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STRAYS – A Stray Dog Project 

2.10.2019

A scientific project to determine the sustainability, effectiveness and efficiency of stray dog population management methods 

Stray dog overpopulation is a global problem that is of public health, animal welfare and environmental concern. FOUR PAWS has been involved in the humane management of stray dog populations for more than 25 years. 

FOUR PAWS is using Catch-Neuter-Vaccinate-Release (CNVR) to sustainably manage stray dog populations and in this way aims to humanely reduce the number of dogs while at the same time improving their welfare. 

Catch-Neuter-Vaccinate-Release

In over 25 years, we've treated more than 500,000 dogs and cats!

Details about our work:

FOUR PAWS vets work with communities across Eastern Europe using stationary and mobile spay/neuter clinics. Mobile clinics travel to regions and communities that have requested assistance for humane methods of stray population management using animal sterilisation (Catch-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return). FOUR PAWS also supports programs in Germany and Switzerland that help control stray cat colonies through education and awareness campaigns, and by providing support for local veterinary neutering efforts.

Apart from CNVR, other methods to reduce the stray dog population size include the long-term sheltering and mass culling of dogs. However, these methods do not offer a sustainable solution to stray dog overpopulation, as the removal of stray dogs creates a temporary void in the population that is quickly filled in by other individuals, either through immigration or birth. These methods pose serious animal welfare issues and are therefore not aligned with the FOUR PAWS policy. 

FOUR PAWS is currently collaborating with the University of Leeds UK and IZSAM (Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise 'Giuseppe Caporale') on the 'STRAYS project', aiming to determine the sustainability, effectiveness and efficiency of the dog population management methods mentioned above. 

The 'STRAYS Project' is structured as an academic PhD research and involves collecting data on dog populations from two study sites (Lviv, Ukraine and Teramo, Italy) and on public attitudes towards stray dogs using online surveys. Stray dog population size, financial costs, welfare impact on the dog population and impact on public health are some of the factors this study considers when comparing different dog population management methods. Data generated from repeated dog counts and from public attitude surveys will be used in statistical analyses that will allow us to predict which dog population management method is more effective at reducing the number of stray dogs over time while at the same time improving their welfare and reducing the risk to public health.

If you would like to find out more about the project, you can read more here: https://straysproject.weebly.com/

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