Nima Wangdi 

Stray dogs in Chamkhar town, Bumthang have become a menace loitering around the town, barking all night and biting children.

Residents said that the dogs could be seen in packs of around 12 at different locations.

A resident said, “The dogs attack people from other places visiting the town.”

He said that the dogs mostly attacked children and the old and weak. He said the stray dog problem in Chamkhar town is a concern. “Only those dogs living near my shop know me and others attack me whenever I go around.”

Another resident said that it is scary to walk in the mornings and nights when there are not many vehicles and people around. He said especially that people from other dzongkhags have a difficult time when they have to get to the bus station early in the morning.

“The dogs bit my son two times. I fear incidence like the one that happened in Genekha in Thimphu, where a girl was killed by dogs might happen here soon,” he said.

He said there are many stray dogs around the schools as well.

Ugyen Dema, a town resident, said that she heard people were bitten frequently. She wishes the aggressive dogs be taken somewhere and impounded.

She said the dogs had been neutered so the place does not have puppies. “I expect the dog population to reduce significantly in a few years when old ones will have died.”

Sangay Dema, 59, from Tang, said that residents were told not to feed dogs and hoteliers have stopped feeding them.

She said that the dogs attack people when they are hungry.

Recently, an elderly woman was rushed to hospital after she was bitten severely near Jampa Lhakhang.

Dzongkhag livestock officials said that the stray dogs have been sterilised and vaccinated. They said that they are catching and neutering any dogs missed. After that, the local government will submit a report to the dzongkhag which will inform the livestock department.  Then the dzongkhag is expected to be declared 100 percent sterilisation and vaccination.