Stray dog
Representational image Getty Images/AFP/ Martin Bernetti


  • The 12-year-old boy in India succumbed to his injuries after stray dogs pounced on and attacked him
  • Another child was injured in the stray dogs' attack
  • More than 6.8 million Indians were bitten by stray dogs in 2020

A 12-year-old boy was mauled to death by a group of stray dogs in the city of Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, India, Tuesday.

The victim, Ayaan, was playing with his friends in Khana Gauntiya village at the time of the incident, India Today reported.

Stray dogs went after Ayaan when he ran, but the boy fell to the ground. The dogs then began to pounce on him and attack him.

Passersby rescued the victim as he was being attacked by the stray dogs. The child was immediately rushed to a hospital. However, Ayaan later succumbed to his injuries.

Another child was also injured in the attack.

A similar incident happened two months ago when a 3-year-old girl in Bareilly was mauled by stray dogs when she was playing outside her house.

The victim died after she was dragged by the dogs for 150 meters (490 feet).

Another dog attack took place in the Uttar Pradesh city of Aligarh last month. A 4-month-old girl was also killed by a pack of stray dogs after one of the dogs sneaked into the victim's house, picked her up, and took her to a secluded place.

The family eventually located the infant and rescued her from the stray dogs, but the victim had already died.

Data from the Indian government showed that more than 6.8 million Indians were bitten by stray dogs in 2020, up from 3.9 million in 2012, according to the Telegraph.

About 20,000 Indians die annually from rabies, which is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal and causes brain inflammation, the World Health Organization said.

Stray dog attacks are a perennial problem in India, which had approximately 62 million stray canines in 2021.

The growing problem challenges India's animal compassion and protection policies and the Hindu belief that all living creatures are sacred and should be revered.

"There needs to be more common sense, where we protect animals but also spay, neuter and vaccinate them," Ramanan Laxminarayan, director of One Health Trust, an Indian public health research body, said.

Recently, the Indian state of Kerala filed a petition to the country's high court to cull stray dogs.

According to Kerala government data, over 200,000 people in the state were bitten by a dog in 2022.

The stray dog problem in Kerala is so intense that television channels in the region run daily segments about dog bite incidents.

However, the Indian Supreme Court denied Kerala's petition to cull the stray dogs.

Despite Kerala's loss, other Indian states such as Karnataka, Maharashtra and Rajasthan are expected to file pro-culling petitions in the coming months.