James Baynes, an animal lover who has been feeding stray dogs at Jayachandran Nagar near Pallikkaranai, was assaulted and abused by residents on Friday morning. Baynes, who filed a complaint with the nearby police station, also took to social media to recount the traumatic experience.
“I have been feeding about 100 strays in the area for the past five years. The residents have not been happy about it though the animals have not caused any nuisance,” said 56-year-old Baynes. “ I went to feed the dogs as usual. A resident, who was watching it, suddenly threw a stone at one of the dogs. Since it hit its head, I asked him why he was hurting an animal unnecessarily.”
This led to an argument. “The man abused me, caught hold of my shirt, tore the pocket and sleeves, and pushed me. Soon 10 other people surrounded me, I was scared and called my son for help,” said Baynes.
When his son, David, 25, reached the spot, he found his father surrounded by an angry crowd. “They were shouting at us and using abusive language. So we went to the S10 police station in Pallikkaranai and filed a complaint,” said David, adding that when police said that they would be sending personnel to investigate the matter.
“We returned to the spot and found about 40 people who had gathered there. My brother and a colleague had also arrived to help us,” said David, adding that some residents again tried to abuse and hit them. “Later, a few cops came, but they listened to the residents and just asked us to feed the animals elsewhere.”
Azhagu, the inspector of police, S 10 Pallikkaranai police station, said, “We have registered a complaint and will be inquiring into the matter.”
Feeding strays is not a crime and is not forbidden by the law. “During the lockdown, the PM asked people to feed stray animals in their area. And we have laws in place too,” said Chinny Krishna, co-founder, Blue Cross of India, adding that no one can prevent animal lovers from feeding stray dogs.
“According to the Animal Welfare Board of India’s revised guidelines on pet dogs and street dogs, there is no law that prohibits the feeding of street animals. Citizens who do so are in fact performing a duty cast upon them by the Constitution of India – of showing compassion to all living creatures. Courts have upheld the feeding of street dogs since the same reduce human-animal conflict and suspicion, and facilitates animal birth control “by making dog catching easier,” said Chinny.
Source: Times Of India
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