Saturday, March 14, 2015
Strategies in Street Dog Population Control
Mangy dogs standing on street corners aren’t good for tourism.
When tourism is an island’s top industry, it becomes an issue. Let’s not recite the laundry list of reasons why we can’t have sick dogs living in the street.
What’s the answer?
Just kill them is the old school answer. Methods vary with the times: shoot them, poison them, or euthanize them; it’s all the same.
People get puppies; they grow up to breed, so before you know it, dogs are back on the street.
Loving rescuers collect dogs from the street and keep them in shelters. Their priority is to keep the dog safe, healthy, and well fed. These dedicated people have my utmost respect.
The goal of every good rescuer is to re-home the dog. Most dogs are adopted right here on the island, and many get a one way ticket to North America, where dogs by the score are being euthanized, old school answer number one.
Everybody along this chain works diligently for the welfare of the animals, but it isn't enough.
Trap, neuter and return is new school. Animal Welfare Experts tell us that colony size is regulated by available resources. The dogs have a shot at a reasonable life, and as all will agree; there isn't enough shelter space on the island for all these dogs.
The dogs were there anyway; why not just return them, wishing them the best?
Why can’t they just be returned to the streets?