The same dog bit as many as 46 locals from Ambegaon village in Pune on Monday, injuring them in varying degrees; the dog was stoned to death by locals and after it tried to attack a girl at an engineering college
The residents of Ambegaon, a village in Manchar, Pune, have been facing a volley of stray dog attacks for quite some time now. On Monday evening, six more residents got injured after being attacked by a stray dog in the area. The same stray had bitten and injured as many as 46 people in one day. His victims included several women and eight engineering students.
Victims being escorted from the sub-district hospital to government hospitals in Pune
The attacks began on Monay afternoon and continued till the evening. Two women and two men were first attacked on the Pune-Nashik highway. They approached the local sub-district hospital and were treated with an anti-rabies serum. The other two victims, two women who were attacked later in the evening, weren’t so lucky in being treated for the bites and had to rush to a government hospital since the sub-district hospital had run out of the required medicine.
The second incident
Recalling the incident ,Virendra Pingale, whose mother and sister were attacked later in the evening, said, “On Monday, around
8.30 pm, my mother and my sister were returning home from their evening walk. A stray dog pounced on my sister from behind, and she fell down. The dog bit her hand and when my mother tried to shield my sister from it, he bit her near her neck. A local resident who was passing by came to help but the dog injured him as well and then ran away.”
Pingale then rushed his mother and sister to the sub-district hospital in Manchar. Upon arriving at the hospital, he saw that there were several others who had been bitten by strays in the area as well. The Pingales received the tetanus injection and were waiting for an anti-rabies injection when they were told by the hospital that they had no stock of the medicine. The only option was to go to a government hospital.
However, the Pingales faced another obstacle at this juncture. The hospital is equipped with only one ambulance and when the Pingales asked if they could use it, they were told that they would be charged extra. “We had no option but to pay the extra amount for the ambulance and hurry to the government hospital,” said Virendra. They were taken to the government hospital along with the other victims.
Avinash Pawar, who resides in the area said, “The dog had not only bitten humans but had also attacked some pet dogs and other strays. Because of this, the locals started to fear that the dog was spreading rabies and that they might get infected. Fearing this, the victims rushed to the local hospital on Monday.”
Dr Seema Deshmukh, medical superintendent of the sub-district hospital at Manchar said, “On Monday around 4 pm, four patients approached us claiming a stray dog had bitten them. Their injury was a Grade-I bite and we treated them with an anti-rabies vaccine. But in the late evening, between 8 pm and 9.30 pm, around 46 patients approached us with dog bite injuries. 22 of these patients had received Grade-II and Grade-III injuries, for which an anti-rabies serum had to be administered. It costs R6,000 and was not available with us.”
She added, “We intimated the Pimpri-Chinchwad-based Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital and also General Sassoon Hospital, to make necessary arrangements for patients. We took all the patients in the ambulance and rushed them to the hospital. They are all are out of danger.”
Rock hard death
According to the police, the dog had first attacked four people on the Pune-Nashik Highway. When they tried to nab the dog, he started running. They chased him but were unable to catch hold of him. Soon, they received reports of the dog being spotted in Karegaon. The dog is said to have gone around Nidharwadi, Marketyard and Moradewadi, biting numerous others. His biting spree came to an end after locals and students from the Government College of Engineering and Research in Avasari stoned him to death.
The students were in the middle of a birthday celebration outside their hostel when, all of a sudden, the dog attacked the cake and the birthday girl. Their seniors had warned them of the stray dog menace in the area.
Rahul Kalal (21), a fourth year civil engineering student — who was bitten by the stray when he tried to save the girl — said, “I was carrying a stick with me since our college falls in an isolated area. When the dog attacked the cake, we started beating him. Soon, other locals joined in and started throwing stones at him.”
Local authorities have made efforts to curb the stray menace, but have been unsuccessful in doing so. Speaking to mid-day, Datta Ganjale, sarpanch of Manchar said, “The stray dogs have terrorised locals for the last few months. Just last week, we had a meeting with animal welfare workers who told us that the strays were mostly spotted near hotels and meat shops in the area because they were hungry.
To feed the stray dogs, we started sending a van that collected leftover food and meat from the eateries and meat vendors. This van would drop the food at a considerable distance from Manchar and the strays started collecting there. However, we were informed on Monday that the same pack had started attacking locals in Karegaon, which is about 30 km from here.”
Ganjale added that his panchayat had paid for a private ambulance on Monday to help ferry the victims to government hospitals.