Humane Society International/India is offering a reward of Rs 50,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the persons responsible for mass killing and burning of street dogs in Pune.
An investigation by NGO AaCT India (Action for Animals against Cruelty and Trauma), headed by Animal welfare officer (h) Meher Mathrani, has found dead and partly-mutilated bodies of dogs on Pune’s Pancard road. According to eyewitnesses, a man was seen feeding chapatis to the dogs on Sunday, September 23, 2017. But the incident only came to light when animal lovers in the area witnessed the partially decomposed bodies of the animals on September 28, 2017. On the same day, the AaCT India team notified the police about the decomposed and burnt dog bodies in the area and did an on-ground investigation to ascertain the situation. They have also found a mass grave of dogs with an un-accounted number of skeletons around the area.
Neena Rai from Cruelty team for AaCT India said, “This is clearly an act of mass killing. We also found out that some of these dogs were tied and dragged for 50 meters, before being drowsed with petrol and being set on fire. In fact, in some cases, the limbs of the animals moved when they were being burnt alive. One cannot fathom the pain they must have undergone. Even puppies were not spared.”
N.G Jayasimha, Managing Director of HSI/India said, “The sheer number of skeletons found in the area; along with the new killings just shows that this is not an isolated incident. We request the citizens to discourage animal cruelty and report any abusive behaviour against animals. These animal abusers lack empathy and have a tendency towards violence and also pose a risk to humans. We are hopeful that this reward will urge anyone with information about this crime to talk to us. We must find the perpetrator of this heinous crime.”
Cruelty towards animals needs more attention from prosecutors, law enforcers and general public. There are studies documenting the correlation between animal cruelty and human violence. Such incidents are a wake-up call for the residents, because they show the fragile safety and security standards that exists in the community.