The setting up of a shelter for stray animals in Calangute has been delayed because of lack of funds, said deputy speaker and Calangute MLA Michael Lobo. Speaking at the launch of a ‘rabies vaccination and sterilisation’ camp for stray dogs in Calangute, Lobo said land measuring 30,000 sqm belonging to the communidade has been identified for a shelter. “An amount of Rs 8 crore is needed for the project, but no fund is coming from the state government. I urge locals to provide money for the proposed shelter where the strays can be kept, fed and looked after,” he said. The MLA said a lot of accidents are taking place, specially at night, due to stray cattle. “I had written a letter to Chief Minister requesting him to allot fund, but there is no sign of it. So, I am requesting all like-minded people to come forward. We can take this up under CSR,” he added. “At the shelter, we can provide food to around 400- 500 cattle besides other animals,” he said adding for the project “we would need manpower which loves animals.” Lobo was addressing the gathering during the function held to inaugurate anti-rabies vaccination and dog sterilization camp, organized by Mission Rabies Worldwide Veterinary Service in the association with Calangute panchayat. He inaugurated the camp in the presence of Calangute sarpanch Shawn Martin, Calangute Communidade attorney Anthony D’Souza, Calangute ZP member Dattaprasad Dabolkar, Lions Club of Calangute president Sharon Sieiro, and other dignitaries. The camp will conclude on October 30.
The camp in Calangute is being organised by the Worldwide Veterinary Service India with the local panchayat. Sarpanch Shawn Martin said, “There are a lot of strays in the beach belt and there is always a fear that someone might be bitten by a stray. We plan to vaccinate and sterilise all the dogs here in the next one month. We will also do a door-to-door campaign and talk to owners of pet dogs.”
Meanwhile, Goa Civic and Consumer Action Network has written to North Goa district collector Levinson Martins expressing concern over the need to eliminate rabies in Goa, control dog bites and urgently put in place a system for registration of dogs by the panchayats and municipal councils.