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Street dog population management programme proves a hit

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Jamshedpur: The street dog population management programme run by Humane Society International ( HIS) and Animal Help Foundation ( AHF) has resulted in the sterilization and vaccination of 20,087 dogs (9937 males and 10050 females) in three and half years.

The number of dogs HSI and AHF have sterilized and vaccinated since May 2013 represents nearly 80 percent of the 24,774 street dogs in Jamshedpur the groups counted at the outset.

The bi-annual surveys show that the percentage of lactating females has dropped from 11.5 to 3.26 and the percentage of puppies has dropped from 10.6 to 3.16, both being important indicators in showing the immediate success in stabilization of dog population.

The groups have handed the programme over to the Jamshedpur Utilities and Services Company, or JUSCO, the city’s local civic authority for the project. HSI and the Jamsetji Tata Trust funded the programme, while AHF served as the local implementation partner.

Rahul Sehgal, co-director, companion animals and engagement, HSI says, “This program is an example that it is possible to manage the street dog population in India with high standards of animal welfare. Our team and partners, Animal Help Foundation, Jamsetji Tata Trust, JUSCO and TELCO, have played a crucial part in the success of this program. The people of Jamshedpur have also been supportive by showing their love for dogs and welcoming a program like this.”

Program staff provided high quality care for the dogs before and after their treatment, helping to reduce the stress and post-op complications in dogs. HSI and AHF also used an app that recorded the data of all the dogs who were sterilized and vaccinated, including photographs. The overall health of the dogs has also improved in Jamshedpur, with a significant reduction of mange, a canine skin disease, from 294 cases in 2014 to 24 in 2016.

The program also included an educational component that reached nearly 3,000 people through a series of workshops on rabies and dog-bite prevention in schools and offices in Jamshedpur.

During World Rabies Day in 2015 and 2016, HSI and AHF held community celebrations and clinics, vaccinating an additional 1,342 street dogs and pets. A Quick Response Team was set up in November 2015 to respond to complaints and queries from citizens regarding street dogs – the team responded to 245 complaints.

For the welfare of street dogs and the community, it is important that JUSCO and its partners continue to implement and manage this program with the same vigour. AHF and HSI have offered JUSCO to retain its trained staff for better facilitation of the program.

HSI will also continue to monitor the program and carry out bi-annual surveys in May and November to continue tracking the progress of the program.

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