According to the dog census carried out in January 2014, out of the 95,172 dogs existing then, 25,933 stray dogs were not sterilised.
Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has undertaken the sterilisation programme, but the population of stray dogs in the city continues to grow. At present, there are more than one lakh strays across the city.
According to the dog census carried out in January 2014, out of the 95,172 dogs existing then, 25,933 stray dogs were not sterilised. Of them 14,671 were male and 11,262 were female. Taking into account the dog reproduction rate, the number of stray dogs in the city presently could be around one lakh, says the civic data.
“To control the stray dog population, the Animal Welfare Board of India has directed to sterilise 30 percent of dogs. Considering this, more than 30,000 dogs should be sterilised yearly by keeping a target of 1.02 lakh stray dogs in next three years,” said a senior civic official.
In 2016, due to regular services of dog-catching vehicles and appointment of two new Non Governmental Organisations (NGO), 11,929 dog sterilisation surgeries were carried out. We plan to increase the number up to 32,000 by appointing new additional NGOs, he added.
The estimated cost of sterilisation of 1.02 lakh stray dogs for the next three years (April 1017-March 2020) will be Rs 15.56 crore. The BMC has appointed six NGOs –Welfare of Stray Dogs (Mahalaxmi), Bombay Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Parel), In Defence of Animals (Deonar), Ahimsa (Malad), Utkarsh Star Mitra Mandal (Mulund) and Universal Animal Welfare Society (Malad) – in seven civic administrative zones to sterilise dogs. They charge Rs 600-1200 per every dog for sterilisation. Since 1998, more than 2.80 lakh stray dogs have been sterilized and immunized in the city at the cost of Rs 10 crore.
According to the civic officials, as per the guidelines Mumbai High Court and provisions of Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules 2001 of Central Government, a programme of sterilization and immunization of stray dogs was conducted by the BMC with active participation of NGOs to control the stray dog population in the city.