January 5, 2007
New campaign to clean up stray dogs


If you love your dogs keep them restrained or fenced in!

The days of menacing, prowling, half-starved, mangy, or scavenging dogs roaming the streets, particularly at night, are numbered.

By the middle of February, the Rescue, Spay, Neuter, and Shelter Service of SVG will be established, systematically removing these dogs from the streets.{{more}}

“A lot of these stray dogs have mange and skin diseases; flat worms and some round worms that they pass are capable of affecting human beings,” Veterinarian Eric Audain, who is spearheading the facility, told SEARCHLIGHT. “The presence of these dogs on the streets has a social and economic impact on the country,” he stated.

Audain said that an observation made by Veterinarian, Thereze Ink of Florida USA, while on a visit here, of the potential negative impact the stray dogs may have on tourism, helped fast forward the project.

The campaign will start in Kingstown and Bequia where the target is to remove a minimum of 20 dogs per month from the streets.

“After we remove them, they will be housed at a kennel at my home in Bois Wood, Green Hill, where they will be treated for health problems, spayed or neutered (making them incapable of reproducing) then offered to the general public for adoption,” the Cuban-trained veterinarian said.

“In the extreme cases, some may have to be put to sleep depending on their level of infection,” Audain said.

The rationale of the project “is to help have a steady manageable and healthy dog population”.

Audain is advising dog owners especially those with mongrels to keep them restrained to aid in the smooth implementation of the project.

He is not too concerned about the dogs of pedigree as they are least of his worries, because they are in the majority of cases leashed or fenced in, well trained, de-wormed and vaccinated.

He stated that while the focus is on dogs, stray cats will also be removed from the street, as they too can be hazardous to humans’ health.

Audain, who heads the department for sick animals in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, is expecting a positive response from government to the project in the form of infrastructural support and legal teeth.

Audain is optimistic that Non-Governmental Organisations will get on board and assist in sustaining and scaffolding the programme.

He said that $18,900 in surgical and suturing equipment for the initial phase has been received from donors.

“We plan to collaborate with business houses, hotels and the Ministry of Tourism to place donation boxes at specific places for persons to make their donations to further fund the project,” Audain proposed.

He sees the provision of the facility as the first step towards creating awareness for the enactment of laws pertaining to the abuse of animals.