Bengaluru Stray Dog Threat Could Bite Until 2028
The city’s stray dog population is exploding, despite the BBMP neutering at least 45,000 animals annually since 2018.
A 2019 survey found that only 51% of the city’s 309,000 stray dogs had been neutered, but officials say containing the stray dog population is a much tougher challenge than it looks.
“The problem is that they multiply exponentially,” said Dr Chandraiah, co-director, Livestock. “Although we neuter at least 150 dogs a day, even one dog that runs away can produce 10 puppies.”
While authorities have an almost exact number of dogs in central areas, controlling the number in outer areas is a challenge as dogs from neighboring villages enter these localities, Dr Chandraiah said.
“We work with village panchayats to ensure that dogs in their jurisdictions are also neutered,” Dr Chandraiah said.
Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials involved in the program admitted that capturing dogs is a tall order. If they target 10 or 15 dogs, they barely manage to capture one or two because stray dogs hide in gutters and sewers. “Space is also a constraint. A sterilization center can only handle 20 dogs per day. We only have seven centers in the city,” a senior BBMP official said.
Officials said people may have to wait until 2028 to see a significant drop in the dog population. “The Animal Birth Control (ABC) program only gained momentum in 2018,” the official said. “Given the dog’s lifespan and our neutering efforts, we expect the population to be under control by 2028.”
Dr Chandraiah said the BBMP will conduct a new dog census, including the number of neutered animals. “We couldn’t do the census for two years because of the pandemic,” he said.