Stray Dogs Maul Four Children in North Kashmir, Sparking Concerns

A heart-wrenching incident unfolded in north Kashmir’s Pattan and Sumbal areas, where four children under the age of five years were brutally mauled by a pack of stray dogs. The tragic event unfolded on Saturday when the children were set upon by the stray dogs, sustaining severe and life-threatening injuries.

One child suffered a grievous laceration to the neck, prompting urgent medical intervention. The victims were immediately rushed to nearby hospitals for urgent medical attention and subsequently referred to SMHS Hospital in Srinagar due to the critical nature of their injuries.

According to hospital authorities, a two-year-old boy from Sumbal suffered deep wounds on his neck and left cheek. “This child required an urgent referral to the surgical department for further evaluation and specialised care. Another child from Sumbal sustained extensive injuries to the face, including damage to the temporal bone, left upper arm, and eyebrow,” officials from SMHS told.

Officials said that all the children received immediate treatment, which included stitching and comprehensive wound care. “Due to the severity of their injuries, doctors are closely monitoring the critically injured patients,” they said.

Dr Muhammad Salim Khan, Head of the Department of Community Medicine, told the importance of proactive measures to address the root cause of the issue, advocating for effective dog population control measures coupled with robust mental health support for those affected.

He said that the unregulated population of stray dogs, despite some sterilisation efforts by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), is a significant factor contributing to the rise in the dog population.

Dr Khan urged people to avoid areas where dogs roam freely and recommended carrying a stick or a can as a precaution. “Psychosocial consequences of trauma caused by a dog bite are seen among the patients visiting the hospital,” he said.

Veterinary Officer at SMC, Dr Tawheed Ahmad told that municipal committees of Pattan and Sumbal have to implement the Animal Birth Control Programme to control the stray dog population in their respective jurisdictions.

Alarmingly, the Anti-Rabies Clinic at SMHS Hospital receives an average of 50 animal bite cases, particularly from rabid dogs, daily.

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