Now, 100 white-collared strays safe on roads

BENGALURU: To prevent dogs from being hit by vehicles at night, an eight-member volunteer group went around the city, tying reflective collars around 100 strays on May 15.

The white collars were supplied by the volunteers’ friend Anusha Karnad, of NGO TYD (pronounced tidy), and were sponsored by fellow animal lovers.

Bannerghatta Main Road, BTM Layout, Koramangala, Jayanagar and Hulimavu were among the areas they covered.

The volunteers set out at 7.30 am on Sunday, in search of strays and community dogs. They approached them with food on banana leaves. When a dog approached, they took it as a sign that the animal was friendly. They petted it, tied the collar around it and waited.

If the dog was uncomfortable, they removed the collar. If it remained unruffled, then the collar was there to stay and protect the dog. This way, the group collared 100 of 150 dogs they came across in 12 hours.

“If it growled or bared its teeth, we took it as a sign that it did not want to interact with us,” says Shalini Madan, a volunteer and Class 12 student at Kumaran’s. “We left the food there and the collar with nearby shopkeepers who were likely feed the animals. We told them of the initiative, and they liked the idea.”

She says she and her friends came up with the initiative after hearing reports of dogs being killed in road accidents.

“When I was staying in an apartment, I used to see kittens and puppies kept in boxes in front of my door, every other day. People knew I would take care of them,” says the animal-lover.

Her friend Arshleen, a degree student at Mount Carmel College, is also part of this initiative.

“One day, my father bought home a dog whose leg was injured. I think that’s when my love for such animals started to grow,” she says.

Asha Madan, Shalini’s mother and a psychotherapist, says Shalini was an animals lover even as a child.

“When she was two, we went to Tirupati. There, she spotted hens with their legs tied. So she took a pair of scissors from my bag and cut them loose,” Asha recalls.

She says India hardly has any neighbourhood whose streets have no strays. “So it is important that we try to co-exist with them,” she says.

Date: 25/5/2016