Thiruvananthapuram: As Kerala is setting out on a major bid to curb the menace posed by stray dogs nearly 800 individuals have stepped forward to volunteer for catching strays for anti-rabies vaccination.
Kudumbashree, the poverty eradication and women's empowerment agency, has handed over the list of 720 volunteers to the departments of Local Self-Governance and Animal Husbandry, in two stages. These volunteers are in addition to the 78 dog catchers already identified by the Animal Husbandry department.
The new volunteer list includes the dog catchers who had joined hands while the Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme was being conducted under the leadership of Kudumbashree, earlier. The agency has no further role in the stray dog vaccination programme or related activities after the High Court banned it from engaging in such activities.
As per the current plan the aggressive and violent dogs among the ones caught for vaccination would be accommodated in temporary dog shelters. These facilities have not yet been readied in many places owing to public protests.
Meanwhile, only 340 of more than 1,000 local bodies in Kerala have earmarked funds for ABC activities. The total amount so far comes to about Rs 7.7 crore.
Most fresh volunteers need training
Crucially, most of the volunteers identified now have not received any training in catching dogs.
Those who have received professional training in dog catching can nab up to 50 dogs a day.
If one dog is caught and handed over for vaccination, the volunteer will be paid Rs 300. At least two doses of the preventive vaccine are to be given.