This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and are not a reflection of Ping! as a whole.
The CCC (Campus Canine Council) was started by a group of like-minded people with support from the authorities, having a prime motive of keeping animal-human conflict in the campus to a minimum. The primary responsibilities of the CCC volunteers are to make sure the dogs are well fed daily, their injuries, if any, are attended to, all dogs are regularly vaccinated twice a year and to be neutered, if needed. Vet visits are also done as and when required.
Apart from this, the CCC also conducts sessions to help students get accustomed to the dogs on campus and make them aware of basic dog behaviour.
For example, dogs are territorial beings, so late at night or very early in the morning, when there are very few people around and a dog sees a solitary figure, there is a chance they might see it as a threat, and might bark or come running. Such an event isn’t aggressive behaviour or an attack. In such a situation, the person can simply stand and whistle or call out its name. Such incidents have happened even with CCC members and this is how they handled it.
The CCC ensures that all the dogs are neutered so that their population doesn’t grow, and overtime the number of dogs on campus decreases. But every few years, a new dog joins the campus. They usually come through holes/gaps in the campus walls. The CCC regularly reports to the authorities to fix such issues so that the dog population may remain stable.
Referring now to the dog incidents mentioned in the mail and earlier article, this is in response to the incident mentioned in the mail where a dog in Juice Canteen (JC) is known to be biting people. Firstly it is not biting, secondly the dog in question is very young and is going through what is called teething. It happens even to babies. The dog is extremely playful and friendly, and expresses it through pulling clothes or, slippers. The CCC agrees it’s not a desirable behaviour and students shouldn’t be getting their stuff torn, but it’s a long term behaviour and it can be curbed by tapping on the dog’s nose or head, or scolding back and letting it know that you don’t appreciate it. The CCC faced a similar issue with the dog in the beginning and by giving negative reinforcement to this behaviour they were able to bring it down significantly.
All of these incidents mentioned aren’t aggressive in nature and could have been avoided by simply understanding basic dog behaviour. The CCC has always urged the students who have fear of dogs and/or who are uncomfortable around them to come for the CCC induction sessions so that they don’t have to go through such experiences. The CCC has had volunteers who were not only dog lovers but also who were “anti-dog”, or who feared them. They were able to overcome their fear during their stay in IIIT and are grateful to have done so.
Lastly, the CCC is always open to suggestions, as long as they are not illegal (relocating) and/or unethical (harming the dogs in any manner). People who write mails for the entire community should be careful about the words they use. Calling a dog mentally sick, or aggressive, or rabid without any basis is senseless at best and gaslighting at worst.
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