The number of homeless dogs varies by country, but the problem has the entire world concerned.
Homeless Dog Control
Stray dogs frequently suffer injury, illness and abuse and typically live shorter lives. The efforts and approaches to control the homeless dog population varies widely. They may include catch-and-detain in high kill shelters, mass killing by various means, spay and neutering campaigns or simply just ignoring the problem.
People are often frustrated with the lack of action of governing bodies to address this problem. Due to this frustration, many organizations and individuals around the world have started to work on behalf of the homeless dogs.
The following are just a few homeless pet advocates and their stories.
Terryl Just – living in Myanmar (formerly Burma in Southeast Asia) is an individual working to remedy the stray dog problem in that country. She is the operator and founder of an animal shelter there.
She began as an American woman teaching at the International School. She started her commitment to the homeless dogs in the city after an incident with a stray dog near her house. After feeding the stray dog for a year and then finding the dog poisoned one day, she felt like she needed to do something about it.
In 2012, Just founded her shelter by partnering with a fellow teacher. The shelter grew quickly and now provides shelter and care for about 550 dogs who have been rescued. She employs 10 local workers to do the daily tasks of bathing, feeding, and watching over the dogs at the shelter. A vet also volunteers two times per week to provide the necessary medical care, vaccinations, and spay/neutering for each dog.
She does not receive any government funding and only relies on volunteers and donations.
The city’s development committee estimates its stray dog population will soon be 200,000. With that high number of homeless dogs, Just says her main goal is to control the problem by bringing in outside organizations to perform trap, neuter and release on the stray dogs.
Scott Alan Bradley – Scott lives in the popular tourist destination of Costa Rica. This country struggles with an overabundance of homeless animals. An animal welfare organization in Costa Rica estimates about two million strays roam the streets.
A California Native, Bradley moved to Costa Rica to open two restaurants, both located in a popular tourist destination. Behind his house in the rainforest, he operates a compound for the rehabilitation and rescue of stray dogs. The main goal is to place these rescued strays into loving, permanent homes. Many of the strays go to the United States and Canada.
He houses about 70 rescue dogs at a time and has two paid employees and volunteers for the shelter’s operations each day. The volunteers take the dogs out for hikes in the nearby countryside. A small donation gets you a t-shirt, lunch, tropical smoothie, and transport to the shelter from his restaurant.
They do a lot of psychological work with the dogs. They must keep the dogs from fighting. They know his voice. They must keep the noise down because it’s a beautiful area and he has neighbors.
He partners with a Los Angeles-based retail shop to facilitate the adoption of the dogs in the United States. He adopts out internationally because many tourists come to visit the shelter and fall in love with the dogs.
The dogs are rehabbed there before being adopted out. They get used to things like feeding, walking, and bathing.
One of his ultimate goals is to have a veterinary center in the community to better care for the pet population, where people who cannot pay would volunteer as payment for their pet to receive the treatments.
Dr. Ingrid Hernandez Soto – Dr. Soto lives in the popular tourist destination of Colombia. But, as with many Latin American cities, Cartagena has a lot of stray dogs. Furthermore, the city does not have animal shelters, so this makes the situation worse.
She started a foundation as a veterinarian because she saw the need to care for these dogs throughout the city. There are multiple cases of injured and abandoned animals with no means of help. She has experienced so much cruelty in the city. For example, dogs may be passing by and have hot oil thrown on them.
Her shelter houses almost 300 dogs, hundreds of cats and four donkeys. It relies on donations and the work of volunteers.
With the wonderful help of these people and their foundations and organizations, there may be one less homeless animal on the streets!