Millennium Post

Coexisting with strays

Lives of stray cats, dogs and birds would be easier with a simple helping hand or a kind gesture. Remember, nothing replicates the love of an animal.

My neighbours beat the stray animals on the road. How do I convince them to stop?

You should calmly approach your neighbours and explain to them that what they are doing to those helpless creatures is illegal and inhuman. After all, where should they go? No street animals will cause them any harm if they are left alone. It is not difficult to coexist with animals; they just have to be indifferent to their presence. You should educate them that according to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, inflicting pain to stray animals is a crime, for which an FIR under Section 428/429 of the Indian Penal Code can be lodged against them. If they dismiss your pleas, you should seek help from an animal aid organisation.

Is relocation of stray animals from a locality, in the name of safety of residents, legal?

As per the Indian law, street dogs cannot be relocated or dislocated from the area where they belong to. The Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001, enacted under the Indian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, states that stray dogs can be sterilised, vaccinated, and then have to be returned back to their original locations.

Relocating stray animals from a locality does not solve the issue of increasing dog population. More dogs will move in to the locality, breed and produce more pups. Furthermore, relocation also increases the occurrences of fights between new and old dogs that can be dangerous for humans. The answer to this problem is organising sterilisation drives, which require coordination between the RWA of a locality and an animal aid organisation.

I rescued a bird lying on the road from being eaten by dogs. It is not drinking water on its own. What do I do?

Most likely, the bird is injured and distressed. Look for any external injuries. If there is bleeding, try to stop the bleeding by using wet cotton and then rush to the bird vet. If you see it struggling to breathe, (i.e. if it is opening and closing its beak and breathing using its mouth), it is possibly an internal injury. Immediately, rush to the vet. If it is nothing serious, and the bird is just in shock, keep it in a box. The box should have dampened cotton, forming the bed. If you can identify the bird, you could give it some grains that it eats. Do not try to feed it anything if it is incapacitated. Water can be provided to the bird using a clean dropper or using wet cotton, if it is not drinking water on its own. Let the bird fly away as soon as it starts showing movement.

(Views expressed and information provided are personal. Send your questions to

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