ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 36
Kandy Times

‘Save our dogs’: Kandy’s dog lovers cry out

By Marisa de Silva

Like from the frying pan into the fire, the stray dogs of Kandy although temporarily saved from the “Catch and Kill” policy previously adopted by many Municipalities across the country, now face the threat of being displaced from the communities they live in.

This is the urgent distress call made by Save Our Friends Association (SOFA), the Kandy -based animal rights organisation. SOFA secretary Eva Ruppel said particularly in the Central Province, the authorities now deal with complaints from residents by picking up the stray dogs in a particular area and dumping them outside the central town. “This way they are just creating a stray dog population artificially. The authorities of the area don’t seem to agree with the President’s ‘No Kill’ policy so they have adopted this system ,” she said.

Earlier, the authorities would bring stray dogs to SOFA to be sterilised and then release them in rural areas, far away from where they were initially found, explained Eva. “Once we found out they were doing this we stopped sterilising these dogs, because it was counterproductive if they were going to be released elsewhere,” she added.

The Gampola Mayor however, is keen on the programme conducted by SOFA ,which sterilises dogs and then takes them back to where they were found for the community to look after. Yet, even though the Mayor has agreed to provide a place where strays could be sterilised as well as dog catchers and workers to care for them, funds are still inadequate for medicines and veterinary aid. SOFA is now trying to work out some sort of programme so that this project could be implemented, she said.

SOFA has also filed a contempt of court action against the Kandy Municipal Council (KMC) for breaching the presidential “no kill” policy (which was issued last Vesak for a month and then extended). This case, however, is still pending, says Eva, adding that the next hearing is due to be in March.

“I just got back from a conference in India where the Government is funding and implementing a mass scale sterilisation programme for about 45,000 dogs,” she said. If it can be done on such a large scale in India, there’s no reason why it can’t be done at least on a smaller scale here. We just need to take the initiative,” she said passionately.

Anyone interested in helping SOFA through cash or kind can contact Eva (Padma) at or on tel: 0777-426229.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.