Stray animals, especially dogs, are common in Nepal and form a very large population, even uncounted in many parts of the nation. Stray dogs can be found both in cities and in the country side.
The number of stray dogs has been increasing seriously over the past 20 years due to a lack of proper management of the dog population. Stray dogs are usually regarded as a problem by the local authorities.It is important to note that 90% of the rabies cases are due to rabid dog bites in Nepal. This is due to the chain of contacts between the sylvatic and urban cycle of rabies through stray dogs.
According to the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, around 30,000 stray dogs of the Capital city are a snarling menace to public safety. According to a survey report of Animal Welfare Network Nepal, most of the dogs end up on streets after they are abandoned or ignored by their owners, and their uncontrolled breeding simply increases their number. The increasing incident of dog poisoning in the nation, led to the establishment of animal welfare organizations since 2006. Kathmandu Valley alone used to poison more than 10000 street dogs a mere decade ago, with strychnine presuming to be an effective way in which to control the dog population.
The program ‘PROJECT FOR STREET DOGS VACCINATION’ in the Sankhu area, aims to intervene in an integrated approach involving community leaders, community members, educational institutions and local government, comprising humane education, vaccination and capacity development of stakeholders.To estimate the population of the dog in the project area, Sneha’s Care conducted a dog population survey in the Sankhu area of Shankarpur Municipality, using an android mobile app developed by the Sneha’s Care following the Mark-Re sight field method.
Three surveyors were employed in the project area for the dog population counting for two days, during which they gathered all the data. Altogether, 1216 dogs were found in the project area, comprises of: Suntole, Epatole, Salinadi area, Jarshing pauwa, Bajrayogini area, Bhanjyang, Khulaltaar, Sankhara, Indrayani and Salambutar.
Likewise, another vital component of the project is vaccination of the stray dogs. The project is supported to vaccinate almost all the dogs of the region. Distemper and Rabies vaccination was carried out side-by-side and the dogs were also marked after the vaccination. Records of the vaccination program was compiled by the team, so that it will be easy to follow up at a later stage.
Deworming was also carried out to fight against intestinal worms and can also be done later if required. On the very first date of this month, we started our rabies and distemper vaccine program at Sakhu and neighboring villages where the people were unaware of the vital vaccinations for dogs against rabies and distemper.
Few other awareness programs were also organized in local areas and schools where a small group of local volunteers also helped us. Sneha’s Care distributed a leaflet and flyers that mentioned about how and why we should use preventive measures with rabies.
Our team successfully vaccinated each and every dog in this location. Altogether, we vaccinated 1004 dogs in eight days throughout the month and the program concluded on World Rabies Day with a small ceremony.
A portion of this article has been adopted from Report of Sneha’s Care