolutely disgusting!No one can implement or enforce protocols to stop feeding the stray dogs.They have every right just like us to live their lives and roam around freely.Its sounds very inhumane to say that the strays should not be fed.Do people realize how hunger feels? It feels so heartbroken to live in such a cruel and selfish world where the animals are not given their due rights and inflicted with the worst kind of cruelty beyond imagination. Is it a sin to be born as animals. Why are we so selfish ?Why can’t we treat them just like our family members. For what fault of theirs do they have to face such indignation from us.If the society really needs to decline their population pls undertake mass sterilization and vaccination programme.we are not the creators of this world.The one who has created them will definitely have an onus towards them.We are not authorized to kill any living thing on this earth when we don’t have the power to create one.So please come up with some constructive and humane ways of keeping a check on their population instead of suggesting sinister ideas like these.As it is we have enough haters around us.

  37. Sharath Ahuja says:

    Thank You for publishing this. There are pockets in the City owned by Dogs who chase & bark at Four Wheelers. I’ve had friends on two wheelers bitten by Dogs. There’s also the case of Stray Dogs in the IISc Campus.

  38. Akash says:

    Billions of land mammals are killed in the name of food. Trillions of sea animals are murdered in cold blood in the name of food every year.
    And here 20,000 die from rabies, something that can be solved by a vaccination drive which no one ones to account for.
    You want millions of dogs in shelters like in Europe & USA, but we are neither of those countries. We will never be as cruel as them. If you haven’t noticed, we are nowhere near the living conditions of those cities. Instead of euthanizing dogs, we should rather have a stricter policy on populations control. Absolutely ridiculous reforms I’ve heard in a long long time.

  39. MM says:

    Has anyone read JM Coetzee’s novel Disgrace?
    For some inexplicable reason human animals seem to have taken upon themselves the responsibility of determining which specific non- human animals should live and which should die.
    Every sentient thing has a right to live.
    I’m happy that I live in a certain city in eastern India where throughout history citizens feed every dog on their street.

  40. Sheetali says:

    This article was just pathetic and an absolute waste of time. Sad to see such views from well educated people.

  41. K Umamaheswari says:

    Feeding of Street dogs is not the solving of problem..That thought is also a sin…

  42. Bangalorien says:

    Informative interview.

    • Lass says:

      What information did you get reading it? I’m shocked to read such a cruel news. Bangalore is known for its stray dogs. 17yrs back, when I first landed in Blore n was waiting for my next bus, I could get a gentle feel on my leg. That was a small puppy. I was so scared as in my hometown mother’s of such puppies will be very ferocious but here I was so happy n shocked to see its mom lying just a few steps without any worries. It just shows the warmth of the dogs. How can you close your eyes against such a faithful animal? Govt can bring stringent measures like popn ctrl, anti rabies vaccination drive etc but NEVER EUTHANISE. what a cruelty. It also has equal rights to live on this earth. Infact more than a human being who spoilt the earth to this extent.

  43. Sanjana says:

    I agree with him 100%. I was questioning his line of thought until he mentioned leopards. They should be left on the streets possibly fed by our corpses . They’re EXACTLY the same as dogs – WILDlife. Ofcourse wild is just a word we’ve added for fun! Respectfully sir, if you think leopards = dogs, maybe refer a kindergarten textbook? Also, you don’t get stung by bees? Really? Since when? I mean yeah no animals should be on the streets but the solution to that isn’t caging the existing ones or killing them! Ban breeding all together, increase awareness and promote indie dogs, give benefits to people who adopt indies!! Maybe you’re not the only one who owns the planet sir. Maybe it’s shared with a million other species who have a right to life as much as you do! Thank god for our constitution. Also , university of Missouri – so disappointed!!

  44. Rudraansh Arohra says:

    The animals have equal rights to live in the world and who are such so called humans to dictate what should be done to the animals. The cruelty has reached to its peak. The Supreme court has clearly mentioned that no strays can be relocated as they are territorial in nature.
    The people who oppose the existence of animals in human society should first cough up money to create shelters for the animals and sign a bond that ther will bear their food expenses too as animal welfare tax. If they cannot raise the money for the same they have no rights for relocation of dogs or any stray animals.

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