Humane Dog Population Management in Leyte and Tacloban, Philippines

Humane Society International has worked with government agencies and local organization around the world for many years to safeguard public health and safety through street dog vaccination and sterilization programs. Over the past decade, HSI has been developing culturally sensitive approaches to manage street dogs humanely and effectively. The aim of dog population management is to improve human public health and dog welfare in countries with significant street dog populations and to change the human-dog interaction so that it is more rewarding for both dogs and humans. Our approach includes data collection and analysis and capacity building to ensure that these programs are effective and sustainable. In addition, HSI strives to develop a culture of responsible pet guardianship where free-roaming pets contribute to problems of dog overpopulation and injuries and transmission of zoonotic diseases to people. Following the devastating impact of Typhoon Haiyan in Leyte in November 2013, HSI deployed its entire veterinary team and supporting staff to the Philippines to provide a massive relief effort for animals in the worst affected areas. From November 2013 to January 2014, the HSI team provided food, treatment, rabies and leptospirosis vaccinations, and deworming treatment to almost 6,000 roaming and displaced dogs and cats, and reunited and rehomed almost 75 companion animals in the immediate aftermath of the typhoon through the creation of a temporary rehoming and adoption center in Talamban, Cebu. In addition, Animal Relief and Rehabilitation Philippines (ARRPh) was created. This is a government and NGO-initiated collaboration to ensure the most efficient care is provided for animals in disasters through the coordination of activities in the field (such as feeding, re-homing, sheltering, treatment and other interventions) and sharing of information in order to update stakeholders about on-the-ground activities and to encourage more support from other agencies. The network, of which HSI is a member, unites animal welfare organizations (local and international) that have been directly involved in the rescue/relief operations in Leyte following Typhoon Haiyan, and is central in planning and implementing long-term rehabilitation efforts for companion animals in the affected areas. In Leyte, HSI plans to continue to train and build the capacity of veterinarians working with the government to carry out high-volume/high-quality (HV/HQ) spay and neuter programs. In Tacloban, HSI aims to support the sterilization of 75% of the city’s dog population between 2014 and 2017, and to continue to provide HV/HQ spay/ neuter training to local veterinarians.

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HSI conducts street dog census/surveys, spay/neuter and vaccination, veterinary training and humane handling workshops.

Additional information

As of January 1 2016, HSI has performed 2235 Spays, 3630 Neuters and vaccinated 4973 dogs against rabies.


  • Philippines>Eastern Visayas


  • Disaster Prevention and Preparedness
  • Health
  • Animal Welfare
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