For thousands of years, dogs have been our loyal companions, but a disturbing trend is rising in certain parts of India where hostility towards dogs is on the rise. Humans are now demonizing dogs, and social media is fueling public fear by spreading viral videos depicting incidents of canine attacks. But is the aggression truly escalating, or is it our perception that is changing?
Anupama Kalra, who runs a dog rescue center in Gurgaon, laments the inhumanity towards dogs in society, particularly among the affluent. She witnesses a growing demonization of dogs in her area following the viral spread of attack videos. The situation has sparked debates and discussions, with some even suggesting drastic measures like hiring people to kill dogs in certain neighborhoods.
However, experts argue that it’s not the dogs who have become more aggressive, but rather the humans around them. Dogs are highly influenced by human behavior, mirroring our actions and emotions. Asha Arun, an animal communicator and dog psychic, explains that dog pick up on our energy and anxieties, which can affect their behavior. Additionally, dog have a natural territorial instinct, especially when they perceive a threat. Understanding their cues and remaining calm during interactions is crucial.
Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) and Apartment Societies in metro cities play a significant role in this scenario. Some RWAs hinder efforts to rescue and feed dog in their localities, exacerbating hunger anxiety among the animals. Kalra suggests a collective responsibility approach, where these societies consider taking care of the dog in their areas, including feeding, vaccination, and sterilization. By addressing hunger anxiety, dog become more friendly and less prone to aggression.
However, administrators face their own challenges. With an estimated 1.5 crore stray dog in India, cases of dog bites have been alarmingly high. The overlap between health and municipal policies, along with poor implementation, contributes to the problem. Urban planner Madhav Raman highlights the need for comprehensive policies and the establishment of veterinary facilities to handle the animal population. Unfortunately, systemic corruption within municipalities often diverts funds intended for animal welfare.
Social media plays a role in perpetuating the demonization of dogs, as viral videos contribute to public fear and bias. The exposure to such content can alter perceptions and increase risk perception in people’s minds. Instead of taking responsibility, humans often blame dogs, portraying them as villains in these incidents.
In conclusion, the growing hostility towards dogs in certain regions of India is a complex issue influenced by various factors. Understanding and addressing the root causes, such as hunger anxiety, human behavior, and policy gaps, is crucial to creating a more compassionate society that values the enduring bond between humans and dogs.