Activists and NGOs working for the welfare of animals have alleged that municipal authorities are picking up stray dogs using nooses around their necks and keeping them in shelter homes under inhumane conditions to ensure that VVIPs are not inconvenienced during the G20 Summit.
NDTV spoke to two dog lovers outside a shelter home-cum-sterilisation centre run by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi in Masoodpur, near Vasant Kunj in South Delhi, who alleged that the dogs are being picked up not just from areas which will see movement during the summit, but other places as well. They said the canines are not being taken to shelters near the areas they were living in and are, instead, being dumped in places that are very far away.
Asked why they had a problem despite the MCD saying that they will release the dogs on September 12, one of the dog lovers, Saahil, said, “The way the dogs have been picked up is illegal. Nooses were used to catch them and videos of that happening are available on social media. There is a very old dog in this shelter that I have been trying to take with me for the past four days, but I have not been allowed to do so.”
“What will an old dog do here without fans or water. I had posted a video where the water being given to the dogs was full of urine. For three days, we have been pleading with the officials here to let us at least feed the dogs, but they are not allowing that either,” he alleged.
He said that while they are being allowed to see the dogs during the two-hour ‘visiting hours’ window, they can’t feed them or even give them water.
The other dog lover present at the spot, Gunjan, pointed to a notice pasted outside the shelter stating that taking photos or videos is prohibited. “If the MCD does that in the operation theatre, we understand, but why do it in the entire shelter? If they have nothing to hide, why not allow us to take photos and videos? Why are they not ensuring transparency,” she asked.
Gunjan also brought up the transparency issue in another context. She said a meeting had been held at the MCD and several volunteers had even offered to help the corporation in catching the dogs from select areas that would be visited by G20 delegates or where they would be staying.
“We would not have had a problem and would have even supported the MCD if they had picked up the dogs using nets from those areas for a few days. Things could have been done in a transparent manner. The MCD had even issued a circular after the meeting,” said Gunjan
“The circular was later withdrawn, we were misled and the whole thing was done illegally. They caught dogs that are very old and, instead of taking them to shelters nearby, dumped them in places that are far away,” she alleged.
NDTV has reached out to Municipal Corporation of Delhi officials for comment. Their replies are awaited.
On Tuesday, around 20 activists from the House of Stray Animals and Happy Tails Foundation had met Delhi Mayor Shelly Oberoi and submitted a memorandum against stray dogs being picked up by the corporation for the G20 Summit, allegedly without any order
A report by news agency PTI said the activists had requested Ms Oberoi to “return” all stray dogs to the areas where they were taken from.
The MCD had said dogs are being picked up only on an “urgent need basis” and they would be released in their respective areas again.