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Abandoned dog turns feral, mauls 29

Seeing the horror unfolding in front of his eyes, one person tried to intervene and save the people, only to suffer the worst injuries

Abandoned dog turns feral, mauls 29

Illustration: Ritwikkh Roy

CHENNAI: A female dog allegedly abandoned by its owner went on a frenzy biting 29 people in north Chennai, including five children, in just a few hours on Tuesday evening. Furious public stoned the dog to death, while the injured persons and their family members are on the edge waiting for the result to know if the feral canine had rabies.

The local residents and shopkeepers on GA Road who witnessed the incident said the dog was abandoned by a pet owner a few hours ago. It suddenly became ferocious, sparing no one in the vicinity, including five students returning from school.

Seeing the horror unfolding in front of his eyes, one person tried to intervene and save the people, only to suffer the worst injuries. Soon, the people stoned the dog to death.

Suspecting the dog to have rabies, its carcass has been sent to the Madras Veterinary College for test, Dr J Kamal Hussain, veterinary officer, Greater Chennai Corporation, told DT Next. The result is expected on Thursday.

“We have captured 26 stray dogs from the same locality covering Old Washermenpet and Royapuram. They will be kept under observation for a week to ensure that there is no incidence of rabies or any other viral zoonotic infection,” he said.

When contacted, Dr P Balaji, dean, Government Stanley Medical College Hospital said the 29 injured people, including five school students, were brought to the hospital with dog bite injuries on Tuesday evening. They were given five doses of anti-rabies vaccine, and all but one of them were discharged by Wednesday, he said.

“The Good Samaritan who tried to rescue others from the dog sustained severe injuries. But he is stable now,” the dean added.

The residents of north Chennai fumed that the Corporation has not been attending to the menace of stray dogs, and instead coming alive only when such incidents are reported. “Pet owners regularly abandon dogs near the Veterinary College in Vepery and other private clinics. This has to be monitored, said D Surendar, a resident of Central Chennai, who also blamed those feeding the strays for the increase in their population.

“These animals often chase children here. There is a stray dog catching vehicle parked for several days, but we haven’t seen them catching any,” added T Udhayakumar, a resident of Old Washermenpet.

According to sources in the civic body, it receives about 60-100 complaints through the helpline every day about dog menace. In 2022, the civic body caught around 16,000 dogs across the city. These dogs are sterilised and left back in the same locality as per norms.

Swedha Radhakrishnan
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