June 3, 2013
Bhutan: The Next Phase
A community-based spay/neuter initiative
by Keren Nazareth, with Antoinette Bradley
HSI staff are gearing up for the next phase of our humane street dog control program in Bhutan.
Things are going well: recently, Dr. Karma Rinzin presented his survey-based findings of a significant reduction in the dog population, with as many as 70 percent sterilized in some districts. He also showed that the sterilized dogs are significantly healthier than those who remain unsterilized.
Getting people involved
A community-based neutering initiative is the next step in the capture-neuter-vaccinate-return campaign we have been working on since 2009.
We will now scale up, replicate, and work to create a sustainable process and the necessary infrastructure to support neighborhood involvement. This will include training more vets and community workers, creating incentives for people to bring animals in, and obtaining equipment such as vehicles for transportation and computers for database management.
The country's citizens are already contributing to the program's succes. Dr. Jamby says, “The locals and farmers were very grateful for the work the HSI teams put into sterilizing the dogs in their communities... They were so eager for HSI to return that they were even suggesting that they catch the dogs to help!"
We are working to raise community awareness and veterinary hospital staff are confident that people will gladly participate in working to give Bhutan's free-roaming dogs a better life.
“Our field sterilization teams are more proficient than ever, still performing daily sterilization,” says Antoinette Bradley, a consultant for HSI. We are now creating "strike teams" to trek for hours or days into the more remote mountainous villages to set up camp and perform spay/neuter in areas that so far have been untouched.
HSI will continue to support, monitor and facilitate progress with the NDPM (National Dog Population Management) and RCP (Rabies Control Project) in this phase as well. Donate now to make a difference for dogs.