Responsible Dog Ownership: Walking your dog when there are stray dogs all around
Dog Population Management (DPM) is the method endorsed by the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) to help improve the welfare of free-roaming dogs, reduce problems associated with public health/safety, and improve efforts to eradicate dog-mediated rabies in the community. DPM includes programs which use the Catch-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (CNVR) method to humanely catching free-roaming dogs in the community, surgically sterilize them and vaccinate them, before returning them to the community, once they recover from surgery.
Animal Birth Control (ABC) is the colloquial term for dog reproduction control and normally involves surgical sterilization of both male and female dogs so that they can no longer reproduce. As part of a comprehensive program of dog population management program, local community members help those running the program to Catch-Neuter-Vaccinate and Return (CNVR) unowned dogs. Guidelines for CNVR can be found on the following website and in other documents available on the Resources and Information page on this website: https://www.worldanimalprotection.org.in/blogs/cnvr-schemes
ZERO-BY-30 - Global Strategic Plan
In 2015 the world called for action to eliminate rabies by the year 2030. United Against Rabies is a collaboration of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FA0), the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC). These groups are working together to end human deaths from dog-mediated rabies by the year 2030. To learn more please check out the United Against Rabies website: https://www.unitedagainstrabies.org/ and the website for the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC): https://rabiesalliance.org/
In many countries, local governments take responsibility for animal control and sheltering of free-roaming/stray dogs in the community. Sometimes the government creates a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a local humane society or society for the prevention of cruelty to animals (SPCA) to carry out the function of animal control. In other cases, the government creates its own special animal control agency which is funded directly by the government and the specially trained animal control officers work for the local government.
Some local governments operate their own animal shelters, while in other cases they contract out this service to a local non-profit organization (NGO). In the USA, this arrangement is formalized through state laws and local ordinances. These state and local laws specify which government agency is responsible for this function, as well as describe the services that the agency must provide. For example, the laws should specify things like vaccination requirements, standards of care that the animal shelter must provide, and the length of time that the jurisdiction must hold the animals before making them available for adoption. Priorities must be balanced between public safety, animal welfare, and the public desire for a peaceful co-existence with animals in the community.
National and local governments must implement and enforce legislation, regulations and codes of enforcement stating the policies and practices that will be put into place to support the programs to control and manage dogs in the community. This includes both owned dogs, unowned community dogs and stray dogs. A government-run dog licensing and registration program, that is enforced, is key to managing the dog population and helping to promote responsible dog ownership, and to keep community members from abandoning animals on the street. The government should also help coordinate a program of dog population management (DPM) and regulate dog breeders, to assure that all puppies sold to members of the community are healthy, with no behavioral issues, and have been bred under the best of welfare conditions. A recent study about the unregulated dog breeding industry in the Kathmandu Valley, produced by Animal Nepal, can be found on the Resources and Information page of this website. Suggested policy guidance that can be adapted to the communities needs can be found on the following website:
Responsible dog ownership is an important part of having a successful relationship between people and dogs in the community. Part of being a responsible dog owner is complying with all laws and regulations enforced by the local government. A model "Responsible Dog Owner" law from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, can be found by clicking on the photo above. Key to a successful humane animal control program in a community are a number of fundamental services, provided to the public by the local governments, businesses (including veterinarians, dog trainers, pet supply shops etc.) and non-governmental organizations. It is up to the stakeholders involved (community members, business leaders, NGOs and the government leaders) to collaborate to find solutions that addresses everyones concerns. Well-trained, competent veterinarians and dog trainers are needed to provide services to the dog-owning public, throughout the community. Such professionals can help provide much needed services, including pet health care and education for pet owners about how to care for their dog and about dog behavior to help prevent dog bites. People who have healthy dogs and who know how to safely interact with their animals are less likely to abandon them on the street to add to the population of homeless dogs in the community.
Although there is no one size fits all policy that works for every community, there are some key features that every community should consider incorporating into their local laws and regulations. Programs to help the community abide by these rules can be provided by the local municipality, NGOs working in the community, or as a partnership between the government, the NGOs and the public. These policies and program should include: 1) Having strong and enforceable laws in place that set minimum standards of care that every dog owner/guardian must follow to provide for the health and well-being of the dogs in their care; 2) A program of humane animal control and dog population management that prevents dogs from roaming, unrestricted in the community. Roaming dogs create a hazard to humans due to the potential for dog bites and is dangerous for the dogs themselves, as they become both the targets of abuse and they are often injured in traffic accidents; 3) A program to manage the sheltering (including both feeding, veterinary care and future adoption, permanent housing in a sanctuary or humane euthanasia) must be developed in partnership between the local government, business leaders and NGOs. Ignoring this need is not a solution to the problem of free-roaming dogs in the community.
