Humane Dog Population Management in Guyana
Humane Society International has worked with government agencies and local organizations around the world for many years to safeguard public health and safety through street dog vaccination and sterilization programs. Over the past decade, HSI has been developing culturally sensitive approaches to manage street dogs humanely and effectively. The aim of dog population management is to improve human public health and dog welfare in countries with significant street dog populations and to change the human-dog interaction so that it is more rewarding for both dogs and humans. Our approach includes data collection and analysis and capacity building to ensure that these programs are effective and sustainable. In addition, HSI strives to develop a culture of responsible pet guardianship where free-roaming pets contribute to problems of dog overpopulation and injuries and transmission of zoonotic diseases to people. HSI is working with local veterinarians and organizations in Guyana to develop and implement humane companion animal population management programs as an alternative to archaic forms of population control.
HSI’s team is currently helping the Guyana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals serve people who have signed up to have their animals spayed/neutered. We have provided training to local veterinarians and veterinary technicians on high-volume/high-quality spay/neuter to prevent the birth of large numbers of unwanted puppies and kittens that were previously either disposed of by owners using inhumane means or were relinquished to the shelter, which has no capacity to place them in permanent homes. In addition, our veterinary team provides their services to low-income neighborhoods on the outskirts of Georgetown, helping to promote a culture of responsible guardianship, including protecting animals from vaccine-preventable diseases and humans against zoonotic diseases.
During HSI’s initial spay/neuter campaign in 2015, 535 dogs and 410 cats were spayed/neutered. We will have additional data at the end of 2016, after our second intervention is completed. Although it is too early to assess the impact of the spay/neuter campaign at this stage, anecdotal reports from the shelter indicate a reduction in the intake of litters of puppies and kittens. We will be monitoring this data closely as the program continues.
- Animal Welfare