Chennai: Not surprisingly, city-based animal activists are unhappy with the stay-order issued by the Supreme Court. They claim that both human and animal need food and water to survive, and that denying stray dogs their basic needs should be considered a serious offense.
“The Apex court has only stayed the order of the Delhi HC, not banned it. As so many cases are coming up about stray dog menace, they passed this order. However, if an animal is hungry, it’s our responsibility to feed it,” said Shruthi Vinodraj, an animal activist. “Stray animals must be treated well. If they’re poisoned, relocated, or removed from a shelter without a justifiable reasonable, they should be considered serious offenses. Also, saying no to feeding stray dogs is also harsh. Hopefully, revised or new orders will be passed soon,” she added.
Post-Covid lockdown, many pet dogs were abandoned as their owners could not afford to take care of them.
“A lot of pet owners died due to Covid, so people are feeding them. A stay by the top court was cruel,” she rued.
Concurring with Shruthi was Dinesh Baba, another city-based activist, who added that dogs can be fed inside and outside the community. “Interfering with or harassing anyone who chooses to care for and feed community dogs is criminal intimidation, as defined by Section 503 read with Section 506 of the Indian Penal Code,” he pointed out.
There are other ways to help dogs and make sure they can survive on their own. “Many people now care for ownerless, stray dogs selflessly, feeding them leftovers or preparing food for them separately. But it’s also our duty not to make them dependent on us. If you’re feeding strays, get anti-rabies shots and sterlise them,” explained Dinesh.