The experience of seeing dogs on the side of the road following humans and their cars with a pleading look is a compassionate and painful experience, especially if the dog also has puppies or is very thin. And be weak. Sometimes the first thing that comes to mind is, “Is there anything left over from our food?” What about breads? Is the leftover bread crumbs enough? “How about bones and junk meat?”
From now on, the story of all of us is similar. Our hearts ache very quickly, and we sincerely put everything we have in our backpacks or personal cars with the stray dogs that live around the roads or deserts. To feed.
It is impossible for us to imagine passing by them and starving them while throwing food crumbs and dry bread in the trash. This repetitive story always ends for us as we stand and watch the dog eat, and we are relieved that we have been able to feed a living being as much as we can. And then we go to our destination, unaware that the main story begins here.
The story of feeding the dogs for several years has a different ending, an ending that is no longer “happy ending” and happens to be scary and terrifying. In this article, we want to examine the different angles of feeding stray dogs from the perspective of “Shahab Cheraghi”, an environmental expert and tourism activist. What you are reading is the result of Digito’s exclusive interview with Shahab Cheraghi.
When we asked Shahab Cheraghi about the environmental and scientific reasons for not feeding stray dogs, he explained two main and important reasons for this, which we will mention below:
1. The danger of a mass attack of dogs on humans
The number of people injured or killed by stray dogs is increasing every year. At first glance, it may seem that the people who were attacked by the dogs were harassing them, while with a little care we see that this was not the case, and even the children who were attacked by the dogs. They were killed and did not pose any harm to the dog. In 1996, for example, one hundred and fifty thousand cases of human injuries were recorded by dogs, of which 8 resulted in death.
In 1997, the number of people injured by dog attacks reached 207,000, which is an increase of 50,000 compared to the previous year. In 1998, we still see a significant increase in this number, so that out of 234,000 cases of dog bites, 24 people have died. These numbers show that the dogs we pity are not only harmless but can be a threat to human life.
There are other strange and painful cases in this regard; For example, in recent times in Lavasan, a dog that happened to have an owner attacked a young child of a neighbor on the street, injured him and killed him. In these cases, there is usually an argument between the parties that the owner dog should not be left unattended in the alley, and on the other hand, some dog supporters believe that the child should not play in the street without the presence of parents!
But the question is, what is the right decision in such a situation where a dog has attacked a human? Another example that has been published in the last few days is the attack of stray dogs on a musician in Shahineh, Isfahan province, which took place on Monday, May 26, this year, and resulted in the musician’s death. Unfortunately, similar cases are becoming more and more in the news every day.
2. Various species of wildlife, victims of other stray dogs
In addition to the dangers that stray dogs pose to humans, they can also pose a threat to wildlife and endangered species; But how? As the number of dogs increases, they also find the ability to attack various animals such as zebras, marals, rams, ewes, goats, deer, etc., and by destroying these animals, they disrupt the order of nature. They beat.
Since dogs are great endurance runners, they can attack the cheetah, which is the fastest animal in the world! For example, 2 out of 3 cheetahs currently in captivity have been removed from the wild by dogs, and at least three reports of cheetahs being killed by dogs in the past three years have been recorded.
Now that there are less than 40 cheetahs left in the wild in Iran. We find that the annual deletion of 7% of our cheetahs’ entire gene stores due to dogs has caused great damage to nature. It is unfortunate that today 11 valuable species in the world have become extinct due to the attacks of stray dogs, and if this incident is not stopped, this number will increase.
You may ask how cheetahs and other animals can hunt for food from other species, so why is this a problem for dogs?
In answer to this question, we must note that dogs are not considered a natural species because humans, 18,000 years ago, separated them from wolves and with the changes they made in their lifestyle, made a species that can Live next to a person and have income for him. Therefore, he should still be responsible for this selective choice and take responsibility for keeping and caring for dogs, and most importantly, be careful that this animal does not become a threat to wildlife and other species.
Will sterilization solve the problem?
Some people think that the solution to this problem is to sterilize stray dogs, while a simple calculation can point out the impracticality of this idea. Tehran Municipality has announced that in 1999, there are 200,000 stray dogs in Tehran, if we assume that we need at least 5 square meters of space to keep each dog, so one million square meters of land is needed for the number of dogs announced. Given the high price of land in Tehran, it is not clear how to create such an atmosphere?
In addition, the food consumed by these dogs is very expensive, and the collection of their waste, which averages 60 tons per day, is also very problematic. Most importantly, sterilization costs about 2 million tomans for each dog, which in total for the number of stray dogs in Tehran, this number reaches 400 billion tomans.
It remains to be seen how those who offer dog care and sterilization will offer such huge budgets. Another important point is that even when the dog is infertile, it continues to attack humans and wildlife. Sterilization is not a good solution for a country where the issue of stray dogs has become a crisis.
What is the final solution?
Awareness of the importance of not feeding dogs is crucial; But it does not solve the main problem. To solve this problem, it is necessary for the government to step forward by enacting efficient laws and to prevent future harm to the human beings and wildlife of the country. In different countries, fines have been imposed to solve this problem. In the UK, for example, police fine dogs who feed dogs 50 50, and in Canada the fine is as high as $ 200.
Promotional game to achieve money and wealth
There are a limited number of shelters in our country that are set up by specialists at that time to treat and care for injured animals. Account numbers try to arouse people’s emotions and collect money from them to feed the dogs.
While significant sums of money are raised for this purpose, they provide chicken litter for the dogs for very small sums and take the rest of the money for themselves. This has become a form of revenue generation in recent years. On the other hand, the control of stray dogs is the responsibility of the municipality.
Until a few years ago, it was common for groups under the auspices of the municipality to kill stray dogs with methods such as poisoning, acid use, etc., which was criticized by environmental activists and sentiments. He hurt people. After that, the municipality changed its procedure and decided to leave the responsibility of killing the dogs to the people and to reward each dog’s body with a reward of 30 thousand tomans.
This method led to the formation of groups to encourage people to feed the dogs because a hungry dog does not have the strength to mate, and if mating does occur, the dog will give birth to a puppy. It becomes weak and difficult. By influencing people’s emotions and encouraging them to feed the dogs, these groups were able to help the process of gaining power and increasing their reproduction. As the population of dogs increased and more of them were killed, more money was received from the municipality.
While people are not aware of this issue, they still feed the dogs out of compassion and love for animals, and play in the mafia land that benefits in this way.