The attacks on children by strays are becoming alarmingly frequent in high-rises. Strangely, the same stray attacked a 7-year-old child, Adamya Singh, of GH-7 in Crossings Republik twice within a span of three days.
In the first incident, the boy escaped with deep scratches on his back. In the second, he was bitten on his thighs.
Doctors say incidents of attack by the same dog happen only when the dog senses terror from the object, in this case, the child. “Dogs usually do this with a person who has troubled them in any way in the past, or if they perceive a threat to their lives in the presence of that person,” explained Dr. Preetpal Singh, in-charge of Canine Rabies Unit, Meerut zone.
But the father, Inderjeet Singh, claims his child used to in fact feed the dog when it was puppy a year ago. “My child used to feed biscuits, chips and chapattis to that dog. Never has he beaten him, or troubled him in any way.”
On Saturday, a pack of three dogs attacked Adamya while he was playing in the park, while this particular dog left Grade-3 injuries on his back. Again, on Tuesday, a group of dogs chased the boy while he was cycling. Surprisingly, the same stray bit on his thighs this time.
“GH-7 is now infamous in Crossings Republik for dog-related incidents. Daily we hear about some dog chasing some kid, or attacking someone in GH-7,” opined a few residents from other societies.
Rohit Chaudhary, president of the society, said that the residents of the society, especially kids are feeling terrorised. “Parents are not sure whether they want to send their kids to play outside.”
Chaudhary blamed Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation (GMC) for failing to sterilise the dogs. He claimed at least 100 dogs are present in society.
However, Sumedha Iyer, president of People for Animals (PFA), refuted Chaudhary’s claims. She said in the last three drives, PFA has sterilized over 35 dogs. She also claimed the current number of dogs in society is no more than 30. PFA is a nodal agency appointed by GMC for sterilisation and vaccination of dogs in Ghaziabad.
Besides, Iyer blamed the AOA of the society for poor guarding of their boundaries, which allows outside dogs to enter the society premises. “They have some areas where there are gaps in the boundaries. They have a gate that stays open all the time. There are multiple points from where outside dogs frequently come inside. Our all efforts will go vain if they don’t secure their boundaries.”
To this, the father of the boy added, “Our guards are lethargic. They were unable to stop a bike theft in the society, how would they secure the campus from the outside dogs!”
Chaudhary, however, refuted the allegations of inefficient security of the campus, but he agreed that one of the gates, under construction currently, stays unmanned at all times.
But here's the important question — how to avoid such hostile encounters?
Here’s what Dr. Preetpal Singh had to say: “Continue standing still in front of dogs rather than start running in panic. Dogs tend to chase and attack those who do so. Also, look away from the dogs during such potentially aggressive encounters — dogs will smell, bark a few times and walk off. The bottomline — those in a vulnerable situation should not break into a run, or look straight at the dogs.”