Pet Care

What is a Stray dog “menace”?

what is a menace?

“Stray dog menace” a manufactured phrase doing the predictable rounds of social media and news print,.

Menace : noun. /ˈmenəs/ /ˈmenəs/ ​[countable, usually singular] menace (to somebody/something) a person or thing that causes, or may cause, serious damage, harm or danger synonym threat.

Source: Oxford Learners Dictionary

We are a self destructive species. Proving continually to ourselves and the natural world that our disrespect is our mantra.

We debate the ‘stray dog menace’ periodically after unfortunate accidents have tragic out comes. A young man lost his life. No matter where on the spectrum of this debate you stand – death of human or animal is not a situation to take advantage of. A family looses a son, husband and father. Emotions as always in these situations can get the better of us and common sense seems to have no place at the table.

How is it that when any aspect of the natural world – climate, weather, animals, terrain- the list is endless- functions in accordance with its instincts it is termed a ‘menace.’Human beings have removed themselves from the natural world – we live in urban islands. Our interactions between human beings is becoming increasingly limited. Screens on our devices have created a filter which blurs reality. We’re addicted to moulding the world around us to suit our reality.

A week or so later we debate the “Leopard menace“. The animal is killed in what we would term a “canned hunt” in any other setting. But we continually justify our assault on the natural world as defence. If we did not invade their spaces, we would no longer need to “defend” ourselves.
According to news reports the leopard “succumbed to his injuries” which stands to reason since the animal was shot at.

What is a Stray dog?

A stray is exactly what the term suggests- an animal/ dog which has strayed i.e homeless, lost or drifting. By this definition people or animals who move aimlessly or move around are stray. In the sense that they do not have a permanent place or dwelling to call a home. They develop what in slang we would call “street smarts”. They must survive by learning to scavenge from the terrain – in the case of urban stray dogs, they learn to scavenge garbage or any open source of food.

What is a stray dog menace?

A menace which causes harm or danger must be addressed- no matter if this comes from human or animal. However, demonising an entire species or group of people is a danger to public perception. Therefore language matters especially in the context of animal welfare. If you think about it humans usually use language which suits their emotions. So the word Kill is softened to Slaughter and the word Problem is exacerbated to Menace.

Are Dogs Man Best Friend?

Dog Spelled backwards is God! How many times have we heard this or seen this on numerous social media channels. Now how do we get from Best Friend to Menace so quickly?

Because the reality of any relationship is there is no happily ever after. Let us blame ourselves before we blame the dogs. This is about infrastructure, city planning and civic duties and responsibilities. The human species has waged a war on its surroundings both rural and urban. We cannot understand our place on this planet or yield space to the millions of species around us on whom we depend.

The outcome is to label any and every obstacle on our self destructive march to “progress” a “threat” or “menace.”


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