If Stray Dog Population Control Is The Issue, Wouldn’t It Make More Sense To Kill The Dogs Or Take Them Away?
Removal or killing of stray dogs seems to be the most obvious method of controlling the population, but it has actually proved to be completely useless. This is because even when large numbers of dogs are killed, the conditions that sustain dog populations remain unchanged. Dogs are territorial and each one lives in its own specific area. When they are removed, the following things happen:
- The food source – garbage – is still available in abundance, so dogs from neighbouring areas enter the vacant territories.
- Pups born and growing up in the surrounding areas also move in to occupy these vacant niches.
- The few dogs who escape capture and remain behind attack these newcomers, leading to frequent and prolonged dog-fights.
- Since they are not sterilised, all the dogs who escape capture continue to mate, leading to more fighting.
- In the course of fights, dogs often accidentally redirect their aggression towards people passing by, so many humans get bitten.
- Females with pups become aggressive and often attack pedestrians who come too close to their litter.
- They breed at a very high rate (two litters of pups a year). It has been estimated that two dogs can multiply to over 300 in three years.
Since dogs who are removed are quickly replaced, the population does not decrease at all. The main factors leading to dog aggression – migration and mating – continue to exist, so the nuisance factor remains. Since removal of dogs actually increases dog-related problems, the effective solution is to sterilise the dogs, vaccinate them against rabies and put them back in their own areas.