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The Problem

Over 800 million dogs share our world, about 40% of whom are “homeless.” Homeless dogs, also referred to as street dogs, experience high incidences of disease and injury and their lives are much shorter than those of pet (“homed”) dogs. In general, a homeless dog does not receive daily food and water from a specific household. Such dogs are usually not provided safe shelter and their behavior is not significantly controlled by a specific household. These dogs are often not vaccinated against rabies or other diseases and lack basic veterinary care. Sadly, approximately 75% of puppies born to homeless dogs die before they are a year old.

 

Most of the world’s homeless dogs live in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Recent reports indicate that a substantial majority of these homeless dogs are claimed (i.e. loosely “owned”) by specific households in the community, yet these dogs cause multiple problems for the community (e.g. nuisance, bites, disease, etc.).  There are relatively few homeless dogs in high income countries.

Total Dogs Per 1000 People by Country

  • No data available
  • 0-9 dogs per 1000 people
  • 10-49 dogs per 1000 people
  • 50-99 dogs per 1000 people
  • 100-149 dogs per 1000 people
  • 150-199 dogs per 1000 people
  • 200-299 dogs per 1000 people
  • 300+ dogs per 1000 people

Little girl giving water to street dogCampaigns have been launched in the 21st century to eliminate rabies in LMICs in Asia and Africa. In 2004, the WHO estimated that 59,000 people a year were dying from rabies, almost all of whom contracted the disease from a dog bite. The anti-rabies campaign in Latin America was very successful, but progress has been much more limited in Asia and Africa. Today, it is estimated that the direct costs of global rabies prevention including the treatment of dog bites is more than $2 billion a year with an additional $6 billion in indirect costs such as loss of work time.

 

The humane and effective management of homeless dogs also appears to have important social consequences for communities. In Bosnia, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) found that communities commonly reported that they were having problems caused by roaming dogs.  As a result, the UNDP set up a partnership with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to address the issue in several communities. Over the course of the next few years, community-led efforts successfully mitigated the problem of roaming dogs and, as an unexpected side benefit, also appeared to reduce ethnic tensions as the different communities worked together to solve the dog problem.

 

There are so many good reasons to develop and implement humane and effective management approaches for homeless dogs, including a reduction of human disease contracted from dogs, a reduction of dog nuisance, a reduction of dog suffering, the improvement of community relations and a reduction in homeless dog numbers.

Estimated Percentages of “Homeless” Dogs by Continent or Country

80%

East Africa

20%

Brazil

35%

Southern Africa

72%

India

40%

China

25%

Thailand

12%

Eastern Europe

35%

Philippines

2%

Northern Europe

3%

Australasia

2%

USA & Canada

40%

World

The Solution

 

Solving these challenges (for dogs, people, and the environment) requires a much deeper understanding of dog demographics and the approaches that reduce suffering and increase well-being in the communities. While a growing number of local, national and international animal organizations are providing direct care for both homeless and homed dogs (such as sterilization and vaccination services), no one organization has been tracking these efforts or their impacts. As a result, we do not know what was working or was the most cost-effective. Until now….

 

Well-Being International (WBI) launched the Global Dog Campaign to end dog hardship and homelessness across the world. The campaign aims to partner with existing public health and animal protection organizations to give them the necessary tools and expertise so that we can systematically track activities and progress, and then adapt and apply proven interventions to reduce dog homelessness and suffering community by community, country by country.

The Infrastructure

For the past 18 months, WBI has built the foundational infrastructure to launch the Global Dog Campaign across the world.  In addition, WBI has successfully completed a test of this infrastructure in one country with a flagship partner.  WBI has:

Implementation Partners

Identified a select number of organizations committed to assisting dogs in their communities.

Resources

Provided access to training, expertise and software tools to implement a project with a flagship partner in a test country.

Fundraising

Raised (and continues to raise) needed funding for the campaign's foundational work and global implementing projects.

Reporting & Tracking

Provided leadership and resources to enable an implementing partner to report data.

Direct Care Services

Committed funds to support direct care services (sterilization and vaccinations) to a flagship partner in the test country.

Reporting Protocols

Developed data reporting protocols for surveys and monitoring reports.

Survey Implementation

Implemented household and homeless (``street``) dog population surveys in one of the flagship locations.

Centralized Repository

Developed a database to house longitudinal data on dogs and their communities.

The Consortium Implementing Partners

 

The outreach was focused on a number of specific flagship project locations in different regions: initially in Latin America (one location – Costa Rica) and Asia (three locations – Jaipur, India; Chennai, India; Kabul, Afghanistan). An additional location is being sought in Africa.

AHPPA-Shelter-PeopleAnimalsPSwCred_sq_295

AHPPA

Costa Rica
BCI_India_volunteer-feeding-dogs_295

Blue Cross of India

Chennai, India
Adopted-street-pup_Mayhew-Afghanistan-driver-295

Mayhew Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan
Caught-dog-in-sack-HIS_295

Help in Suffering

Jaipur, India

The Team

andrewRowan_199
Andrew Rowan, DPhil
Global Chief Program Officer
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Kathleen Rowan
Global Project Management Officer
2-Flockhart_199x199
Tyler Flockhart, PhD
Population Ecologist & Conservation Biologist
John_boone_199
John Boone, PhD
Global Survey & Analysis Expert
josh_coefer_199
Josh Coefer
Data Scientist

Support the Global Dog Campaign

We need Supporters who wish to be part of this initiative to eliminate dog homelessness while also increasing the well-being of their human communities.

Your gift today creates meaningful change for homeless dogs and their communities around the globe.

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