Humane Society International/India is launching a street dog management program in Uttarakhand, with a goal of sterilizing and vaccinating more than 15,000 dogs over two years. HSI/India is working with the Street Dog Birth Control Societies established by the local civic authorities in Dehradun, Mussoorie and Nainital.
The team arrived in Dehradun in November to set up the clinic and has already sterilized and vaccinated 162 dogs. A total of 540 dogs in Nainital, 680 dogs in Mussoorie and 14,000 in Dehradun will be treated, together accounting for approximately 70 percent of street dogs in the region. The program will be carried out at animal birth control centres built in compliance with the directions of the Hon’ble High Court in a writ petition filed by HSI/India government liaison, Gauri Maulekhi.
Rahul Sehgal, co-director of companion animals and engagement for HSI, says, “Following our success with street dog programs in Hisar and Jamshedpur, we have brought the program to three cities in Uttarakhand to manage the street dog population in the most humane and scientific manner. We thank the local civic authorities for choosing a humane solution, and together, our partnership will ensure a better future for the community as well as the street dogs in these regions.”
A street dog population survey conducted by HSI/India in October 2016 counted approximately 20,078 dogs in Dehradun, 969 dogs in Mussoorie and 770 dogs in Nainital. The survey also estimated the density of street dogs in Dehradun to be 3.5 dogs/100 persons, 3.2 dogs/100 persons in Mussoorie and 1.9 dogs/100 persons in Nainital.
Initially working only in Dehradun, a small team will shift to Mussoorie during March and April 2017 and to Nainital during May and June 2017. The dogs will be caught by hand or net, and will be released at the same location they were picked up from, in accordance with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The team will track the progress and the data of the catching and neutering of dogs using an HSI-created mobile application that also includes a photograph of each dog caught and released post-surgery. A bi-annual survey will be conducted to monitor the street dog population in the three locations.
In November, HSI’s Anti-Rabies Task Force conducted a week-long sterilization and vaccination camp at the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee campus in Uttarakhand. During the camp, the team treated 63 dogs and re-vaccinated 22 dogs previously sterilized. ART is a mobile sterilization and vaccination unit run by HSI to humanely manage the street dog population in more remote areas or smaller projects that require an immediate response.
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