It is often said that dogs are man’s most loyal and devoted friends.
It is this particular common belief that makes the number of over 600 million stray dogs worldwide so startling. Russia alone is estimated to have 6 million abandoned dogs. Disregarding the cause – human negligence, a boom in dogs population – we’re left with this sad fact. There are over half a billion dogs who need care and rescue.
Let’s take a look at some of the places you most definitely do not want to be born into as a dog.
Stray dog problem is quite common for Asia, and India has a notable presence here. Some 30 million stray dogs cause problems and much disdain not only for organizations like PETA, but for ordinary people as well. Tens of thousands of people die in India each year from rabies, partially because of stray dogs. India is sadly known for its poverty problems and governmental inefficiency. However, some positive signs are starting to emerge. Several organizations have started large scale operations and programs on sterilizing and vaccinating dogs. On top of that, providing educational services to raise awareness on rabies and veterinary care of the dogs helps mitigate the problem.
Eastern Europe is lagging behind the more developed West European countries, Scandinavia and North American countries in this regards. Russia, mainly due its sheer size and high population, has a terrible stray dog problem. This problem is so daunting not only because of the number of stray dogs (some 4 million!) but mostly because of the way it’s being addressed. The preparations for Sochi Olympics in 2014 were a case in point. Stray dogs were being eliminated from the streets of the city for the sake of creating a better ‘picture’. The means used for that cause were highly criticised by international organizations for their barbarism.
Driven by extreme poverty – this country, and especially its capital, Freetown, suffer from a widespread problem of stray dogs. The capital alone is infamous for having one of the highest densities of stray dog populations ever. Some 100,000 stray dogs populate the city. Thankfully, lately, a lot of international animal protection organizations take part in helping resolve the problem. Through education and cooperation with local government, much progress has already been made. People are taught about responsible dog ownership. They’re also taught about vaccination and veterinary care which helps not only the dogs themselves but the overall population of the city.
It is quite clear that stray dog problems are closely linked with the countries overall welfare.
While US and China might have higher numbers of stray dogs, it is certainly not the case for despair in these countries, as governments and NGOs are actively battling the problem and providing care for the dogs.
More important than the simple headcount is the way countries deal with this problem. An efficient approach can not only reduce health problems both for people and dogs but dramatically reduce the number of abandoned dogs. With the help of NGOs and individuals, we can certainly change the tide and find homes for more and more dogs.