Humane Dog Population Management in Bolivia

Humane Society International has worked with government agencies and local organizations 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 dog overpopulation and injuries and transmission of zoonotic diseases to people. In Bolivia, HSI is working with government entities in the cities of La Paz, El Alto, Santa Cruz and Viacha to develop and implement humane street dog population management programs as an alternative to archaic forms of population control. Through our veterinary outreach program we aim at reducing the number of unwanted litters that are abandoned on the streets every year, and to foster a community of responsible guardians to protect companion animals from abuse and neglect.

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Activities

HSI’s local veterinary team provides their services to underserved communities across these cities. Focusing primarily on companion animal population management and canine rabies prevention, our veterinarians and veterinary technicians travel to different localities to offer subsidized spay/neuter surgeries and free rabies vaccination to individuals who can otherwise not afford the cost of these services for their animal companions. To ensure the sustainability of our programs we offer training in high-volume/high-quality (HV/HQ) spay/neuter to other veterinarians who are interested in managing the population of dogs and cats in cities across Bolivia. Our training immerses veterinarians in HV/HQ campaigns that require close communication with individuals about their animal companions. Veterinarians learn to listen to people’s concerns and guide owners on how to properly care for their animal, fostering a culture of responsible guardianship and protecting animals and humans against infectious and zoonotic diseases that are still common in Bolivia.

Additional information

Since the inception of our veterinary program in Bolivia in 2013, HSI has spayed/neutered 3,945 dogs and 2,238 cats, and inoculated 1,018 dogs and 714 cats that previously had not received the rabies vaccine. Canine rabies is still prevalent in Bolivia. As of mid-October 2015, 68 cases of canine rabies have been confirmed. HSI’s spay/neuter and vaccination clinics reach large numbers of members of the companion animal population that typically do not get inoculated or do not get inoculated often enough. In 2014 alone, 47% of the dogs and 83% of the cats we spayed/neutered required the rabies vaccine.

Cross-cutting issues

Animal welfare

Locations

  • Bolivia>La Paz

Sectors

  • Health
  • Animal Welfare

Other projects