Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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If you have a dog give it love and care

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Editor,
Since the start of last year, there has been an increase in the dog population—not just domesticated dogs but wild street dogs. I say this because, especially in the Laitumkhrah area, as far as I know, there has been a very strange increase in dog population.
Most of these dogs have had homes before because I have seen them with their owners, and their sizes are like nothing I have ever seen before in a local dog. Therefore, it means that they have had a family before. Most dogs are abandoned here in Nongrimmaw Block C because it’s a very big area and we have a forest nearby, but I have noticed these dogs, these so-called “wild street dogs,” are not the ones creating a problem for the residents of Laitumkhrah because for years we’ve learned to live alongside them; they don’t do us any harm.
It’s the dogs who have been tied up the whole day—the dogs who have been mistreated or just left alone by their owners or trainers—who have been running around terrorizing other dogs and humans that are dangerous. There’s a pack of 10 dogs who usually come to Nongrimmaw and create a problem, and as of last year, on November 4, a dog in our locality passed away after he was bitten and almost torn apart by these dogs.
We responsible dog owners of Laitumkhrah have our hands tied; we can’t let our dogs out in the morning because of human disturbances, and we cannot let our dogs out in the afternoons, evenings, or nights due to the dogs who are running amok and terrorizing other dogs. The reason is because these dogs are let out without supervision; they’re being treated as if they were nothing due to the increase of illegal and legal dog breeders in Shillong. This is a huge problem because no matter what people say about dog breeding, it’s still a very dirty business.
Imagine us humans being treated like that, caged up with a horny man, forced to have babies over and over again, not being able to nurse them or even take them out or see them grow, not being able to cry or show any emotions, being starved or not well kept, or just being sad with no rest, no health and continuously having babies. I know on the covers it says clean, no dirty work, kept well, and all, but I have seen how these dogs are kept, and yet people insist on buying pedigree dogs, which, may I add, do not even belong to our climate, our altitude, or our ways of life.
I have had friends ask me for puppies, and when I find one who needs a home, they say, ‘Oh no silly, we don’t want that. We want a German Shepherd, a Husky, or a St. Bernard.” And then I ask them, “Why? You say you love dogs, so why not a local Khasi hunting dog?” They say, “Oh well, we want to keep it on the terrace, verandah, or just for fun. They look cute, that’s why, and my neighbours, friends, or even family have one, so I want one.”
No one seems to care about the dogs who get tossed out onto the streets. How can you all call yourselves animal lovers when you’re not doing anything about it? Shillong Happy Tails is always looking for donations, volunteers, foster homes, etc. So why not help them instead of buying dogs who do not belong here? They suffer because of our pride, jealousy, and first-hand wealth.
Dog breeders have no heart at all. I have people in my kur (clan) who do this business. I have seen how it works, and I’m even ashamed to call them my kur.
As an alternative since I cannot change people and their greed, if you have or want a new dog and don’t want your old dog; are tired of getting medicines, he’s gotten too big or too much to handle, or you’re tired of picking up poop, please do the correct thing and put him down. Let him rest in peace and dignity, and give him a burial instead of throwing him in the river, forest, or drain. You don’t need to starve them or let them roam around free because dogs have emotions; they do have anger, and they do remember and feel. They will become resentful and hatred will build, and they will react with not just dogs but with humans as well.
And for those who do love their dogs, please supervise them and be near them because we can’t release our dogs since your dogs are roaming free. Please consider vaccination, spaying, and sterilization; it keeps your dogs healthy and alert and helps the population. The Rangbah Dongs, Seng Kynthei, Seng Samla, the entire dorbar, and even the municipality and animal husbandry department should have a spaying and sterilization drive; a count of dogs and animals; dog breeders, licensed dog walkers, and trainers.
NGOs like Shillong Happy Tails should get proper funding and proper places to put their rescues. I conclude by saying if you really are an animal lover, then don’t support dog breeders. Adopt, don’t shop for dogs, help, and donate instead of just taking pictures for the likes, shares, and comments. God gave us dogs, or any animal for that matter, not to treat them cruelly but to take care of them, to be their guardians, and they will take care of you in return.
There is no harm in having a pedigreed dog, but don’t trade the ones who belong here in Shillong for dogs who don’t belong here. If you want a pedigreed dog, choose one that is suitable and that can adapt to our climate and altitude. Even my family and I scold our dogs, or even use a stick, but then we feel guilty and start giving them biscuits or food and saying sorry, and they learn from it.
The Hawaiians call pet owners “Kahu,” which means guardians, protectors, beloveds, and many more, and I think it’s beautiful because God intended it to be that way, so don’t just act saintly and loving and God-fearing and animal-loving. Do better.
Yours etc.,
Shailin H.Lyngdoh.
Shillong-3

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