The Disturbing Reason Why Some Dogs in India Turned Blue

Looking like something out of a Dr. Seuss book or the imagination of the late George Rodrigue, several bright blue stray dogs have been spotted recently around an industrial area of Mumbai, India.

But there is nothing cute or amusing about those blue dogs. Their unusual color was not the result of dye jobs by groomers – it was from dye that was illegally dumped into the already polluted Kasadi River. The river is surrounded by close to 1,000 food, pharmaceutical and chemical factories.

“It was shocking to see how the dog’s white fur had turned completely blue,” Arati Chauhan, head of the local group Navi Mumbai Animal Protection Cell (NMAPC) , told the Hindustan Times. “We have only spotted blue dogs so far. We do not know if birds, reptiles and other creatures are affected or if they have even died owing to the dye discharged into the air.”

Last week, NMAPC sent photos of one of the blue dogs to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and filed a complaint.

One of the blue dogs was rescued and is being treated by the Thane Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TSPCA). A scraping of the dog’s skin is being tested for toxicity.

The TSPCA plans to treat the remaining blue dogs, although a NMAPC representative told National Geographic that recent heavy rainfall has washed off the apparently water-based dye. (Fortunately, the TSPCA said a news story that the rescued dog had been blinded by the dye was not true.)

To their credit, MPCB officials immediately responded to the complaint and investigated the factories along the Kasadi. “We will take action against the polluters as they are destroying the environment,” Anil Mohekar, regional officer of the MPCB, told the Hindustan Times.

Two days later, they discovered the source of the blue dye. Ducol Organics & Colours, a private company, was using it to manufacture color pigments and other products. The company was violating two pollution laws: not only was it dumping untreated dye into the Kasadi River, but it was also releasing dye powder into the air.

Although the portion of the river around Ducol Organics is closed off to the public, the dogs managed to slip through gaps in the wire fencing and wade into the water to cool off.

On Aug. 20, the MPCB shut down the company. “Ducol Organics is harming animals and birds in the area. We cannot let such an industry function,” Mohekar said. He added that the MPCB will ensure the plant’s closure “sets an example for other polluting industries, which may not be following pollution abatement measures.”

It’s commendable that the MPCB took quick action to spare more dogs and other animals from the blue dye. It should be the first — but far from the last — step taken by the board to reduce pollution in the Kasadi River.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons


Chrissie R
Chrissie R23 days ago

Thank you for posting.

Jennifer H
Jennifer H4 months ago

Well the US will not be far behind with Rump disbanding the EPA. Corporations will be able to do whatever they want to alleviate regulations.

Margie F4 months ago

Very sad, but one must admit they look beautiful.

Mark D
Mark Donner4 months ago

India is a greedy polluted mess. At least they're doing something about it, the disgusting Chinese would have hidden the evidence, killed the critics and the dogs.

Philippa P
Philippa Powers4 months ago

Thanks. Dreadful situation!

HEIKKI R4 months ago


cynthia l
cynthia l4 months ago

this is so alarming and disgusting

earthism i
earthism info4 months ago

It is a serious issue and need to be solved

W. C
W. C4 months ago

Thank you.

Angela K
Angela K4 months ago