Dogs and humans have enjoyed a bond, a dependency even, since time began. No decent human being would want to see the unnecessary suffering of dogs, yet through ignorance this is often condoned.
Every year millions of dogs from around the world are poisoned or shot in an effort by municipalities to rid their streets of the ‘menace’ of stray dogs. These dogs are treated as nothing more than vermin to be exterminated.
Dogs follow their instincts and breed to propagate their species. Humans can make the decision to control their own population, and they have also been given the gift of taking responsibilities for dogs.
Sadly, some people see that responsibility as the power to kill unwanted dogs - sometimes in the most inhumane of ways. This has been proven as an ineffective method of population control because the vacuum left is soon filled by other dogs from surrounding areas who move in to utilise the resources available, or by the surviving dogs using these resources to raise more puppies.
A Successful Solution
In order to try and address this situation, we came together for a unique project in a bid to show that the only way to humanely reduce the number of street dogs is through the Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) programme.
While we know this works, we also recognise that municipalities need proof that this works.
Thankfully this has been provided in Oradea , Romania, where, together with Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, we were lucky to become involved with a dog loving and compassionate Mayor with progressive ideas. The Mayor was both happy to enter into a contract with us and he also knew and understood that for the project to succeed he needed to have patience and look at the long–term, not just the immediate.
Thanks to his commitment, the Mayor has seen huge improvements in the street population of Oradea. Seldom do you see a street dog that isn’t ear tipped to show it has been neutered. The status of dogs is rising in Oradea, and dog ownership is becoming more common. Almost everyone on Oradea knows about the SOS dogs project and school children are leading the way. Perhaps more importantly to the community, dog bite incidents are down 50%.
The TNR Template
This template draws on our experiences in Oradea, and so is ‘tried and tested’. We did not do everything right, and we acknowledge this; however, sometimes the errors can be as important as the successes to help in the future, as well as for others who aim to make a difference in their own areas.
The template has been designed to offer guidance anyone who wants to help their local street dog population and can be adapted as necessary for different areas. Whoever you are, and whatever knowledge you have, we hope to show that you can do it if you have the determination, drive and passion.
If you do decide to do this then all of us in the animal welfare world will be behind you every step of the way.
We hope this template will help and inspire you. We all recognise that there is no easy solution; however, those of us who work in animal welfare know that without dogs, who do so much for us, the world would be a much poorer place.
This without a doubt what keeps us going.
Below is the template for you to download. The publication is free. Please note the file is 5MB in size and may take some time to download.
You will need Adobe Reader to view the file. This can be downloaded here if you do not already have it.
Please note that downloading the Romanian version will take you to the Dogs Trust International website.
If you have any comments or feedback on the TNR template please email TNRdogs. You can also share your experiences with others who are interested on the TNR Dogs Facebook Page.