Bhutan’s Prime Minister Lotay Tshering has recently asked people to adopt a stray dog as a gift for his birthday.
His birthday is on the 10th of May. He has urged people to adopt a stray dog or plant a tree or commit to managing waste in their neighborhood.
With Humane Society International intervention Bhutan has implemented a nationwide spay/neuter and vaccine program for stray dog population management and rabies elimination.
Presently when the animal welfare officers or dogcatchers go around places, they take picture of the stray dogs and then add on the Global Positioning System (GPS). The dog is caught and then taken to an animal shelter after which the information about the dog is updated post sterilization operation, anti rabies vaccination and the dog is released back in the same location from where it was picked.
In the 1970s, rampant killing of stray dogs in Bhutan lead to other problems like overpopulation of rats and still the rabies cases did not go down. Now since 2009, due to successful sterilization of stray dogs program in Bhutan, there is a drastic reduction in the rabies cases and overall stray dog population.
Bhutan is also working on bringing in technology to track success of stray dog population control measures with mobiles apps – mass dog vaccination and dog population management – that will help officials monitor their team’s work and have access to information like the number of neutered dogs.
This the need of the hour in all countries. Successful stray dog sterilization programs can only effectively control the population of stray dogs in the long run and provide complete elimination of rabies. And this is the only way to reduce the suffering of the stray dogs on the streets where they are killed, maimed, raped, burnt with acid and suffer so many other kinds of abuses each day.
If you consider yourself a dog lover then please make sure you contribute in any way possible to the stray dog sterilization programs in your neighborhood run by government or NGOs.