MICHAEL VAZ, Merces
It was reported that on Tuesday some stray dogs were spotted on one of the runways of the state’s international airport at Dabolim, when the pilot in a bid to avoid collision with the canines applied full brakes and allegedly averted a mishap. The menace of stray dogs has proliferated in Goa to this stage with relentless pleas with the authorities to control this scourge going unheard. Scores of people have stressed through these columns even repeatedly to bring to an end this nuisance which through proper initiatives could have been curtailed. Dogs moving freely on the roads and obstructing vehicular movement is a common sight. There is an inherent fear among the pedestrians, particularly the early morning walkers that these dogs may pounce on them and we see some of them carrying a stick to scare the dogs. There are so many incidents of dog bites and even small children are the victims; but the question is whom to complain and who will be bothered about the problem. We have the animal rights activists always defending their point that like other animals the dogs too have the right to live. No one contradicts that, but our concern is stray dogs pose a threat to humanity unlike other animals. In the residential colonies, people vent their ire over this annoyance and underscore the danger of stray dogs but there are others taking delight in ignoring the pleas and instead going overboard with feeding these animals. We go to the GMC for some medical advice but are greeted by dogs not just in the campus but in the OPDs and even in the wards where patients are housed. I recollect that when I was in Australia on a foreign fellowship we spotted just one stray dog in three months and that was an unbelievable sight, for how could a dog stray in without some master accompanying it! In Canada we have seen all breeds of dogs, ranging from the size of a cat to that of a tiger, but every dog has a chain tied to it, one end of which rests in the hands of the master. Will anyone believe if I say that even when these dogs want to excrete on the roadside the master collects the waste to dispose in his/her backyard.