Home Global Village India has 30 million stray dogs. In one state, vigilantes are being...

India has 30 million stray dogs. In one state, vigilantes are being pushed to kill them.

The dogcatcher tiptoes into a narrow lane carrying a metal wire noose. Someone had spotted a stray dog amid rows of coconut trees a few minutes ago. “Finish that dog today,” one woman calls out from her porch. Another says the dog killed half the ducks in his farm. A third complains the dog has been growling at his 10-year-old son all week. Hundreds of street dogs have been killed in the past year across a state that calls itself “God’s own country,” and is a tourist magnet. Mobs routinely beat dogs to death or hire professional catchers to do the job. Recently a group of men killed several dogs and paraded through the streets with carcasses strung on a pole, dumping them in front of a public building. The bitter man-canine conflict here has alarmed animal lovers across India and drawn sharp criticism from the country’s Supreme Court, which said this month that although dogs cannot become a “menace to society,” widespread killing was unacceptable.

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