Stray dogs turn a menace in Kanglung

Records with Kanglung Basic Health Unit show at least 15 incidences of stray dog bites every month

It was a pleasant, normal evening in Kanglung. Everything seemed right for Passang Tobgay as he headed for a leisurely stroll until he heard a ruckus behind him. He turned around only to see a large pack of strays coming after him.

The sad part is he got a few, painful bites but he survived to tell his story.

“The dogs are very territorial in nature,” said Passang Tobgay, shuddering at the memory.

Another victim said the stray dogs which loiter around the road usually attack people late night or early morning.

Nono Jigme, a resident, said that the population in Kanglung is increasing by the year and with it dogs as well.

The situation has so exacerbated that early morning joggers have to carry sticks to defend themselves against the vicious canines.

Phub Dem, a student of Sherubtse College said she and her friends take high risks by jogging because the area is filled with dogs.

There have been cases where students were bitten by dogs both within and outside the college campus.

Records with Kanglung Basic Health Unit (BHU) show at least 15 incidences of stray dog bites every month in the town.

More than 443 people were injected for dog bites from January 2017 to April 2018. “The record of injected people includes those who were bitten by both stray and pet dogs,” said a BHU official.

Gewog Livestock Officer Sangay Rinchen said to alleviate the situation; the authorities conduct a stray sterilization campaign every year. “During the campaign, we also provide skin disease injections for the dogs.”

Prior to providing sterilizing and medical services, the livestock sector informs the public a week ahead.

According to Sangay Rinchen, during such campaigns, the public cooperates and bring 40-50 dogs from each chiwog. “To catch dogs, we need time and well-trained staff.”

Every year, the sterilization program is conducted in March.

Additionally, Community Animal Birth Control (CABC) programs are also carried out annually to control the dog population.

“It is especially conducted in places with urgent need such as towns and crowded areas,” added the livestock officer.

Jigme Wangchen from Kanglung, T/gang