Animal rights activists are agitated after reports that over 20 dogs drowned in severe waterlogging at the Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s dog pound in July. The corporation, however, denies the deaths.
Kolkata Civic Body Faces Heat After Reports That Dogs Drowned in its Pound :
Mr. Rajib Ghosh, one of the pound’s managers said, “Rumours about 24 dogs drowning are false. When there was waterlogging, there were 30 dogs. We took them to higher ground, in OTs, for about 2-3 hours. When waters receded, they were put back in kennels”.
But the man in charge of the dog pound admits that it got flooded during the rains because it is in a low-lying area. “We are looking for an alternative location to shift the pound,” said Atin Ghosh, Mayor in Council, in charge of the dog pound. The pound managers say that two dogs died during the flooding but due to snake bite.
But activists want the civic body to come clean on its operations which, they say are far from satisfactory. “It has been raining for two months. Dogs who can’t walk, the pups, they could well have drowned if waters rose at night during the rains,” said Iphshita, an activist.
She also claimed that dogs sterilised at the pound often die within days of being released. “Sometimes they take away sterilised dogs,” she said, adding, “They don’t allow us in. We have filed a case in high court for the right to visit the pound.”
Another activist, Anindita, said, “The pound has been made with public money. So we as public have the right to enter the pound and give voluntary service. There should be fixed visiting hours.”
The pound can house 270 dogs but now there are only 22. Clearly, there are problems at the dog pound that activists feel must be addressed urgently and they want to help. Their question is: why won’t the corporation let them?