Stray Dog Management

The Thursday, May 4 edition of the Pakistani newspaper, the Daily Times, has a story headed, “Jalil proposes sending Karachi’s stray dogs to Korea“.

City Naib Nazim Nasreen Jalil suggested to Korean Consul General in Karachi Suckchul Chang at a meeting Wednesday the possibility of sending the stray dogs of the city to Korea and said that if this proposal materialised, it would help rid the city of the dog menace.

This is one of the few suggestions often put forth by successive city governments in an attempt to combat the spread of rabies. Not only would Ms. Jalil’s proposal be ineffective in reducing stray dog populations, it would also be blatantly violating Korean law, which forbids the sale and consumption of dog meat. Each year millions of dogs suffer excessive cruelty in the dog meat industries of countries such as China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and Taiwan. The animals are routinely tortured before slaughter as the adrenaline in their blood is said to increase the virility of men who eat it. Ms. Jalil ought to encourage Korean authorities to implement Korean law, instead of offering our dogs to support their illegal industry.

Meanwhile, civic authorities in Karachi continue to kill stray dogs by strychnine poisoning and shooting with guns. They have even involved the general public in this from time to time by offering cash as reward for every dog killed. What they fail to comprehend is that no matter how many dogs are killed, the remaining will move into the area and quickly breed up to the carrying capacity of their ecological niche.

The World Health Organization (WHO) advocates Animal Birth Control (ABC) as a humane method of reducing dog populations and rabies control. In an ABC program, street dogs are captured, sterilized, vaccinated against rabies and released back to the area from where they were captured. The percentage of dogs that need to be sterilized to curb population growth and vaccinated to prevent the spread of rabies is 70%. If these efforts are meticulously planned and well directed, they will be effective and long-lasting.

The ABC strategy is already in effect in many countries of the world including Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, UAE, Egypt, Brazil, Greece, Kenya and Turkey. In India, which has the highest instances of rabies and dog-bite cases in South Asia, ABC has been the official government policy for some time now, including cities such as Madras, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Bombay, Delhi, and Jaipur.

A sustained ABC program in every municipality of the city, in addition to proper garbage disposal, pet registration/vaccination, and awareness programs in schools and the mass media will produce dramatically visible results just as they have in other parts of the world.

Please send polite letters to editors of leading newspapers in Pakistan with a message for Karachi’s city government that killing dogs, or exporting them to dog-eating countries, is an ineffective approach and has never worked in Pakistan or any other country of the world. Remind them that under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1890, there is a penalty for cruelty to animals, punishable with a fine and imprisonment. Please urge them to consider implementing a strategy that has been scientifically proven to be effective in many cities of the world.

All letters should include the writer’s full name, postal address, e-mail address, and in the case of Pakistan, a day-time telephone number.

Daily Times


The News

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18 thoughts on “Stray Dog Management

  1. Incompetence among ‘elected’ officials is reaching new heights in Pakistan. One would expect atleast a semi competent person in the job. But we get a Business women ready to exploit the dog meat industry in Korea. I am once again speechless!!

    T. Yousaf

  2. Does any one know what is the correct population of stray dogs in Karachi now? It is more than a year old issue when one Lac stray dog were walking around on streets of Karachi city.

  3. Killing stray dogs apart from being inhuman is unscientific. No vacuum can be created in nature. Another species will always fill it up. If dogs (theoretically) are removed, rats will take over.

    Only if garbage is cleared and civic conditions are very hygienic, killing strays will not solve problems.

    We cannot compare to countries like USA,UK and Singapore because they do not have slums, they do not have open garbage and other deplorable socio economic conditions. Also, if the methods we use to kill dogs were done in these countries, those people would be behind bars for a very long time for violating animal welfare laws.

    Some argue that the poor are victims of stray dogs. In my experience, slum dwellers fiercely and possessively love and protect their dogs. The stray is the poor mans dog. The bonding is beautiful if anyone cared to observe.

    Also. Rabies is not eradicated by killing dogs. All warm blooded animals can carry the virus. So should we kill all warm blooded creatures? Is that the way we tackle HIV-AIDS? Was no polio eradicated in India by mass vaccination? Should we no rather on making cheap, effective rabies vaccines? Vaccines that are easy to access and easy to administer? Should we not give animals oral anti rabies vaccines like they do in the USA?

    Human life and animal life may not be the same cognitively, but if we consider ourselves superior, then by that logic, humans will form groups and consider their own group superior and by that logic, no wonder we have violence against religions and communities.

    Cruelty to animals is the base to violence on humans. Any text in psychology will tell you that. We must think of the mind at work behind the violence. If dogs are clubbed, killed, burnt, acid thrown etc, think very hard and think very logically. This killing is the product of a violent mind that will not hesitate to repeat it on a vulnerable human like a child.

    If we want to define ourselves as civilized, we must first be compassionate. If the stray dog population has to be managed, then to the animal birth control program that also takes care of rabies as the dogs are vaccinated against rabies post surgery. Also, unfit dogs( old, rabid, diseased, aggressive) should be mercifully put down using first a sedative to make them unconscious and then sodium pentathol to put them to sleep. This must be done by a veterinarian and not by anyone else.

