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If you travel around developing nations in Asia, such as India, Thailand and Indonesia, you would notice a lot of street dogs around. It is quite common to see malnourished dogs simply going through scrapyards and bins looking for whatever food they can get. Scavengers, they are called.
The problem of street dogs is a rampant one. These dogs are often struck by hunger and deprived of care and affection. In many cases, they are often chased away by pelting stones at them. It is quite a depressing sight. Left on the streets and ignored completely, they are even susceptible to diseases that arise from a lack of general hygiene around them.
Additionally, scavenging for food off bins can by itself lead to all kinds of diseases. Granted, you can say that these dogs’ bodies are adapted to such circumstances over a long period of time, but there is only so much that the body can handle. Basic hygiene is essential not just to humans, but to all creatures.
And it is not as if this problem is not prevalent in the United States. Just that it is not at the same scale as developing nations. In fact, there are an estimated 50,000 stray dogs each in the streets of Detroit and Los Angeles. You would also have encountered stories of people getting bitten by such stray dogs.
It is a hassle even for the public administration. Stray dogs can cause basic problems such as traffic blocks, accidents and safety concerns. Local councils need to step up to solve this societal problem. But how can we tackle this issue?
Perhaps the most obvious answer to the problem. There are many shelters and rescue centers run by government agencies and NGOs. The key constraint, however, is capacity. Compared to the number of stray dogs in the United States, there is a visible lack of capacity in such rescue centers or shelters. This is one solution, but not a standalone one.
A key problem associated with stray dogs is the problem of uncontrolled reproduction. Dogs reproduce in huge numbers. Even if most pups die during birth, this can still spiral out of control. A solution is to vaccinate and neuter such stray dogs to keep the population in check.
This requires a high degree of proactiveness and courage from citizens in general. Adoption is mostly carried out via adoption centers, rescue centers or shelters. However, many stray dogs don’t even reach such places. You may adopt from such places or from directly off the street. Naturally, you need to take it to a vet first.
As you can see, there are quite a few solutions to tackling this issue. Which is why it is all the more concerning that there isn’t any movement on this front. We encourage all dog lovers and otherwise to take action together.