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October 29, 2012

A Day in the Life of an HSI Street Dog Team

Humane Society International

  • The HSI Street Dog Team in Thimphu, Bhutan rounds up dogs for treatment. HSI/Joy Lee

  • Veterinarians sterilize dogs in the clinic. HSI/Joy Lee

  • A dog is returned to his neighborhood following his surgery and recovery. HSI/Joy Lee

Joy Lee, HSI's new Street Animal Program Consultant, shares a remarkable update of strides being made for street dogs -- thanks to the support of our Street Dog Defenders. Enjoy the read, and keep an eye out for more like it.

Greetings from London! This past summer was one of celebrations here -- from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to the Olympic Games. As a Street Dog Defender, we also can celebrate, because thanks to your generosity and the efforts of HSI, the lives of street dogs are truly changing for the better on a global scale!

I have just returned from an assessment of HSI’s keystone street dog projects in India, Bhutan and the Philippines. What I saw there was amazing, life-changing, and inspiring! And almost immediately, I thought, 'If only they knew.'

This isn’t just a story about one dog that we’ve rescued. This isn’t just “another drop in the ocean”. HSI's work with street dogs is expanding all over the world, and we are pioneering innovative approaches that are impacting tens of thousands of animals with each project. Thanks to you!

As a result, whole communities of people are treating street dogs with more compassion, thanks to what they have witnessed through HSI programmes.

An estimated 700 million dogs are in the world, about 300 million of whom live on the streets. Your support is helping HSI to change the world for these animals, and it is this picture of “a whole new world” that I'm excited to share. I hope you feel as inspired as I do.

Here's a peek at a day in the life of the HSI team in Thimphu, Bhutan:

Morning

6:00 -- Dog catchers and the driver meet at the clinic, preparing equipment and loading the van.

6:30 -- Dog catchers go out dog catching. We drive. We see a few dogs sleeping; we stop. The dog catchers sneak around with their nets. We catch a dog, and then two! And then the other dogs wake up and start their “alarm” barking. Within seconds, the entire area is resounding with their warning song. We leave, because the dogs have all been warned that the HSI dog catchers are here, and it will now be impossible to catch any more dogs in this area. We drive to a new area and repeat.

8:30 -- Dogs are brought back to clinic, weighed, and prepared for operation.

9:00 -- Spay and neuter operations start; around 30 dogs per day are neutered and vaccinated.

Afternoon

2:00 -- Most of the operations have wrapped up. The staff cleans the clinic.

2:30 -- Lunch at last!

3:00 -- This is a nice time in the afternoon to catch up with reporting, cleaning, and mending nets as the team waits for the dogs to wake up. Handlers also spend time in the recovery area comforting the more friendly dogs who are wanting attention.

4:30 -- Dogs are put back into the nets and loaded back onto the van. They are then driven and returned to the place from whence they were caught this morning.

5:30 -- The release team returns to the clinic and do some final cleaning.

6:00 -- A busy day’s work finished! Phew!

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