LUCKNOW, Uttar Pradesh— On World Spay Day, Humane Society International/India and Lucknow Municipal Corporation celebrate sterilizing and vaccinating 70% of the street dog population in Lucknow, achieving the goal set forth by the city’s first-ever Animal Birth Control program launched in 2019 by HSI/India. A recent survey conducted by HSI/India reveals that over 73,000 street dogs have been sterilized and vaccinated, effectively curbing street dog population growth and preventing puppies from entering a life of suffering. The sterilization project has succeeded in preventing inhumane population control methods such as culling or relocation.
With the 70% sterilization and vaccination mark achieved, Lucknow is on the path to becoming Uttar Pradesh’s first city that will soon reach 80% sterilization of its street dog population. Vaccinating dogs, supported by effective dog population management, is the most cost-effective strategy for preventing rabies in people. On World Spay Day, Lucknow met the 70% vaccination coverage, signaling effective control of canine rabies, as endorsed by the World Health Organization in its Rabies – Zero deaths by 2030 report.
Robust community support has enabled the teams to reach such a high dog sterilization level. “Paving the way for behavioral transformation in societies, community members have played a crucial role”, said Dr. Piyush Patel, Director of Companion Animals and Engagement, HSI/India. “At least 28% of the dogs served by the program, or around 20,000 street dogs, were brought to the Animal Birth Control clinic in Jarhara for spay/neuter services by community members. This indicates that people are now well-aware of the program’s benefits for both humans and dogs. Our next goal is to hit 80%,” he added.
Dr. Patel envisions Lucknow serving as a national model, a “training and learning” hub, and an inspiration to other Indian cities. “Along with high-volume dog sterilization, active community education through workshops on rabies awareness and dog behavior has been the key to achieving this milestone,” said Dr. Arvind Rao, additional commissioner, of Lucknow Municipal Corporation.
HSI/India’s “walk-in Saturdays” made accessible to communities sterilization and vaccination of street dogs by making these services free every Saturday. Dr. Rao added: “Our city will benefit from our proactive actions. I urge every citizen in Lucknow to bring their unsterilized dogs for spaying and vaccination, to improve dog welfare, rabies control and create healthy communities.”
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