    Life, human or animal feels pain, physical and emotional. What right have we to be violent. Are we the school bully, only targeting a species that cannot fight back in equal measure?

    Why not take on those who kill people in road accidents? Why not take on those who rape and kill? Why not take on those commit crimes on children? Will equal enthusiasm be shown there as it is with dogs who people want killed?

    Think about it. It the end of the day, it is a reflection on us, humans, when we ill-treat an animal. It is the latent psychopath in each one of us who condones crimes on them. Is that who we are?

  4. Hyderabad and Bangalore in India (I am from Hyderabad, India) share the same problem of stray dogs as Karachi. And surprisingly, the oficialdom (and most citizens) think the same way as is being done in Karachi ie kill the dogs.

    It is true that there have been an increase in the incidents of dog bitings. But if you look at the growth in population of human beings in these cities and then take the current number of dog bites, I am sure that the percentage has not changed much over the years.

    It is also easy for the citizens to blame the authourities about the dog problem. But dont the citizens have a responsibility of keeping the neighbourhood clean?

    What is needed is a massive vaccination programme and for citizens to come forward and adopt the vaccinated dogs. Atleast, this will ensure a humane life for the dog while giving immense satisfaction to the new pet owners.

  5. Please read eradicating Polio as eradicating Smallpox. Smallpox has been wiped out in India by mass vaccinations. It is hopes that the same is achieved for Polio. The same can be done for Rabies, unless pharmaceutical companies have a hidden agenda.

    Please read our blog for tips to manage the stray dog population in a humane manner.

    Rishi Dev, architect

    Stray dogs nowadays have a new word to represent them, ‘MENACE’.
    People may be divided into two groups, both emotionally activated, one driven by love and affection, the other by hate and repulsion. But for both types, and especially for those who are emotionally unattached to animals, there is a logical discourse & paradigm that may be looked at keeping all emotional arguments aside, to solve the newly named problem called – THE DOG MENACE.
    To start with, if we go back in human history, through various civilizations which succeeded each other, there has never been a period when the entire human population ceased to exist altogether in an area or region, unless guided by nature’s forces or inaccessible physical boundaries. For example, if someone were to eliminate the population of humans in a city, as was attempted in Japan during the World War 2, can the entire population be destroyed completely and for ever? No! Of course it can not be!
    Any species is it human or animal cannot be forced out of existence altogether, no matter however large the scale of destruction is; and ANYTHING that MOVES and that has the intelligence even to the IQ level of a mosquito will not remain stationed in one place. Like we humans do, they will naturally move towards a better habitat and a territory of their own
    Hence, the first inference that can be drawn is that NO SPECIES CAN BE PREVENTED FROM EXISTING AND NO LIVING CAN BE PREVENTED FROM MOVING AND INHABITATING EMPTY AND MORE COMFORTABLE AREAS, unless physical boundaries are made, or in cases of dogs, are made to understand signboards of “no entry”.

    So the problem and solution that may lie is not with the existence of dogs but with the over population of any species.
    This is similar to the problem that metropolitan cities are facing, where the population of humans becomes alarmingly more as compared to the resources and space available.
    To solve human over population problem do we kill humans? No we don’t!! We control human population by PLANNING A CITY properly. Being an architect and a planner I can call it in technical terms the DENSITY OF LAND USES of an area or city. In planning a city we decide how many people must be allowed to live in a square km of area on an average and what infrastructure can be provided to sustain the population planned. That also does not mean that we literally kill the rest or throw out the people who come thereafter. On the other hand, we implement the theoretical concept by a practical INDIRECT approach & solution, like controlling the influx of people by laws & methods of not allowing people to build on roads, pavements, common areas, etc. Hence, the human over population can be controlled by proper planning of the City; by an instrument we call the MASTER PLAN. And if the master plan fails, the human city faces havoc too. It is but natural. We don’t blame the humans in that case, we blame the planning.
    Similarly in case of animals, dogs in particular, we cannot kill or keep throwing them out of localities because, as earlier concluded, this is not possible to achieve. So, as we plan our cities we have to solve the dog problem in a similar way, i.e. by deciding how many dogs live in a locality, how their multiplication is controlled and how dogs from outside the locality are prevented from entering the locality, i.e. a Density plan for them as well and its implementation strategy.
    This can be achieved easily, as dogs are by nature territorial and do not allow other dogs to enter their “home or local habitat”, i.e. if we are able to provide the community dogs with all the ingredients of a “home or habitat” in its correct plan and proportions.
    This means two things. Firstly, making them comfortable in the area by feeding them properly, taking care of their medical needs and not providing them with garbage dumps where they can hunt for more food. By feeding them properly we can control their behaviour and can make them our guards and can in a way domesticate them. They would readily adjust themselves to the people of the locality and would accept them as their masters. Whereas if they feed on their own on garbage they need not look upon us for survival and will by nature form herds to protect their garbage dumps against anybody that threatens it, which is when we face problems like it happened in Bangalore or Hyderabad. It is highly logical that the way to a dogs mind and heart is through its stomach. If we can control that, we can make a dog do anything for us, anything at all. There are innumerable examples of that all over the world. And thereafter, to control the numbers increasing manifold, we implement the Animal Birth Control Program.
    Thus the second inference that can be drawn is– THE PROBLEM OF STRAY DOGS CAN BE PERMANENTLY SOLVED by ABC (Animal Birth Control) program along with adoption & providing a well PLANNED HABITAT for them, by domesticating them, so they guard and coexists with us rather than cause harm to us. Dogs can themselves Control the DENSITY & INFLUX of more dogs in a locality, thereafter. ”

