Campaigns 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.
USA & Canada
Identified a select number of organizations committed to assisting dogs in their communities.
Provided access to training, expertise and software tools to implement a project with a flagship partner in a test country.
Raised (and continues to raise) needed funding for the campaign's foundational work and global implementing projects.
Provided leadership and resources to enable an implementing partner to report data.
Committed funds to support direct care services (sterilization and vaccinations) to a flagship partner in the test country.
Developed data reporting protocols for surveys and monitoring reports.
Implemented household and homeless (``street``) dog population surveys in one of the flagship locations.
Developed a database to house longitudinal data on dogs and their communities.