Census on in City to count stray dogs

Kathmandu, October 16:

The first-ever canine census, which will crank up the final figure in just over ten days, is being conducted currently in the capital. Initial estimate has put the same at 25,000, which is far below 60, 000 initially believed.

“We undertook it (canine census) to ascertain how many dogs could a city like Kathmandu have,” said Khageswor Sharma, Manager, Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre (KATC). The objective is to know the number so that it becomes easy to plan the project activities. The KATC mainly works in the area of extending veterinary services to street dogs.

“Our main job is to sterilise stray dogs, and giving shots of anti-rabies drugs are part of routine mission,” Sharma said adding that dogs in worst shape due to mange (canine equivalent of scabies) are treated. Other sickness dogging the canines comprise transmissible veneral tumor — a predictable outcome of mindless mating — and mange. Another ailment, parvo virus, attacks pups leading to death.

“The reason why the census was undertaken was to assess the volume of job in hand. Once the census cranks out the figure, we will be in a position to plan accordingly,” he said. The World Health Organisation funds the project, with Veterinary Public Health Department and Department of Livestock Development are partners with KATC.

“Ways adopted are unique. Teams visit a particular locality, take pictures, analyse and come back to find out whether the dogs in pictures belong to the area or are outsiders,” Sharma said, adding that the methodology was adopted from Egypt.