Dog attack
Terrifying as it sounds, an average of over 201 cases of monkey and dog attacks are reported every day in Agra district. In the eight months from January to August, 48,876 people have been treated for such bites at the district hospital here. The highest number of cases (7,913) were reported in the month of May. Last year, over 38,000 people were treated for animal attacks in Agra.

Speaking to TOI, chief medical superintendent of the district hospital Dr R K Sharma said, "We have apprised the administration about the increasing number of cases. This year the number of victims of dog and monkey attack has almost reached 50,000 already. The situation has worsened and it's the responsibility of the civic body to control the animal population in the district."

Chief veterinary officer of Agra Municipal Corporation Dr Yogesh Sharma said, "We catch 30-40 dogs who are then vaccinated and sterilized by private animal rehabilitation centres such as People For Animals (PFA). Wildlife SOS is making efforts to catch and vaccinate or sterilize monkeys. In the last six months, 401 monkeys have been taken care of."

Last month, given the high number of rabies cases being reported every day in the city, Wildlife SOS submitted a proposal to the administration for opening a clinic and carrying out vaccination and sterilization programme at a cost of Rs 89 lakh. The proposal is under consideration.

According to Wildlife SOS officials, every 10 minutes one person is bitten by dogs in Agra.

Baiju Raj M V, director (conservation projects) Wildlife SOS said, "The administration has sought to know from us how our organization can help regarding dog bite cases. We are already running a monkey sterilization programme in the city, so on the same lines we prepared a project report on dogs and submitted it to the administration for approval some time back."

"We have proposed to set up a clinic for vaccinating and sterilizing dogs. Also, a survey on dog population was part of the project. We have quoted Rs 89 lakh for implementing the project," he added.

Every day, a long queue, mostly of children, can be found outside the anti-rabies vaccination (ARV) clinic at the district hospital. According to district hospital officials, the situation has worsened over the years and on several occasions up to 600 persons have been administered anti-rabies injections on a single day.