Barking in the middle of the night incessantly and randomly chasing kids around make stray dogs a nuisance for some.
But for the residents of Agathiyar Nagar in Villuvakkam Chennai, the strays act as bahadurs who protect them from burglars and troublemakers.
And all it took was to be kind and compassionate towards them.
There were no strays in the locality three years back. However, after one or two dogs wandered into the locality, Meena Vasudevan, a resident of the locality decided to let them be and started to feed them.
Talking to The Times of India, she said,
We realised that when the dogs were there, thefts in the area reduced. So we called up the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to get the dogs vaccinated and sterilised.
From just two dogs, the pack grew to six. The residents also took a liking to the dogs and began feeding and training them regularly.
Each dog has been given a name and a tag. The strays have also developed a good relationship with the residents of the locality and are now very protective of them.
They do not chase the passersby but only those that drive rashly.
Another resident R Venkatesan, told The Times of India that instances of thefts have stopped ever since they adopted the dogs.
Many bike parts were stolen in the dead of the night. All of this stopped since we adopted the strays. We feel a lot safer. The dogs are friendly and they haven't harmed anyone.
Just a few months back, the residents of Noida clothed strays in old clothes to keep them warm. These instances hold a testament to the fact that strays and humans can co-exist in peace, and a bit of compassion will go a long way in forging a strong relationship between them.