Jamshedpur, July 14: Jamshedpur is on its way to become the first city in the Eastern part of the country to successfully control the street dog population.
The human population of Jamshedpur has increased but the dog population over a couple of years has remained stable and the credit goes to Humane Society International and Animal Health Foundation which launched the three year project with support from the Jamshetji Tata Trust and Jusco, said Rahul Sehgal, Director, Humane Society International-Asia.
Talking to the media persons on the sidelines of celebrations of sterilization and vaccination of more than 11,000 dogs in Jamshedpur, Sehgal said that Steel city has been privileged to have limited dog population as compared to other parts of India.
“In Jamshedpur there are 3 dogs per hundred people compared to the national average of 3.5, in China the figure is 23 dogs per hundred people”, Sehgal added.
Director HSI-Asia further said that our main motive is to stop population of dogs and eliminate Rabies so that dog bite, barking can be controlled and people should live without fear. It is also seen that 70% fall victim to dog bites are children under the age of 16 years.
Talking about the dog population, Dr. Andrew Rowan, President and CEO of HSI said, there are 24,700 street dogs in Jamshedpur and out of that more than 11000 dogs have been successfully sterilized and vaccinated since April 2013 by the Jamshedpur Communities Dog Population & Rabies Management Project.
With this baseline, the project has been designed with a target of 18,000 dogs to be sterilized and vaccinated to achieve 70 percent coverage within the project period of 3 years.
“25-30 dogs are caught per day and would like to increase the figure to 40”, said Joy Lee of HSI adding that the Jamshedpur Project, a project that is scientific as well as humane, is unique and stands apart from other animal birth control programs in the country in several aspects.
This is the first mass sterilization and vaccination program where dogs are caught by hand instead of the use of catching equipment such as nets or poles.
She further informed that the Jamshedpur project utilizes a new, state-of-the-art data collection and management system, where a photographic record of every dog caught, plus GPS location and comprehensive clinical data from catching to release is kept.
With the GPS mapping, every dog is returned to the exact location from where they were caught and by doing this we have achieved a 100 percent success rate of returning the dogs.
Community education and engagement is integrated into every component of the project; during catching and release activities, the animal welfare officers engage with the community and raise awareness of dog-bite prevention and safe human-dog interaction. An entirely new team of 16 animal welfare officers are part of the team who were recruited and trained in Jamshedpur.