Hyderabad: Stray dogs went berserk on Dharam Karam road in Ameerpet on Tuesday afternoon and bit nearly 15 persons, including a few children.
The horror began around 1.30 pm when one stray dog suddenly began biting passersby in the lanes near Satyam Theatre, HDFC Bank and other areas. As panic struck, the dog bit a few other stray dogs as well. Soon, a pack of dogs was running around, biting anyone who came across it, including adults and children.
A few residents immediately alerted the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) dog squad. After about four hours of chasing, locals killed one stray dog near HDFC Bank, while the dog squad managed to catch about five other dogs from the area.
According to the residents, the dogs went on a biting spree from 1.30 pm to around 5 pm. A few children suffered severe bite injuries on their hands and legs as they were returning from school. They were rushed to private hospitals, including Wellness Hospital, Challa Nursing Home and Yashoda while a few were taken to the Urban Health Post, SR Nagar and the Institute of Preventive Medicine, Narayanguda.
GHMC veterinary officials said the situation was under control. According to the officials, one stray dog complaint was received over the GHMC app from Kundanbagh, Begumpet, around 1 pm. As the dog squad reached the spot and tried to catch it, the canine managed to escape and ran to Dharam Karam Road, from where the biting spree began.
“We will conduct a postmortem on Wednesday to ascertain whether the dog was rabies-infected,” GHMC Chief Veterinary Officer Venkateshwara Reddy said, adding that all the injured would be extended free vaccination and treatment at IPM, Narayanguda.
On the reasons for the dogs to go berserk, he said there could be many but primarily, it was the breeding season. Passersby or children might have subjected the dog to some inconvenience and out of fear, it could have attacked.
GHMC sterilises over 57,000 dogs
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has carried out 57,921 sterilisations and anti-rabies vaccination to street dogs in the city during 2019. GHMC is conducting the Animal Birth Control (ABC)/ Anti-Rabies (AR) programme in accordance with the Animal Birth Control (Dog) Rules 2001 and standard operating procedure of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI).
Under the ABC/AR programme, the street dogs are being caught from GHMC limits and brought to animal care centres at Autonagar, Chudibazaar, Patelnagar, KPHB Colony and Jeedimetla for sterilisation and immunisation against rabies. New animal care centres at Fathullaguda (LB Nagar Zone), Chudibazaar (Charminar Zone) and KPHB Colony (Kukatpally Zone) were also opened during 2019. Further, construction of an animal care centre at Gajularamaram (Kukatpally Zone) is nearing completion.
More dog catching squads, vehicles needed
Every day, nearly 40 dog menace complaints are lodged from different areas in the GHMC but there are only 17 vehicles to catch them in 30 municipal circles. Each squad comprises a team of six to seven persons.
To make matters worse, these vehicles were very old and break down frequently. There is a need to have one vehicle for each circle. The same was brought to the notice of higher authorities a few times, said an official from the GHMC veterinary wing.