Around 31 people were hospitalized after a stray dog went berserk and attacked them in Kolhapur, a city in the western Indian state of Maharashtra on Wednesday evening.

Officials said all the victims – 21 men, seven women and three children – were discharged from the local hospital Thursday evening after being under observation for 24 hours.

“All of them were treated with anti-rabies vaccine, serum and injections immediately after they were brought to the hospital,” Ajay Lokare, the dean of the hospital said.

Recalling the incident, Baburao Ingawale, a victim, said, “I had come to Shahupuri for some personal work. When I was crossing the road, a pack of dogs came running and surrounded me. A black dog from the pack bit me and ran away.”

Officials said a team was dispatched to catch the canine as soon as they received information about the attack. However, the dog was still on the loose and officials were trying to locate it.

Blaming the local residents for the increase in the number of stray dogs, Vijay Patil, the veterinary officer of the Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC) said they have established a dog shelter and have also recruited veterinary doctors to keep a check on dog menace in the city.

"We have a team that catches 10 stray dogs daily. We sterilize and vaccinate the canines. We are controlling the dog population within the KMC limits. If the dog population in one area drops, dogs from other localities, mostly from villages and other peripheral areas, fill the vacuum,” he said.

In a similar incident in the same state in June, a dog went out of control and attacked eight people. All the victims were rushed to a nearby hospital and were discharged after medication. Doctors said the victims had bites on their legs and back. Recalling the incident, a victim said he was sitting outside his home after dinner when the dog approached him, bit him on the leg and fled. When he arrived at the hospital, he found out that the dog had bitten many others as well.

Stray dog
Representational image Getty Images/AFP/ Martin Bernetti