Police begin probe into activities of Corporation’s ABC centre

A police enquiry has been initiated to look into the activities of the Corporationoperated Animal Birth Control (ABC) centre on Lloyd’s Road, after animal activists raised concerns over unhygienic conditions, illegal picking up of pregnant dogs and other such violations
Police begin probe into activities of Corporation’s ABC centre
A file picture of stray dogs on a Chennai street


Photographer and animal lover Vikram V landed at the Lloyd’s Road ABC centre after two of the strays from his neighbourhood went missing. “I first went to the ABC centres in Pulianthope and Kannammapettai but didn’t find the dogs. 
Then, I went to the Lloyd’s road centre. They didn’t allow me inside but a friend of mine managed to get in and saw that the dogs were lying on faecal matter and male and female dogs were put together. There were pregnant dogs, which the Corporation cannot pick up. I saw four carcasses of the dogs, put into plastic covers and dumped near a water tank. 
Two of the dogs looked like the ones I used to feed regularly. We waited there the entire day and around 3 pm, we saw almost three vans, filled with dogs tied with ropes, taken to the facility. We couldn’t see any food kept for the dogs. 
After we created a scene, they started cleaning the place and some food put out and the dogs started fighting, indicating that they hadn’t been fed at least for two days,” said Vikram, who lodged a complaint with V. Balakrishnan, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mylapore, who then ordered an enquiry. 
An inside source from the unit said that the dogs were kept in a pathetic condition. “Each room, which can only house around seven dogs, had around 20-25 dogs in that cramped space. There is no drainage facility and the place is not cleaned regularly. 
There are no plates or water bowls for the dogs. The food is put on the floor, which is already covered with dog faeces. The facility has no fans or proper roof, which is very difficult, especially after the surgery. An average of 2-3 dogs die per day after surgery. There is hardly any post-operative care as the dogs are relocated within two days. 
Very often, it was observed that the sutures, especially in female dogs, were ruptured due to lack of post-op care,” said the source. Shiranee Pereira, of People for Animals (PFA) - Chennai, which has been running an ABC centre for the last 21 years, revealed that according to the ABC (dogs) rules 2001, the Corporation can only run an ABC program, aided by an animal welfare organisation. 
Dr Shiranee said, “We have not been paid for the years 2015 and 2016 and there is an outstanding bill of Rs. 40 lakh. Since 2014, the Corporation has only been doing the sterilisation, which is a violation. Due to lack of funds, as well as on the advice of the Deputy Commissioner (Health) at Corporation, we suspended our programme since last week of Feb 2016. 
When we approached the Corporation to restart this program, they refused to send us the dogs. A maximum of 22-23 dogs were sterilised per surgeon daily at our unit. Usually, dogs have to be fit for surgery and strict procedures should be followed. In the pre-op stage, we keep the dogs in a separate kennel for a fasting period of 6-8 hours. 
After the surgery, we keep the dogs at least for 6-7 days and male and female dogs are separately housed. Strict hygiene must be maintained, as these wounds can kill a dog. We conduct an average of 800-900 surgeries per month.”
S Muralidharan of INCARE, an animal welfare organisation, said, “botched up surgeries are common and the dogs are relocated to new areas, which is against the law. After the surgery, the dogs find it hard to adjust to new surroundings, leading to fights and injuries.”

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