Dogs attacked with acid, firecracker: Mumbai's brutal alley into inhumanity

Updated: 30 October, 2016 15:46 IST | Gaurav Sarkar |

An NGO that rescued an acid attack dog victim from Goregaon had also dealt with a canine whose mouth had been blown apart with a firecracker; both are alive and recovering

Found at: Goregaon
Doctors suspect: Acid was thrown on the scalp

The city seems to have a new brutal time pass: Attacking helpless dogs in ways that are indescribably cruel. In its most recent bender, a nine-month old stray dog was attacked with acid and/or boiling water in Goregaon, while another’s snout was blasted open with a firecracker.

Found at: Borivli
Doctors suspect: Firecracker set off in mouth

Even as cases of dog brutality are on the rise in the city, two new cases have surfaced that are chilling to the core. On Monday evening, animal activist Utkarsha Nayak found a traumatised mutt — a victim of acid attack that had burned off a part of its neck and head — near Hub Mall in Goregaon.

Dog rescued in Goregaon that was attacked with acid
Dog rescued in Goregaon that was attacked with acid

“I was rescuing two other puppies and was in a rickshaw when I saw a dog with burns on its body, fumbling around near the service road. Since I was already taking these puppies for treatment, I came back the next morning and found the dog lying near a dustbin,” said Nayak.

Timely care
She got it admitted to Ahimsa Veterinary Clinic in Malad. However, when the pup did not show any signs of improvement, she contacted Harsh Shah, who runs an NGO ‘Bird and Animal Helpline’, and looped him in. He shifted it to a clinic in Borivli for private treatment.

“The dog is currently recovering at a foster home. The doctor said he was attacked by acid,” said Shah.

Also Read: Vasai dog assaulter held after 5 days, let off in 24 hours

In light of the upcoming festival of free flowing firecrackers, Shah flashed back a little and recalled that on the first day of Ganesh Chaturthi, he and his team had rescued Hope, a dog that had its muzzle split into two — the result of a firecracker, on the Link Road near SKS resort in Borivli.

“A rocket or a phataka exploded inside his mouth. Whether it was intentionally done, or just an accident, we do not know.”

In both these cases, the dogs were administered medical treatment by Borivli-based Dr Vikram Dave, who works with more than 20 NGOs in the city and handles cases of animal cruelty.

Both of the strays are now recovering at separate private foster homes.

Meagre penalty for cruetly
Even in cases where the perpetrators are caught, they are merely fined R50 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

Doctor speaks
Speaking on the 9-month-old Goregaon dog’s case, Dr Dave said: “The dog is very anaemic and there are burnt patches of 6 inches each, around the shoulder area. This has happened due to being attacked with acid, or boiling hot water. We will have to go ahead with blood transfusion in a day or two,” assuring that his young age, it would respond well to.

Read Story: Mumbai: Good Samaritan donates Rs 20,000 for Dahisar stray dog's surgery

Recalling Hope’s scenario, Dave said: “We had to stabilise his jaw — his facial bone was broken and muzzle has been ruined.” Some rods were reinserted under Hope’s skin, followed by skin grafting. “He is stable now, but we have put an artificial food pipe for him because when he eats food, it irritates his sinus and he starts sneezing. We are referring to doctors in the US for this.”

Lend a helping hand
If you have information that can help nail the perpetrators of this crime, please contact Harsh Shah or ‘The Birds and Animal Helpline’ @ 8655370005

First Published: 28 October, 2016 10:10 IST

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