A step-wise strategy
Do you already have experience with sterilising and vaccinating strays? Are you feeding community dogs? Depending on the situation in your colony, Stray Buddy provides tips and resources.
Dogs were domesticated by humans about 20,000-40,000 years ago: wherever there are people there are dogs. Attempts in India to completely rid territories of stray dogs, or ‘throwing away’ or harming their pups, are not only illegal but also never had the desired effect.
Vacated territories are vacuums and are always taken up by other dogs – there are simply too many of them. The cycle continues, unless…
The only scientific way to break this cycle – as promoted by the World Health Organisation – is to systematically “domesticate” a few stray dogs living in your area and get them sterilized and vaccinated.
These community dogs will not only guard your area from other stray dogs (and monkeys) which may be rabid or unsterilised but they also keep pests and rodents under control. The dog population in your community becomes healthier, happier, stabilises and slowly reduces, which will make it easier for people and dogs to coexist harmoniously.
Our practical step-wise approach yielded results!
In 2017, the Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA) in our colony created a committee to manage the stray dogs. We developed a systematic and methodical step-wise approach to control the dog population and reduce nuisance for residents. Prevention of harm to humans and animals was the main goal. Currently our colony is puppy-free and rabies free. We are now jointly working to become litter-/poop-free and animal cruelty-free.
The following steps are being followed:
- Map and identify your community dogs and their caregivers and keep online records updated.
- Feed dogs in designated areas and without littering the area.
- Sterilise all community stray dogs (male and female).
- Vaccinate all dogs annually, deworm them quarterly and take care of their medical needs.
- Raise awareness with youth and other residents on dos and don’ts to avoid confrontations and identify and address the root causes for undesirable behaviour of the dogs.
The steps are logical but not necessarily sequential: you may step in at any point depending on the priorities in your local area. Just make sure to map the strays and their caretakers first and keep records uptodate.
Our approach has been to involve all stakeholders including the Residents’ Welfare Association, Animal Welfare Board of India, NGOs, South Delhi Municipal Corporation, police and residents (even from neighboring blocks) to take coordinated and collective action.