#Dog #StrayDog #StrayDogMenace #StrayDogProblem #Rabies #RabiesInIndia
I was deeply saddened by the news story that Japanese PM may have seen couple of dogs loitering around in Ahmedabad during his visit of our great nation. I am sure that he must have felt really sorry for our extreme poverty.
In case you are getting angry about my shallow linking of dogs with our poverty, you are mistaken. I am not talking about money here. I am talking about dogs.
It is hard to believe but we are a really dog-poor nation compared to Japan. This small island nation is only one-tenth of India in terms of human population, but has nearly 10 million dogs compared to our measly grand total of approximately 30 million dogs.
In fact, Japan is one of the rare nations where pet population outnumbers population of human children. So, Mr. Abe surely must have expected lot more dogs than those he may have met during his visit (This statement is to be read literally only and not metaphorically).
If we look at the dog numbers of other nations, our dog-paucity appears even more startling because USA has whooping 90 million dogs, France has 9 million, Italy, Poland, UK have 7 million each, while Russia has around 12 million dogs.
While our dog-poorness is surely lamentable, we have something that we can really be proud of when it comes to dogs. We are the undisputed world leaders in rabies deaths. Even after lacking dogs in respectable numbers, we effortlessly top the list with almost fifty thousand people (mostly children) dying of rabies per year while all the dog-infested nations mentioned above can’t even manage to contribute ten deaths.
This wonderful rabies statistics that we achieve with so few dogs must be appreciated because it is a product of a great quality of our nation that we are proud of, i.e. we absolutely love our dogs.
We love dogs so much that we allow them a free run of our cities. We ensure that they enjoy priority over our children in parks and playgrounds. Our media celebrates tea-stall owners who hold the public spaces hostage by feeding dogs by printing their photos as heroes.
Our Supreme Court not only loves our dogs but is also an expert on dog behaviour. So it is this great legal institution that has decided how our city authorities must deal with dogs.
We, in short, are a nation that is under the impression that a city means a place where lakhs of dogs must roam free, enjoy human waste, defecate where they please, bark through nights and chase and bite stupid humans who dare to challenge their authority over the streets.
I have absolutely no doubt that an average dog from Japan or USA would be extremely envious to our liberated mongrels because it is unlikely to be enjoying such freedom. It will be deprived of getting rabies as it pleases or water a pole when it feels like. It is surely a miserable dog, as it is mostly forced to have a loving owner who cares for its wellbeing and even picks up its shit in case it defecate on the street.
Looking at the current situation of street dog control in India, I am happy to state that we likely o catch up where we are lacking, i.e. in numbers. So, if a Japanese PM returns to flag-off bullet train, we should be able to showcase far more dogs on the swanky railway station.
I am sure that, as a nation proud of its empathy (and critical of the materialistic west for lacking it) and ably assisted by our animal lovers, India is unlikely to miss the train to be a nation gone to dogs.