As we are all aware there is a massive dog overpopulation problem in the Arusha Region with increased rabies and dog bite cases, which is calling for an urgent demand of a HUMANE dog population control.
We are currently in the process to expand it’s operation and to establish a regular spay and neuter clinic whereby our spay/neuter program will reduce the street dog problem in the long term because:
- Each dog guards its own territory and does not allow new dogs to enter.
- Since they are all neutered, they no longer mate or multiply.
- The main factors leading to dog aggression – migration and mating – are eliminated. So dog-fights reduce dramatically.
- With the decrease in fighting, bites to humans also decrease.
- Since females no longer have pups to protect, this source of dog aggression is also eliminated.
- Over a period of time, as the sterilized dogs die natural deaths, the population is greatly reduced.
- We are aware that there is no overnight solution to the stray dog issue but with sterilization, the population becomes stable, non-breeding and non-rabid and decreases over time. It also becomes largely non-aggressive.
Why not simply kill the street dogs, isn’t it cheaper?
We understand that killing of stray dogs seems to be the most obvious method of controlling the population, the reasons why it is ineffective are because even when large numbers of dogs are killed, the conditions that sustain dog populations remain unchanged. Dogs are territorial and each one lives in its own specific area. When they are removed, the following things happen:
- The food source – garbage – is still available in abundance, so dogs from neighbouring areas enter the vacant territories.
- Pups born and growing up in the surrounding areas also move in to occupy these vacant niches.
- The few dogs who escape capture and remain behind attack these newcomers, leading to frequent and prolonged dog-fights.
- Since they are not sterilized, all the dogs who escape capture continue to mate, leading to more fighting.
- In the course of fights, dogs often accidentally redirect their aggression towards people passing by, so many humans get bitten.
- Females with pups become aggressive and often attack pedestrians who come too close to their litter.
- They breed at a very high rate (two litters of pups a year). It has been estimated that two dogs can multiply to over 300 in three years.
Since dogs who are removed are quickly replaced, the population does not decrease at all. The main factors leading to dog aggression – migration and mating – continue to exist, so the nuisance factor remains.
Since removal of dogs actually increases dog-related problems, the effective solution is to sterilize the dogs, vaccinate them against rabies and put them back in their own areas.