Being compassionate to the sufferings of the animal, an individual and some organisations in the port city of Chattogram have come forward to feed stray dogs which have been starving as a result of the shutdown from March 26 to curb the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country.
During the shutdown, main food sources of the dogs – restaurants, tea stalls and community centres – have been closed causing the helpless animals starving, said Mohammad Faruk who came forward to feed strays in Chattogram.
Along with individual initiative, three animal care organisations – Society of Rise for Paw and Claws, Animal Care of Chittagong, and Cats, dogs and Beyond – are feeding around 500-550 dogs every day at city's Panshlaish, Nasirabad, Khulshi, Jhautola, Agrabad, Halishahar, EPZ and Patenga areas.
When Faruk was returning home on Tuesday through the city's Bayezid area he found some exhausted stray dogs looking for food. He went home and came back with food for these strays.
"I have two dogs in my home and I understand their misery," said Faruk adding that "I have started the feeding programme for the strays at the city's Polytechnic and Mozafarabad areas, which will continue till April 11."
We cook food for dogs and distribute among them. On the first day, I have fed 25 strays at y's polytechnic area, he added.
Asking people to extend their help, Animal Care of Chittagong said these animals do not need four meals a day, they are happy with one meal, but they struggle to get one meal everything is closed.
Many people have stopped feeding stray dogs in fear of getting infected from COVID-19, however, no evidence has been found that dogs spread the virus, it said.
Trisha Bhattacharjee, the founder of Society of Rise for Paw and Claws, told The Business Standard, "We have limited resources to feed all the dogs at every lanes and street of the city. One can help us in various ways – financially, by cooking food, bringing raw materials including rice, lentil, potato, meat, biscuits and puffed rice and also carrying foods."
Chattogram City Corporation has no data on how many stray dogs are in the port city. However, according to animal welfare organisations, there are around 5,000-6,000 stray dogs in Chattogram.
According to the Health and Family Welfare Ministry's Communicable Diseases Control, there are 1.6 million dogs in Bangladesh, of which almost 83 percent live on the streets.