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May 12, 2015

HSI: Helping Street Dogs Worldwide

Humane Society International

HSI is a leading authority on the humane management of street dog populations around the world. A look at some of our programs:

Frank Loftus


HSI has been carrying out Dog Population Management projects in India since 2007. Working with state and local governments, we conduct dog population surveys and then institute humane Animal Birth Control programs.

We also do capacity development of veterinarians, dog catchers and paravets and respond to disasters, and we’re aiming eradicate rabies through mass sterilization.

There is growing acceptance of and interest in our methods and more and more cities are requesting our help. See us in action.

Sarah Vallentine/HSI


The estimated 4 million street dogs in Bangladesh are viewed as a menace by the government and have traditionally been subject to frequent culls. But in January 2012, the Local Government Secretary declared Dhaka a "no-cull" city thanks to a successful advocacy campaign by our local partner, Obhoyaronno-Bangladesh Animal Welfare Foundation.

Today, city residents help collect animals for our catch/neuter/vaccinate/release program, and the official rabies policy focuses on mass vaccination, not mass killing. We won't stop until culls are ended across the country.View a slideshow of our work in Bangladesh.


Puerto Rico

At present, shelters in Puerto Rico euthanize more than 90 percent of their yearly intake because adoptions are so low. Compounding the problem, spay/neuter is not yet widely available.

HSI is working to bring veterinarians to underserved communities, raise awareness among pet owners of the importance of sterilization to help end the cycle of surplus litters, and strengthen the capacity of local animal welfare organizations to cope with the stress of dealing with too many animals in need and too few resources. Gradually, our spay/neuter projects are rolling out in different municipalities across the island. View photos of our Puerto Rico program.

Please support our innovative, successful Street Dog Welfare initiative.

Antoinette Bradley/HSI


In September 2009, the Royal Government of Bhutan and HSI signed a Memorandum of Understanding to target more than 50,000 street dogs over six years in a first-of-its kind, nationwide spay/neuter/vaccination program.

With a shortage of veterinarians in the country, HSI offered to deploy our Indian teams to Bhutan to start. Later, more than 30 Bhutanese underwent extensive training in India. Today, the team is made up entirely of local veterinarians and paraveterinarians and we expect that our project will continue as a sustainable, Bhutanese-led initiative into the future. Watch a slideshow.

Jake Verzosa

The Philippines

In the Philippines, we discovered that most local governments resorted to inhumane practices for animal control due to a lack of humane alternatives. Few local vets had the skills to perform spay/neuter and there was little opportunity for training. To help make this change, HSI developed a partnership with Southwestern University on the island of Cebu to teach catch/neuter/vaccinate/release.

Working with the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries, we have sterilized more than 6500 dogs in Cebu City to date. We also support spay/neuter programs in three additional locations.

Other significant achievements include stopping the practice of “tambucho” (euthanasia using jeep exhaust) and responding after disasters, including Typhoon Haiyan. Photos of our work.



The challenge in the Pacific is the lack of veterinarians, and therefore animal care and welfare. Rabies is essentially nonexistent, but other zoonotic concerns like Leptospirosis are high, as is the dog bite incidence.

In American Samoa, we helped put a veterinarian in place to keep the veterinary clinic open and reach underserved communities with village clinics. We are implementing humane education geared at teaching children kindness to animals and dog bite prevention.

In Guam, we are working with local veterinarians to implement low-cost spay/neuter services and working on increasing their revenue. We are working with local legislators on language concerning licensing, import, breeding, dangerous dogs, cruelty and welfare. We work closely with the Department of Agriculture to help improve their animal control practices.

In Rota, there are no veterinarians. HSI provided their first services in 2014 and sterilized nearly 40 percent of the dog population. We are returning to continue these efforts and work towards getting veterinary services there several times a year. We are also working with the Rota Municipal Council and the Mayor’s office to implement animal control, which does not exist yet.

In Saipan, where the euthanasia rate is currently nearly 100 percent at the island's holding facility, we have support from the mayor to move forward in planning a Dog Control Program and training Animal Control Officers in humane handling and trapping techniques Spay/neuter clinics will also be held. Learn more from our slideshow.


Costa Rica

In Costa Rica—where we also have a major campaign against dogfighting—we have just launched the first step of our typical model: a dog population census. Such surveys provide important information about the number of animals, their concentration in certain areas, their behavior and the attitudes of citizens toward them, which helps us formulate our plans.

Most free-roaming dogs in this country are actually owned, and many are in decent condition. The biggest issue here is changing people’s attitudes and behavior to encourage more responsible pet ownership. With the support of the government and local partner organizations, we're working to promote both spay/neuter and adoptions. See some photos of our efforts.

We're helping street dogs in many locations around the world. Learn more and read the latest news, and please, consider becoming a Street Dog Defender to support our life-saving efforts. They're working, and government officials are beginning to take notice.

We can solve this problem—we just need the resources to expand our programs. Thank you.

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