At first glance it looks like a photoshopped picture, but the blue dog is real and turned blue because of untreated industrial waste being released into a river where they hunt for food.
After reports and photos of the blue dogs began reaching the Thane Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) located in Thane, India, went to investigate. Five blue dogs have been spotted near Navi Mumbai’s Taloja industrial area, where pollutants from the nearly 1,000 factories dump their waste into the Kasadi River.
“We picked up this dog first as it has gone blind owing to the dye. It will now have to undergo a blood test as this will help us understand how the chemicals in the river have affected it,” said Dr Sanjay Jadhav, a veterinarian with the SPCA.
So far, the veterinarians have rounded up just one of the five blue dogs spotted. They plan to rescue, treat and release the others as soon as they can locate them.
The photos of the blue dog were taken by the Navi Mumbai Animal Protection Cell, which filed a complaint with the local pollution control board, saying animals in the area were suffering because dyes were being released directly into the river by industrial plants.
Discharge of dye into any water body in Mumbai is illegal. Officials surveyed the area a day later and found a private company is using blue dye for multiple purposes. The company owners have been warned to secure the area so that no animals can enter again. They have also been told to remove the dye that is being discharged from the company immediately or face closure.