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Earmarked: Missing ears of Dogs in Bangalore

An unknown friend of mine who I really miss
Bangalore city is known as the garden city. Bangalore City is also home to thousands of stray dogs. Vaccinated and neutered dogs are left with their ears cut to mark that their completed vaccination process. It also makes identification easier while capturing strays from the streets for rehabilitation. The process had been in place in the city for over two decades and animal rights activists have not efficiently responded against this. Stray dogs have been the zero cost solution to combat the rising volume of garbage disposed off on the city streets. The role of stray dogs had been crucial in combating garbage, rat infestation, diseases and crime rates.  Stray dogs were found efficient to check these issues and have been an integral part of the city.

I came across a stray dog while I worked in the offshore unit of a Hollywood post production company in Bangalore. My work schedule was hectic and often I had to wait for the cab to pick me up and drop me home at odd hours of the day. I remember only one face that accompanied me during those one and a half year of my struggle. Often escorting me to the door step and chasing away strangers at 2 AM, I had a good friend. The stray was found more happy in the streets than at the comfort of the house. Soon I came across a community of them in the block I lived, in with each dog or two having command over a street. A hierarchy!! It was a fascinating system within the city. What shocked me the most was that each one were missing tips of their ear. It was so strange that it occured to almost every dog in the city. Then I realised who the culprits were, the species that were the most dangerous and uncivilized in the planet - Human beings.

What is pathetic is that, the way we thank them for their services. Scars and disfigured dogs roam the city. Eating away decomposing garbage and chasing away strangers in the middle of the night. To many of Bangalore's working population who reach home late, the particular stray dogs present in the streets they live are common faces. At the cost a biscuit or two what is offered is a friendship for life. These dogs accompany civilians during their long walk from cab or while waiting for transportation at darkest hours. Cleaning the streets from rat infestation and garbage they serve the city more than any average citizen. The disfigured faces of these friends raise not just the question of morality but also what kind of city, ours is evolving into.


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