A huge part of the lifestyle at Manipal besides being late for class and the nonstop rains, is the dogs. Being from the UAE, the only dogs we’ve seen are highly pampered, well groomed, purebred mutts within households. However, the street indies of Manipal aren’t any less adorable. The sense of freedom that these dogs have is something that dogs being raised in households can never experience. Nonetheless, with this freedom comes a lot of strain and abuse that these dogs go through.
There have been multiple instances where dogs have been put through abuse when all they do is act as the ultimate stress buster for us students during our breaks from hectic college days. A few days ago, a wounded dog escaped to the student plaza after being subject to abuse. It had a fractured leg and the tail was cut off. Students from the Manipal Institute of Communication were given permission to get the dog to safety during class hours. The vets that were contacted demanded a hefty amount of money going up to 12,000 Rs. Finally, a vet that did agree to check the dog advised the student to leash it and wait as help was on its way.
A more severe case is a hit and run case that took place right outside my hostel, the Block 12, where a woman who was reversing her car, ran over a puppy on the road. The dog died instantly, and the woman got away with it because she “didn’t see the dog”. The security guard of Block 12 immediately called the Campus Patrol for help, but nothing could be done as the dog had already passed away. This puppy was a part of a small family of dogs that live around the hostel and are familiar with most of the students living there. I have seen these puppies grow up over the past month and I can’t imagine any of these dogs going through such a cruel death.
Another incident was at the Mandavi Emerald, where 8 dogs were poisoned overnight. By the next morning their bodies were disposed of and all the security cameras, very conveniently for the murderers, had stopped working. This case took 40 days to have a FIR filed, and there are many more such cases that don’t get the publicity they deserve. Few days ago, a dog at the student plaza was severely injured by its tail being cut off. The dog wasn’t under any medication and was found whimpering in pain due to the open wound, making it hard for it to even sit comfortably.
The security guards are very sympathetic towards the dogs. During heavy storms, dogs are brought to shelter and wrapped in bedsheets to be kept warm. At the student plaza, the dogs bask in the attention of students who give them belly rubs, biscuits and constant love and care.
There are several organizations that dedicate their time and effort to the protection of the dogs. The Madhwaraj Animal Care Trust puts reflective collars on the street dogs to avoid accidents. A wonderful group of students in a group called PAWS stay vigilant for injured dogs in and around the campus. Some of the street dogs are even vaccinated by NGOs and animal rescue centers for the safety of the dogs as well as the people they encounter.
Some important contacts for when you happen to find a dog in physical distress are as follows:
Dr. Uday Kumar (vet) : 9448623690
Dr. Babita Madhwaraj (MACT) : 9845720254
Dr. Prashant (vet) : 9448134852
It is our moral responsibility as the students of Manipal to protect the dogs and be the voice of the voiceless.
An interesting fact: The common street dogs of India’s breed name is The Indian Pariah dog.