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February 27, 2012

Controlling Street Dog Numbers on an Indian University Campus

Humane Society International/India

  • Street dogs find haven on university campus grounds. Rahul Sehgal/HSI

  • Abandoning the crowded streets can also mean finding compassionate hands. Rahul Sehgal/HSI

  • Spay/neuter offers a humane answer to street dog overpopulation. Rahul Sehgal/HSI

India’s sprawling public university campuses are not immune to the street dog issues faced by the rest of the country. In fact, the school grounds make good homes for the dogs, who are otherwise considered a nuisance, as they’re fed by the students and are relatively safe in these traffic-free, less crowded areas. But numbers are still a problem. 

Too many dogs, too little space

At one of the leading engineering schools, Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee (IIT-Roorkee), the dog population had gotten so out of control that the ensuing fights over territory were keeping the students up at night and causing trouble during the day.

Help animals as an HSI Street Dog Defender.

A call for assistance

A senior member of the Indian government contacted HSI with a request to attend to the problem as soon as we could. We immediately put together a program and sent four vets and three support staff, who completed 105 spay-neuter surgeries, plus vaccinations, in just seven days! We set up makeshift surgical tables and dispatched equipment and instruments from the HSI India office, then employed a humane capture expert who used blow darts, dog nets and other gentle methods to catch the animals. The vets lived on the campus temporarily during the process so that they could monitor the dogs after treatment.

A good sign

While IIT-Roorkee was a small project, the government's involvement and request for our help indicate that relocation and killing of street dogs are no longer considered practical for control of dog populations. Donate to support our efforts to implement better solutions.

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