Justice for Animal Hit and Runs
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Prevent, protect, penalise, preempt. Chutki, this beloved Cubbon Park puppy was killed in a hit and run at 4 pm yesterday. 10 months old, vaccinated, just spayed, we all loved our blithe spirit. One car rammed into her and left her to die, blood oozing from her mouth, while much later another car took Chutki, her heart still beating, to CUPA where she was brought dead on the table .
A life we all loved was snuffed out in a second, by a speeding car driver with no thought, no respect for life and no punishment. In Bangalore alone about 50 dogs and animals suffer accidents per day, many die painfully where they are hit, fewer are reported or taken to a shelter, and even fewer survive. Think about it.
Yes, you didn’t know Chutki. Or Asha of JP Nagar. Our Buckette Girl of Military Park . Or Barcelona. Or Ruby of Aga Abba Ali Road. We understand. But we have had enough. Of loss and helpless rage, while the driver's only worry might be how to wash the blood off his tires. Why did they not stop? Are animals lesser beings than humans? We can understand many of us think so, but does their needless death not deserve some punishment and penalty too? And to be PREVENTED?
What we want is to : Prevent, protect, penalise, preempt. We demand:
- Road Safety Council/ Commissioners, Transport Department, National Highways Commission must make this part of their charter in every city NOW and communicate this assertively. Create a Road Safety Good Samaritan Award for Animals as well. Have a Animal Road Safety Week every year on 1Dec. Get RTO's involved. Animal Lives Matter.
- Traffic Police in each city treat such cases with similar care, and check CCTV and number plates. Rumblers and speed bumps put up as required in such areas. Traffic police have to be more responsive on this. Driving license issue and renewal MUST have a signoff on laws, safety for human and animals. Posters must be prominently put up . Killer drivers should have their driving licenses seized for a month. We can also ensure callous drivers must be reported to AWBI and local District SPCA. They also must be reported to civic authorities like BBMP, so they never get a pet license again.
- Automobile companies to put aside a small percentage of CSR funds every year to donate to shelters specifically for accident victims
- Caution Vehicle share firms like Ola, Uber and even public buses and autos (via their associations or unions) . They should be given refresher courses & sensitized to be more respectful of these lives.
- Penalty should go beyond the Rs 50 fine. It MUST include endangerment to human life, community service for drivers where they work with sick and dying accident victims in shelters and hospitals, and a spike in their insurance premiums. We can think of other ideas as well.
- Increased shelter/hospital availability and funding for such shelters who take on accident victims. They are underfunded and overloaded. Easy listing of such shelters on google.
- Sensitize Citizen & Stakeholders: Proper understanding and training for citizens to be more empathetic and less dismissive of this issue and their roles as good samaritans. In the case of Chutki, the security person opposite was uninterested to take down number of speeding car, or even help the dog, and neither did he inform caretakers or the Horticulture Department.
- Tighter laws - AWBI must ensure that they take this issue on a war footing and include it as part of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Local District SPCA must make it part of their campaigns , and in schools and educational institutions.
- Community Organisations like Rotary, Lions, Inner Wheel etc to take it up as a meaningful initiative
What we need is a greater responsibility towards this, and to ensure that such drivers don’t speed but treat the pain and suffering they cause with appropriate respect and pay the penalty, so we ensure the number of accidents drastically reduce.
Maybe then, our little Chutki who had the whole park to play in, all of us to love, can live out her days in relative happiness , rather than lie there bleeding to death in the middle of a road at 10 months old. Leaving us with a hole inside all our hearts. And a meaningless eulogy. We can’t allow this anymore.
Make their lives matter, please. It’s up to you.
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