A pile of puppies cower under a parked car. The men grab one, but two escape down the street, forcing them to give chase. Five scrappy adult shorthairs - of an indiscriminate breed commonly known as an 'Indian dog' - appear from nowhere. Pointed ears pricked with curiosity, they howl as if sounding an alarm throughout the neighbourhood: the 'catchers' are here.
The catchers' van travels the tree-lined, mostly residential streets to the next area. On the way, a couple of dogs seem to recognise the vehicle, either by sight or by smell. They bark and take chase. Each time the team catches a dog in one of its giant butterfly nets, the mutt twists and turns and howls, trying to escape.
This ritual repeats several times through the day across 50 square kilometres of the south Indian city of Bangalore. The men, a team from the NGO Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA), are on a mission: to catch stray dogs, sterilise them and vaccinate them against rabies.
They catch ten dogs on this particular day. The dogs are taken to CUPA’s Animal Birth Control centre, where they will be sterilised and have their ears clipped so they can be identified as having undergone the surgery. They will be vaccinated, then returned to their home on the streets.
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