Residents in Mumbai, India are used to seeing stray dogs, but a pack of blue dogs roaming the streets led to a disturbing discovery.
When reports of strange blue dogs started attracting attention on social media and within the community, Navi Mumbai Animal Protection Cell and Mumbai's Thane SPCA did some investigating. What they learned was that the dogs were most likely dyed bright blue due to untreated industrial waste that was illegally dumped into nearby Kasadi River.
The stray dogs of the area are known for getting in the local river to cool off and find food, but it wasn't until recently that their swims started changing the color of their fur. The Hindustan Times reports that while there are hundreds of factories located near the river, a specific company that manufactures detergent is being blamed by officials. The factory has remained unnamed, but the local regulatory agency has opened an investigation.
In the meantime, the local SPCA managed to bring one of the dogs with bright blue fur in to the shelter. They told National Geographic that the blue dye was removed after two regular baths, and there doesn't seem to be any immediate health affects caused by the polluted water. They won't know for sure, however, until more extensive tests are performed.
The original number of blue dogs was thought to be around five, but officials suspect there are many more strange looking strays roaming the streets of Mumbai. With over 30 million dogs in India, the SPCA reports about 60% are owned by communities instead of having actual homes. They provide companionship to the millions of people who also live on the street, and in some cities, stray animals are actually thriving. Being exposed to a polluted water source, however, will threaten the health and well-being of thousands of dogs in the area.
A temporary fence has been put around the river, but a long-term solution will be depend on the results of the water pollution investigation.
What do you think of India's blue dogs? Let us know in the comments.
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