Frequently asked questions
Here we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions!
Stray dogs in India have grown to menacing proportions mainly because there has never been in place, a systematic and thought out process that would make sure that their population is kept under control. Its been proved by many animal welfare organizations that the only lasting long term solution is by a sensible system of mass sterilization and making sure these sterilized animals are released back into the same area that they initially came from. On account of the territorial instinct of these animals, releasing them into strange surroundings makes them more aggressive.
So-called stray dogs are actually “community dogs” because they have become part of that particular locality and in many a cases, are looked after by a few animal lovers in the area.
Why do stray dogs exist?
Most free-roaming dogs belong to an ancient canine race known as the Pariah Dog, which has existed all over Asia and Africa ever since human beings started living in settlements. They live on garbage created by humans.
The size of stray dog populations always corresponds to the size and character of the human population of the area. Urban India has two features which create and sustain stray dog populations:
A) Large amounts of exposed garbage, which provide an abundant source of food
B) A huge population of slum and street-dwellers, who often keep the dogs as free-roaming pets
Why removal of dogs doesn’t work!
Most Indian civic bodies have been killing stray dogs for decades, some since the last century. In developing countries such as India, where exposed garbage and slums encourage the existence of strays, killing or removing stray dogs has proved completely ineffective in controlling rabies or the dog population. This is because dogs removed are easily replaced.
Dogs have extremely high breeding rates. According to one estimate, two dogs can multiply to over 300 (over a few generations) in three years.
Here is what happens when dogs are taken away:
- Their territories become vacant and dogs from neighbouring areas move in to occupy them.
- The dogs who escape the catching squads also continue to multiply, so the territorial vacuums are soon filled again.
- Dog fights continue to take place over mating.
- As long as exposed garbage and slums continue to exist, dog-killing programmes cannot work. They only create an unstable, constantly changing, rapidly multiplying and rabies-carrying dog population.
Problems caused by stray dogs
Haphazard urban planning and human overpopulation have led to a correspondingly huge population of stray dogs in most Indian cities.
Rabies a fatal disease which can be transmitted to humans. India has the highest number of human rabies deaths in the world (estimated at 35,000 per annum).
The effective solution:
- Stray dogs are surgically neutered and then replaced in their own area. They are also vaccinated against rabies.
- Since territories are not left vacant, new dogs cannot enter
- Mating and breeding also cease
- With no mating or crossing of territories, dog fights reduce dramatically
- Since fighting reduces, bites to humans also become rare
- The dogs are immunised, so they do not spread rabies
- Over time, as the dogs die natural deaths, their numbers dwindle
- The dog population becomes stable, non-breeding, non-aggressive and rabies-free, and it gradually decreases over a period of time
- Average number of puppies in a litter: 6 – 10.
- In six years, one female dog and her offspring can theoretically produce 67,000 dogs.