Kerala’s largest animal sanctuary will be set up at Kuriyottotumala in the district as part of a comprehensive project launched by the Kollam district panchayat to control the threat of stray dogs.
While a mass campaign will be conducted to vaccinate pets, spot vaccination of stray dogs and animal birth control (ABC) camps will be held across the district. Along with other measures, the early sterilization of street dogs through a bloodless process will also be carried out.
“The goal is to ensure that all 68 grama panchayats in the district are rabies-free. The zero rabies campaign to vaccinate around 82,000 pet dogs and 28,000 cats in the district has already started. One lakh doses of vaccine have been procured for this purpose and vaccinated pets will be given licenses,” said district panchayat chairman Sam K. Daniel. The project will be jointly implemented by the Department of Livestock and the District Panchayat.
While immediate action will be taken to remove litter from the 19 stray dog hotspots in the district, the project also offers animal lovers the opportunity to adopt puppies. Mass vaccination camps will be held at government veterinary hospitals and health centers. At present, 12 surgery centers have been set up for ABC program at Punukannur, Kalluvathukal, Adichanallur, Kuzhumathicaud, Sasthamcotta, Pathanapuram, Panmana, Chirakkara, Venchemb, Chitara, Kadakkal, Thevalappuram and Kollam. A total of eight veterinarians and 32 dog handlers have been assigned to implement the program.
Before October 20
The district administration plans to complete the vaccination campaign by October 20, and vaccinated stray dogs will be transferred to shelters. Besides block-level centers, two local organizations can jointly find land and build animal shelters. Civic body officials have been urged to address the threat of stray dogs as a serious social issue. People’s representatives have been tasked with working with the livestock department and ensuring that pets in each household are vaccinated.