Phub Dem | Haa

In an attempt to address the stray dog problem, Haa Dzongkhag Tshogdu (DT) recently passed a resolution to conduct a mass dog sterilisation.

Subsequently, a dog population survey was conducted in four gewogs (Bji, Katsho, Eusu and Samar) using epicollect5 mobile application.

A total of 2,351 dogs were sighted in the gewogs. Of that, 52 percent or 1,225 dogs don’t have owners, and the rest were pets.

Past Collect, Neuter, Vaccinate, Return (CNVR) coverage in Haa dzongkhag was only 46 percent leaving 1,207 dogs unsterilised.

Through the sustainable dog management programme, 93 percent of the dog population in Haa or 1,109 dogs were sterilised.  The dzongkhag initiated the programme in collaboration with Regional Livestock Development Centre, Tsimasham. It was later supported by the stray dog management flagship programme.

The remaining 8 percent, according to Senior Veterinary Officer of RLDC, Dr Chendu Dorji includes the free-roaming dogs migrated towards highlands, feral dogs and stray in IMTRAT premises.

Dr Chendu Dorji, who is also the team leader of the programme, said that the sterilisation programme was a huge success. “The dzongkhag livestock officials will sterilise the remaining 8 per cent soon.”

He said that the sterilisation of feral dogs was necessary, considering the apparent threat to the community, domestic species, and wildlife.

The dzongkhag also has plans to sterilise the remaining dogs in the southern gewogs –Sombaykha and Gakiling in October.

The dog management programme was to reduce the stray dog population and involve and educate the community to address the vast dog population through the promotion of responsible community dog ownership (adoption).

Dog Adoption

Haa DT during the recent session also endorsed 50 percent dog adoption.

Haa dzongdag Kinzang Dorji said that the dzongkhag carried out awareness of dog adoption throughout the four gewogs.

The adoption campaign was a success with 57 percent adoption.

A total of 615 dogs were adopted by communities, civil servants and private employees.

Kinzang Dorji said that most of the residents adopted old and sick dogs.

He said that if a registered dog loiters around or bites anyone, the owner shall be liable for fine and penalty.

The dzongkhag also built a dog shelter at the dzongkhag veterinary hospital in Tselungkha for abandoned puppies and sick dogs.

The puppies are cared and fed by the Royal Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (RSPCA). The dzongkhag veterinary officers treat sick dogs.

The shelter housed about 50 puppies and five sick dogs since it opened on March 7. It can accommodate 15 dogs.

Dr Chendu Dorji said the dog survey programme for Paro was completed and the sterilisation programme would begin this month.