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Attack on child prompts action against strays

AGGRESSIVE stray dogs will be taken off the streets of Chiang Mai’s Doi Saket district, after an attack on a toddler on Sunday.

The 14-month-old girl is now receiving treatment at a local hospital.
She has more than 100 bite wounds and is being given antibiotic injections every eight hours to ward off infection.

The attack occurred while she was playing in front of her house and her injuries could have been fatal had workers nearby not intervened in time.

The case has shocked people in the neighbourhood, underlining the fact that stray dogs are too serious a problem to continue to be overlooked.

The girl’s father, Saengpetch Suwanmanee, had reported more than 30 stray dogs roaming the streets near his house.

Doi Saket district chief Atthacha Kampanartsaenyakorn agreed yesterday that urgent action was called for. “It’s necessary that we catch aggressive strays and put them in animal shelters,” he said.

He also vowed to make sure that all other strays are sterilised with the help of livestock officials.

According to Atthacha, local residents had also offered to immediately put aggressive stray dogs in cages to prevent them from attacking more people. The parents of the young victim have already agreed to provide a corner of their land for people to place cages. A pig farm nearby, whose animals are often killed by stray dogs, has also promised to partially pay for the installation of the cages. Workers from local council bodies will also contribute.

“As for the hospitalised girl, we will help to pay for her medical bills as some of her treatment is not covered by the universal healthcare scheme,” Atthacha said.

The district chief was speaking after he convened a meeting on how to solve the problem of stray dogs.

The meeting had actually been scheduled before the latest attack.

Present at the meeting were representatives of local livestock offices, the Tambon Choeng Doi Administrative Organisation and the Tambon Luang Neua Administrative Organisation.

Atthacha said local administrative bodies used to pay for female strays to be sterilised but had stopped the practice after the Office of the Auditor-General said this was not within their jurisdiction.

He also claimed the |stray-dog population in the area had risen significantly since the Office of the Auditor-General decided to halt sterilisations.

“They [local administrative bodies] were told livestock authorities had to handle such jobs,” he said.

Atthacha said his office also intended to raise public awareness of the problem with strays and encouraged people to never abandon their pets.

The Nation 

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