Animal lovers and activists in the city have started tracking stray dogs in their locality after it was reported that they were allegedly being poisoned in Banjara Hills, Jubilee Hills and surrounding areas ahead of Ivanka Trump’s visit. They say that since GHMC did not have a structured plan to reduce the stray dog population, they resorted to a quick fix like this.
Activists also say that since there is no substantial evidence, people should start checking dog pounds if a lot of strays are going missing. “Blaming officials without proof will ruin the relationship between us activists and the government. In the end, animals will suffer. Dogs are caught between 9 am to 5 pm, so people should stop the drivers and question them,” says animal activist Shruti Darak.
“I’m extremely disheartened by this news. Volunteers like us always thought that GHMC is in our support of helping the stray dogs in rehabilitating and giving them proper care, but this came as a rude shock to us. I tweeted to Maneka Gandhi attaching DC’s article and I hope she helps us take action. I am trying to get in touch with lawyers too. Just because these four-legged animals cannot protest, it does not mean that we will also stay silent,” says Shweta Mehrotra, committee board member, Udayan Care, and an active human and animal rights activist.
Animal activist and professional dog trainer, Teja Caneeru, says that GHMC officials haven’t been responding to the complaints from citizens. He says, “10 people complained about dogs being taken away and we have been forwarding these messages to a GHMC official on WhatsApp; he is reading them and not responding. Nobody has a right to poison dogs, we will start a rally if we get to know about similar incidents.”
Activists plan to take the case to the Supreme Court, if and when they receive concrete proof. Says animal activist Jayasimha, “I received many WhatsApp messages about dogs being poisoned. We are asking people to send us photos or any information they have. If needed, we will take this case to the Supreme Court. What they are doing is illegal.”