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Spay/Neuter and Vaccinate the Street Dogs of Bhutan

Item # 46423

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Humane Society International is helping to implement the first-ever nationwide spay/neuter program in Bhutan. The goal of this fantastic long-term project is to vaccinate and spay or neuter 50,000 free-roaming "community" dogs in the next three to five years.

The street dog population in Bhutan has swelled in recent years, as economic development has encouraged tourism and increased access to discarded food. Most Bhutanese don't "own" specific dogs. They do feed them and consider them a friendly presence, remembering the Buddhist belief that people can be reincarnated as animals, and that feeding dogs can earn good karma. When too many dogs proliferate in an area, residents drop off females at monasteries, where monks feed them from their community tables, demonstrating the Buddhist virtue of compassion.

In 2008, to get dogs off the streets before the coronation of a new king, the government put the dogs in pounds. It was a short-term solution that lead to fighting, disease, and many deaths.

In 2009, Humane Society International approached Bhutan with a better idea, and the government, concerned about the welfare of the dogs, emptied the pounds and committed to a three-to-five year catch, neuter, vaccinate, and release program. The country is providing half the funding for sterilization, and is committed to the long-term effort. So far, HSI staff have treated more than 16,800 dogs towards the 50,000 dog goal.

You can help. $23 includes the cost of spay/neuter plus a rabies vaccination for each dog.

Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organizations - backed by 11 million people. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs, celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide.

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