According to the International Companion Animal Management (ICAM) Coalition's "Position Statement on Dog and Cat Population Management and Changing Resource Availability" "Solid waste management has a significant impact on....air pollution, water contamination, soil erosion, and greenhouse gas emissions." Thus it is not necessary to justify an improvement in solid waste management in a city simply to address the available food sources of free-roaming dogs. "It is the role of dog and cat population management to ensure that roaming animals are not reliant on waste for their essential nutrition as waste management improves. This can be achieved through improving responsible ownership of owned animals and responsible care of community animals, including feeding, and a reduction in roaming dog and cat density through sterilisation and prevention of abandonment." See also this recent article from Nepal: https://www.nepallivetoday.com/2022/01/14/nepals-waste-mismanagement-problem/
In their report "Dog Population Management for Sustainable Development", published in February 2022, the International Companion Animal Management (ICAM) Coalition notes that none of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by United Nations Member States in 2015 "bear direct relation to the welfare of dogs, or for that matter with the intent of protecting wider animals welfare" which ICAM believes is a "missed opportunity". Examination of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 SDGs that make up that agenda, show a close linkage between Dog Population Management and several of the SDGs. For example SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being) clearly relates to public health, and the One-Health/One-Welfare concept which unifies human health, animal health and the environment. The other SDGs invoked by ICAM as being related to DPM, include SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and SDG 15 (Life on Land) and SDG 1 (No Poverty).
Under the initiative, named Manu Mitra (meaning “friend of human”), an Animal Management Committee (AMC) is established in each of the city’s 32 wards, by instruction from the mayor. These committees assume responsibility for managing their ward’s roaming animals, resolving human-animal conflict issues locally and humanely, and educating residents in responsible animal ownership. They recruit Animal Management Assistants (AMAs); local volunteers with a track record of caring for animals in the community. For more information please check out the new Manumitra website from the Jane Goodall Institute of Nepal. https://manumitra.org/
A regulation has been drafted by the local authority which will enshrine the Manu Mitra system in the municipal law of Nepal, setting out the responsibilities, power and duties of the ward AMCs and AMAs and a supportive coordinating unit. The law also provides a framework for responsible animal ownership upon which the ward committees can build their vision and animal management strategies, adapting them according to their ward’s unique concerns and resources.
The International Companion Animal Management (ICAM) Coalition, notes that there can be a significant economic cost to unmanaged dog populations. These economic costs include everything from dog bites, to diseases carried by dogs, road accidents, soiling of city streets from dog feces, and nuisance behaviors such as dog barking, which can impact tourism. In more rural areas, the impact on livestock predation, as well as dog attacks on wildlife, all contribute to making any community less desirable for citizens and visitors alike. According to Webster (2013)
"...with the increasing competition among travel providers for tourist dollars, and for many countries that are dependent on tourism as a major component of their gross domestic product (GDP), the humane treatment of stray cats and dogs at tourist destinations should be considered part of the economic equation for the tourism industry."
Effective Policies clearly describe the standards of Responsible Pet Ownership practices expected by the community from all dog owners. They also outline behaviors that the community will not tolerate from dog owners. Which policies are Effective? Laws that govern responsible pet ownership, including licensing, vaccination, and leash/confinement laws are effective. Enforce Existing Laws. As noted above, policy approaches that support, inform, and incentivize compliance with laws should be used first to reach the majority of pet owners. However, enforcement of existing ordinances is also important in order to elevate the significance of responsible pet ownership laws in a community and increase public safety. Educating children3,4 and adults on how to behave safely with dogs, including the importance of supervision of children around dogs. (Such public education programs could be supplemented by humane organizations and volunteers, freeing up municipal resources.)
“There used to be many cases of cruelty against animals in the past as well. But, with the extensive use of social media and the increasing awareness about animal rights, there is a high possibility that its reporting has increased more significantly than the cases.”
Like humans, your animal pals also fall sick, get involved in different accidents and require regular health check-ups to lead a healthy life and live longer. Therefore, we are providing you with a list of veterinary hospitals from across the Kathmandu valley, for helping you out find the best vet services in the city.
Street dogs are common in Kathmandu, but here is something that is uncommon. In utopia, people would not only respect street dogs on the auspicious day of Kukur Tihar but throughout the year. It might sound impractical, but well, what if?