Monday, March 1

Neutering pilot project to control stray dog population

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A female dog undergoing neutering surgery.

KOTA KINABALU: The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Kota Kinabalu (SPCA KK) has started its Trap Neuter Release (TNR) pilot project as stray dogs have become an issue and a nuisance in many residential areas.

It was initiated by SPCA KK inspectorate Roshimah Rahman at Taman Nelly Phase 9, Kolombong in Inanam near here last December with the support of the residents.

SPCA KK said in a statement yesterday that the project was established as stray dogs would rummage through the dustbins causing all the litters and rubbish to spill over and create an eyesore in the area.

Some residents would feel threatened as some stray dogs would growl or even chase them for food. Leaving this issue unaddressed, these stray dogs could create significant challenges to the animal welfare system and the community at large.

Trying to resolve these problems by removing the stray dogs from the area may seem simple at first glance. However, this does not solve the problem until the community is aware of the importance of neutering, said SPCA KK.

Therefore, it is important that the public are educated and exposed to the proper methods in helping the government to specifically curb and control the population of strays.

One of the residents helping out at the TNR tent that was set up for the pilot project.

The general aim of this community project is to control the overpopulation of strays in Taman Nelly Phase 9 residential area.

The specific objectives of this project are to reduce the population of stray dogs in the residential area through TNR; improve the quality of life for the stray dogs;

educate the residents of Taman Nelly Phase 9 on neutering and caring for the welfare of the strays in their area; and make Taman Nelly Phase 9 as a benchmark for other residential areas where the community works together in taking care of the welfare of the strays

Besides Roshimah, the others involved in the project are Kota Kinabalu City Hall and the residents of Taman Nelly Phase 9. The residents made their own collection and managed to contribute financially for the neutering fee.

The capturing and trapping of the stray dogs are done at Taman Nelly itself. The neutering is also done on site on a daily basis with a maximum of three dogs per week.

How is it done?

1) A survey is made to identify the number of stray dogs in the residential area

2) The dogs (two or three) are neutered weekly depending on the availability of veterinary surgeons or vets.

3) The dogs are caught either using traps, physically by hand or using poles depending on their temperament (aggressive or tame).

4) A canopy is set up in an appropriate area in the residential area as a holding place before and after the surgery has taken place.

5) Neutered female dogs are kept for about 10 days before release.

6) Neutered dogs are marked by clipping their ears as an indication that they have been neutered.

7) Female (bitches) dogs and their puppies will be put up for adoption once they are fully recovered and ready.

Since the project was started on December 22, last year, 18 dogs have been identified and 11 neutered. Another seven bitches are waiting to be spayed. Four bitches are still nursing their pups while the other three will be caught by the end of the month.

Post TNR results show that the character of the neutered animal is predominantly described as devoted, friendly and kind. They would also be territorial and dominant in their colony and would not allow other stray dogs to enter.