Dzongkhag has one dog for every four people

Phub Dem  | Paro

Paro, the gateway to Bhutan is also the dzongkhag with the high density of the dog population. It has become unsafe for both pedestrians and cattle.

With 10,272 estimated dogs, there is a dog for every four people in the dzongkhag with a population of 46, 315.

Although the dog population survey in July this year showed 8, 218 dogs, the dzongkhag added 25 per cent missing proportion considering missed out dogs during the survey.

Despite carrying out vaccination and sterilisation programmes annually and every Tuesday, nuisance from stray dogs remained unchanged, according to Paro dzongkhag’s chief livestock officer Loden Jimba.

He said that remote areas such as Naja, Dogar and Tsento gewogs were often left out due to the acute shortage of specialists and people failing to bring the dogs for sterilisation.

The problem is, however, likely to be solved with the ongoing sustainable dog management programme.

Loden Jimba said that the programme would solve the issue, as it would extensively cover the nook and corner of the dzongkhag.

Emulating the management strategy in Haa as a model for the rest of the country, a month-long programme began from Tsento gewog on September 21.

As of October 16, close to 1,300 dogs were sterilised and vaccinated in five gewogs.  And the community adopted 250 dogs.  A total of 8,218 dogs were sighted during a baseline survey in July. From which 55 per cent are sterilised.  The highest number of dogs were sighted in Lamgong gewog followed by Tsento, Shaba and Lungnyi.

According to Senior Veterinary Officer of Regional Livestock Development Centre Tsimasham (RLDC), Dr Chendu Dorji, the programme was aimed at reducing the free-roaming dog population and addressing oversize dog population through community dog adoption.

It further targets the global strategic plan to end human deaths from dog-mediated rabies by 2030.

Acknowledging the importance of dog management plans, the dzongkhag administration and local leaders endorse a decision for 100 per cent dog sterilisation and promoting 60 per cent dog adoption.

In an approach to leave no dog unsterilised, the team conducted a mid-rapid survey after completing the programme in two gewogs. Chendu Dorji said that the team would revisit the places with left out dogs and conduct combing sterilisation at the end of the programme.

“The dzongkhag veterinary hospital has to follow up lactating females and puppies that are earmarked.” For instance, 95 dogs were left unsterilised as per a rapid mid survey in Tsento, Lamgong and Dopshari gewog.

The programme was funded by the stray dog population control flagship programme with support from RLDC and National Centre for Animal Health.