Kathmandu, March 5, 2016, 2016: City authority removed 40 dogs from the countryâ€™s main administrative hub Singha Durbar on Friday, beginning its campaing to rid Kathmandu of stray dogs.
According to Kathmandu Metropolitan City, it began sterilising dogs from Singha Durbar and will gradually take the programme all over Kathmandu to rid the city from the menace of stray dogs. The decision follows the directive to KMC from Office of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers on February 28 to remove the canines.
Snehaâ€™s Care Centre, which has been working for the rehabilitation of street dogs, rescued 40 dogs from within Singha Durbar on Friday. According to Founder Sneha Shrestha, her organisation will take 40 bitches in the first lot which will be spayed and given anti-rabies vaccine and returned back to the same place. â€œThere are around 450 dogs inside Singha Durbar so we cannot manage to treat all of them at once,â€ she said. â€œWe have to keep the dogs under care for one week after the surgery. We will return after that and take more dogs.â€
The threat of stray dogs to public safety and health has been a concern in the Capital for long. A Department of Health Services report states that close to 2,000 people are bitten by dogs in Kathmandu district each year. In Nepal, close to 40,000 people are given anti-rabies vaccine each year with more than 96 percent of cases being dog bites. Likewise, the United States Environmental Protection Agency says that a single gram of dog waste can contain 23 million faecal coliform bacteria, which are known to cause cramps, diarrhoea, intestinal illness and serious kidney disorders in humans. Moreover, the EPA estimated that two or three daysâ€™ worth of droppings from a population of about 100 dogs would contribute enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay, and all watershed areas within 20 miles of it, to swimming and fishing.
Managing director of Kathmandu Model Veterinary Hospital Dinesh Shahi said that his research has found that there are around 300,000 pet dogs in Kathmandu district while 150,000 more are on the street. â€œThey end up there after being let off by their owners,â€ he said. Shrestha of Snehaâ€™s Care Centre said that a bitch gives birth to about 12 puppies in a season or 24 in a year so this uncontrolled breeding is the cause for the ever increasing number of dogs.
But KMC officials say that after the sterilisation of dogs they will be returned back to the same place. â€œWe do not have the capacity to keep the dogs forever so they have to be returned after treatment,â€ chief of Public Health Division Hari Kumar Shrestha said. â€œWe will give proper training to the dogs and make them available for adoption but the remaining have to be let out on the streets.â€
KMC is also planning to conduct an official census of street dogs in the Capital from within the current month. Acting chief and executive officer of KMC Sanat Kumar Thapa said that the census will help in formulating proper policies for managing the street dogs. â€œAs the animals cannot simply be killed to remove their menace, they have to be sterilised to check the number,â€ he said.
KMC has partnered with Humane International Society for street dog management in the Capital. It has also allocated Rs35 million in its budget for coming fiscal year under the Kathmandu Metropolitan City Dog Management Programme. Under the programme, KMC plans to vaccinate the dogs against rabies and make them sterile by neutering dogs and spaying bitches. KMC has already made it mandatory for pet owners to register their dogs for effective implementation of the programme.