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June 25, 2013

Jamshedpur, India: Working Towards an Animal-Friendly City

Humane Society International/India

  • Demonstrating positive interaction. HSI

  • A friendly pat. HSI

by Keren Nazareth

The Sri Dorabji Tata Trust will invest USD $1 million over the next three years to make Jamshedpur, India an animal-friendly city. HSI is the lead implementing agency and has begun work on a project to raise community awareness.

"HSI will build a model for humane animal birth control practices in India. Our motive in seeking this collaboration was to be able to demonstrate success for a humane dog management plan—from monitoring and gathering information to humane handling and community participation," says Rahul Sehgal, Director, Asia for HSI.

The program has so far undertaken scientific surveys, based on which the ABC project will be planned. The University of Glasgow will set up a database to help with data collection/analysis, a significant part of this model and a learning process.

Creating a team

HSI will employ Animal Welfare Officers to involve the community in the project by asking residents to observe dogs after (spay/neuter) surgery and phone a helpline if they see any who seem unwell. A dedicated team with a van will follow up as needed.

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The AWOs will also set an example for human-dog contact. According to HSI consultant Joy Lee, “We heard anecdotal evidence that people like friendly dogs and will even try to take them home, although the dogs usually escape and find a way back to their territories. We hope that positive interactions will lead to more sociable animals, which in turn will lead to good human-dog relationships and ultimately to more adoptions."

HSI will train the AWOs in human behavior change, community engagement techniques and innovative dog trapping methods. Meanwhile, a holding facility managed by HSI will be crucial to increasing efficiency and hygiene and decreasing the stress of the animals during the post-op period.

Demonstrating, then replicating

This project is unique in its phased approach and clear focus on generating evidence-based lessons for others to follow. Innovation in both process and technology will be key to improving the ABC model, first in Jamshedpur and then hopefully throughout India and other Asian countries facing similar challenges. Give now to help street dogs worldwide.

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