Don't let the dogs out at the University of Karachi

The poison takes around 5 to 6 hours to work and animals suffer a tremendous amount before dying.

Sakina Nanabhai October 19, 2012
Looking after a pet is just like caring for a baby; understanding their unsaid words, feeding them and putting them to sleep - it’s just the same. After giving all your love, and making them a part of your family, when they die in front of you, the pain is unbearable.

These words were uttered by an inconsolable student and a resident at the University of Karachi (KU), as she tried to suppress the sorrow that clearly overwhelmed her.

It wasn't the first time she had lost a pet which she had nurtured and cared for as though it were a part of her own family. It was Babloo this time. She showed me his pictures as she recalled the wonderful time she had spent with Babloo and her other pets.

Babloo was just one of the many innocent victims of the process of dog poisoning at KU.

Death of all living things is undoubtedly an inevitable truth of this world. Nonetheless, watching a loved one die an unnatural death in front of your eyes, is something one does not even want to imagine. Sadly, this is exactly what the residents at KU have been experiencing for the last four years.

Apart from dealing with the loss of their much adored pets, the biggest grief that distresses and haunts the pet owners is the fact that their pets were never meant to be killed. They were, in fact, the innocent victims of the process of poisoning stray dogs that takes place every year in the campus.

Wild dogs and their problematic wandering had become a major issue for the students and the management of the university. The difficulties created by the increasing number of stray dogs included the transmission of diseases like rabies, a growing number of dog bite incidents on campus, barking and howling that disturbed the atmosphere of the campus and the list goes on.

For these reasons, the idea of poisoning the dogs, and completely eradicating them from sight came as the easiest solution for the management.

Unfortunately, the methods adopted by the university management bear the worst and the most ineffective results. The low quality poison used in this process takes at least 5-6 hours to kill the animals, who die after suffering a great deal of pain.

The pet owners and residents at the university campus completely disapprove of the methods used by the authorities. The worst aspect of the poisoning process taking place is the fact that the pet owners never know for how long it will continue. Although the residents were notified of the poison being spread in their area, they remained clueless as to the duration for which they must keep their pets inside the house.

The only concern of the young pet owner, after losing her beloved dog, was how to bring this issue to they authority's attention.

Of course, many precious lives have already been lost, but the question arises, how should we completely put an end to this sequence? A few petitions and articles have already been written, and painstaking efforts have been made to bring this issue to the notice of the concerned authorities. Nevertheless, the attempts to improve the situation went down the drain when the cries of the residents and the deceased animals were not taken account of.

This act of barbarously killing the animals can never be justified. The process of poisoning is too painful and inhumane to kill even stray dogs. Making them go through hours of suffering, just because their existence is not welcomed is terrible, to put in a word.

Moreover, this process hardly produces the desired results; instead of killing the stray dogs, hundreds of other animals consume the poison and die every day, including birds and various other animals that inhabit the campus.

Other methods, like shooting stray dogs on sight, or availing the services of dog catchers could be seen as a more humane and efficient way of fulfilling the purpose.

Being a part of the university, I hope this time the authorities will consider the issue, and improvements will be made in order to avoid the inevitable heartache that many residents repeatedly suffer.

Read more by Sakina here.
Sakina Nanabhai A Mass Communication student from Karachi University, aiming to become a journalist.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


anas idrees | 11 years ago | Reply Your vc is dead ?
Soha Tanwir Khan | 11 years ago | Reply You talk about your friend's loss yet you suggest that these dogs be shot as if their life has no value. Empathy is meant to engender compassion, not make people spout bullshit, apathetic solutions like the one you propose. As an aspiring journalist, you should choose to research a problem. The issue of stray dogs and rabies infections can be dealt with effectively by a commonly used method - 'Trap, Neuter and Return' [TNR]. I would encourage you to read these three articles if you truly want to solve this problem: I apologise for my harsh words but it is disappointing and extremely disheartening when young, "educated" people propose cruelty and brutality as a solution.
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