June 23, 2014
Tuesday is "Love Your Dog Day" in Bhutan
by Antoinette Bradley and Keren Nazareth
HSI has a new initiative in Bhutan: "Tuesday—Love Your Dog Day." On this day, every district of Bhutan will provide free sterilization, vaccination and treatment to any pet brought to the district veterinary hospital, offering a free gift to every dog owner to say, “Thank you for being a dog hero.”
The first-ever TLYDD in Punakha district saw 18 pet and community dogs sterilized and vaccinated in one day alone, compared to the usual average of six per month. "It's great to see people being conscientious and bringing their pets to the hospital," said Dr. Sonam Jamtsho, a local veterinary officer.
In Wangdue district, residents brought in 28 dogs. Meanwhile, Paro kicked off TLYDD with an advocacy program featuring a walkathon and a month-long sterilization and vaccination campaign.
The program owes its success to a commitment by the Royal Government of Bhutan and other key stakeholders to spreading the word. Dr. Shrikant Verma, HSI's Community Animal Birth Control program coordinator, said, “Every district is showing a keen interest in implementing CABC and taking on the responsibility of independently managing its dog population, and we have been receiving many requests to kick-start CABC across the country.”
HSI has been training Bhutanese veterinarians and paravets to ensure the highest standards for surgical practice, as well as providing drugs and equipment so that every District Veterinary Hospital is able to care for the dogs and cats of the surrounding community. Our aim is to ensure the long-term sustainability of humane dog population management by local governments with the support of their citizens. You can help: Become a Street Dog Defender.