Category Archives: street dogs

Chemical Castration of Dogs – Helpful?

The answer may be found in a study done on a statistically significant number of dogs in Chile.

It concluded the majority of dogs displayed no long-term (up to 6 months) testosterone levels change after chemical sterilization.

Does castration help reduce roaming?

The implications? We need to better understand the role testosterone plays on sexual, aggressive and
roaming behaviours to appropriately chose the best method of sterilization and intended impact on male dogs beyond shooting blanks.

Our team does not believe, at this point, that chemical sterilization is an ideal choice for free-roaming rez dogs: if a chemically castrated dog continues to pursue females in heat and engage in dog aggression, it remains a public safety issue.

Your thoughts?

Dr. Judith Samson-French

Effects of surgical and chemical sterilization on the behavior of free-roaming male dogs in Puerto Natales, Chile.
Garde E1, Pérez GE2, Vanderstichel R3, Dalla Villa PF4, Serpell JA5.

Working Together

Communities throughout the world can clearly benefit from a little help managing runaway dog populations. To exponentially accelerate results why not consider the following 3 points:

1. Permanently and individually identify the dogs handled.
2. Leave a record of activities performed with the community.
3. Work with communities that have a strong dog champion.

This way, unrelated groups working in a community over time can assure some continuity and avoid spaying a dog already spayed.

3 Solutions – Which are you Using?

When assisting communities to humanely deal with unwanted dogs, there are 3 possible immediate solutions:

 

1. Stop or decrease “littering”
This starts with the prevention of as many pregnancies (ie targeting females) as possible, as fast as possible, with surgical and/or non-surgical intervention and conventional means (sequestration of females in heat).
 
2. Prevent influx of dogs in the communities.
Especially non sexually neutralized dogs (spayed or neutered).
 
3. Encourage adoption of excess dogs within and outside the communities.
For a dog population management plan to sustainably succeed in the long term, more than one solution needs to be applied. This also implies that each community needs to implement a set of bylaws suitable and enforceable to their specific needs.
Respectfully,
Dr. Judith Samson-French

1 Mother has 8 Competitors

When dealing with free-roaming dogs, it is heartbreaking to see a lactating female hiding away from her weaning aged pups.

The pups, unable to find food and water, try to get milk from an exhausted mother who has given her best to keep them alive.

So why is their mom now hiding from them? Because their dirty long nails are starting to inflame her sagging mammary glands, ie she is getting mastitis and it plainly hurts.

However the worse is not over, the fight for survival is only starting for all of them: the 8 hungry pups directly compete with their debilitated mother for food.

So every free-roaming female who is sexually neutralized is spared misery within the next 10 months (reason #3), so why not target females first and foremost in managing a population of unwanted dogs ?

Dr. Judith Samson-French

How Many Stray Dogs in the World?

How many stray dogs in the world?

Apparently the answer could be as high as 600,000,000 but we don’t care and here’s why: that number is incomprehensibly too large.

We can reason this situation is intolerable. We are morally aware we have an obligation to help, yet we remain strangely unmoved because this number is much too large to connect with. Even beyond empathy.

So let’s look at the numbers closer to home.

In 2013, nearly 4 millions pets were euthanized in the USA, 2.7 millions of which are healthy or with easily treatable issues. During that time, over 300,000 dogs were imported from developing countries. Incomprehensible!

Let’s look at our own numbers, in Canada.

Numbers are difficult to come by in Canada due to the lack of governing agencies and standards. Canada is the wild west of rescues and pet imports. The best estimates report over 600,000 dogs are euthanized every year, most of which are in Quebec.

This translates to likely well over 1,000,000 dogs needing a name and a home in Canada.

How can we sanely live in a country where so many dogs are homeless and gas chambers are still in use?

How can we participate in worldwide efforts to help others manage their populations of unwanted dogs when our own house is not in order?

It is time we focus on making social changes in Canada that prove successful. Only once we have humanely dealt with our surplus dog problems will we be in a position to efficiently help others.

Dr. Judith Samson-French

Local Dog Champion – Priceless!

There is no doubt in my mind, the best predictor of success for a sustainable humane dog population management (DPM) project is the presence of a dog champion in the local community receiving the project.

A local dog champion is a person who lives in the community or has frequent significant contacts with it, has taken to heart the welfare of dogs with and without names/homes, has the support and trust of the community, and has knowledge of the culture and language.

A DPM project, whether on First Nations land (rez dogs) or abroad (street dogs), needs to seek such collaboration to accelerate success and transfer the means (financial, technical, scientific and educational) for a community to become self-sustained in their effort to humanely control their unwanted dogs population.

Do you have a reliable local dog champion? If so, congratulations, you have the first ingredient to success for your project!

Dr. Judith Samson-French