    Within this solution an important practice has to be adopted in the ABC Program. The program will have to be run in a city in the same localities time and again, at least twice or thrice, because there is always a re-mixing of dogs between localities up to 20-30%, since they are not so hostile to share space with fellow dogs that may add in small numbers. So to ensure that no dog is left unvaccinated and unneutered, a cycle of ABC Program has to be created. Also, since the average life span of a dog is between 8-10 years, the time lag between cycles of implementation of the program become substantially wide thus making implementation very easy and effective .The same is not the case with killing because when dogs are killed in mass, dogs from other nearby areas migrate to this “dog free vacuum” within days and the situation becomes what it previously had been.
    Killing thus is like going round in a circle which has no finishing point, and till the day a device to kill all dogs simultaneously throughout the world is invented, like a deadly sound wave, killing will remain no solution to the problem. It will only aggravate the problem.

    But, we can not forget the fact that, ABC Program in itself has been flawless except for one reason – wrong or inefficient implementation of the program.
    There are two practices which lead to the failure of the program. Firstly the neutered dogs being rehabilitated and left back in new areas i.e. not in the areas from where they were picked up for ABC Program. This leads to an adhoc implementation of the program, whose aim is to cover each locality systematically and not to carry the program in a haphazard way. Hence rehabilitation in the same area is very important. The second reason for the failure of the program lies with the practice of conducting the operation of neutering in shelters which are home to many diseased dogs. The healthy neutered dogs catch infection in these shelters and thus the Post Operative Survival Rate comes out to be highly low. The localities left vacant after the demise of these healthy dogs are occupied by dogs which may be diseased and unneutered, which is again the point from where it all started. Hence, an inefficient ABC program is as good as increasing numbers by mass killing and may result in more dogs in that locality.
    Thus to make the ABC Program flawless, separate facilities need to be constructed for these operations and the dogs have to be rehabilitated in their respective original localities at all costs. Such a flawless ABC Program will effectively help control the dog population. Also a planned favorable habitat for the survival of the existing dogs will end the hostility these dogs feel to their existence. They would easily coexist with humans eliminating threat of any kind to the latter from their species.

  7. I have to say this makes me sick. These people are animals themselves! Kill the prisoners who raped and murdered your child, family, and friend before hurting an innocent animal who had no choice on being on earth. These countries are pathetic and disgusting. Anyone who hurts and kills dogs is a waste of human skin. These countries are made up of animals…there own people.

  8. Irealy appreacet the PAWS because they work alot for animal,
    i want to do some thing for animal in pakistan,
    rabies is critical issue in south east asia
    I want to make a collaboration of CDC Atlanta and Pakistan
    And soon pakistan is a Rabies free country…

    Dr wajid hayat

  9. I cannot believe how inhumane and insane our government officials can be!! This is pure animal cruelty despite finding ways to provide shelter to poor animals or finding ways to stop them from breading they are feeding poor animals to Koreans. This is completely insane but what can you expect from illiterate government officials who just can’t stop praising themselves and doing nothing for anyone at all… God help Pakistan….

  10. I even heard LCB (Our Cantonment Board) wants to hire a dog shooter. Obviously since LCB doesn’t now that its cruel and illegal to kill dogs cause they “bite”. Stray dogs do NOT bite Human beings. It can only happen if you irritate them or force them to bite. They are NOT rottweilers. They are stray dogs who are finding food. But people here in Pakistan always scare them. Like they do to cats. Jesus this needs to stop. Curing them by vaccinating them is NOT even a problem. If you see a dog shooter nearby and attempts to kill a dog. Go near that guy and tell him that you’re doing an illegal job. Even you are doing for the government. See the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1890.

    7 years ago I was like 8 and me along with my neighbors bought few puppies that were stray and were looking for homes. I bought them to a ground which was attached to my apartment block, Someone filled a complaint to the society and they bought a dog shooter and killed all in front of me. This needs to stop.

  11. The only solution is vaccination of dogs instead of killing them. Forget the government stance in this, we are also part of the country and together we can take a better step rather than killing.

  12. Stray dogs should not be killed and should not give poisons. If you people think they are dangerous for you then take them anywhere else place but please don’t kill them, they are just animals, they have feelings and emotions, they feel the pain. I suggest you all please don’t kill them.

  13. We have got lots of dogs in korangi 3 they are becoming too dangerous u can’t go anywhere between 12 to 6 am they are like chasing you please help us they are animals so we are also humans we are not feeling safe

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