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What's turning these stray dogs blue?

Caroline Floyd

Tuesday, August 22, 2017, 6:24 PM - Stray dogs have been sporting a new look recently in India, and it has animal welfare campaigners concerned.

Mumbai residents first noticed them earlier this month - 11 stray dogs in the industrial neighbourhood of Taloja with bright blue fur.

Arati Chauhan, head of the Navi Mumbai Animal Protection Cell, reported the animals on the group's Facebook page after images of the animals surfaced. 

"It was shocking to see how the dog's white fur had turned completely blue," Chauhan told the Hindustan Times.

After the strangely-coloured pups started popping up, locals complained to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board about industrial waste pouring into the nearby Kasadi River.

The investigation that followed led to the closure of a detergent manufacturing plant in the area, which had reportedly been releasing untreated pollution in both the air and waterways. According to a CTV report, there have been sightings of blue dye-covered birds in the same region.

While the affected river is reportedly cordoned off to the public, local media reports say dogs frequently bathe in and drink from the water. The company responsible is installing a temporary gate to keep the dogs out as well, according to the Hindustan Times story.

The dogs were seen and released by veterinarians after getting a clean bill of health. The blue dye was water soluble, and Chauhan updated the Protection Cell's Facebook page to say most of the dogs had been cleaned by rain, but admonished officials that the temporary closure of one factory was not a long-term solution to the region's pollution woes.

"Shutting down one industry, as MPCB has done, only results in daily wage labourers losing their bread and butter," Chauhan told the Hindustan Times. "There is a need for pollution monitoring of all plants and development of adequate green cover around industrial sites."

Thumbnail and lead image courtesy Arati Chauhan/Deepak Gharat/Navi Mumbai Animal Protection Cell

Sources: CTV News | Hindustan Times | Navi Mumbai Animal Protection Cell |

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