As we explained in a previous blog post “Why dog overpopulation is like a leaking tap”; you cannot shelter your way out of a dog overpopulation crisis because what happens when a shelter becomes a death camp for dogs?
That’s exactly what happened in Neliikulam, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, in early 2014 when a newly opened state-funded dog home became a dumping ground for roaming dogs; with limited staff, no veterinary care and little or no food the shelter quickly become a living hell hole with 300 dogs literally starving to death or dying of vaccine preventative diseases like Parvo and Distemper.
Animal welfare groups in Sri Lanka joined together to sterilise , vaccinate , treat and rehome/release the dogs in exchange for the local council closing the compound. Part of the closure agreement was for roaming dogs in the area around the compound to be sterilised and vaccinated.
My Green World’s partner charity, Dogstar Foundation and their partner, NGO Tsunami Animal People Alliance (TAPA) joined forces earlier this month to fund and fulfill this component. The weeklong program involved moving a mobile animal hospital bus around the ancient capital and providing daily clinics to owners and catching roaming dogs who were sterilised and then returned back to thier “patch”. The clinics were a success with huge public support every day and 244 dogs were sterilised at a cost $5000 which is a fraction of the $46000 it had cost to set up the shelter in the first place.
Dogstar and TAPA’s teams are highly experienced in dog population management and have been working together for 4 years. They share the same commitment to tackling the issues at the root cause and providing world class mobile sterilisation clinics. We firmly believe that sterilisation programs are the only humane, ethical, cost effective and sustainable way to tackle street dog over-population as Dogstar’s experiences at Neliikulam, Anuradhapura show.