In June-July 2013 and December 2013, Humane Society International (HSI), in conjunction with partner organizations, conducted a series of surveys in the nation of Mauritius to characterize its street dog population, owned dog population, human practices toward dogs, and attitudes about humane issues. Based on data from these surveys, we estimated that Mauritius has a total owned dog population of approximately 246,000, and a roaming street dog population of approximately 57,000. Several indicators suggest that a large majority of the street dog population in Mauritius is owned, and that the number of truly stray dogs is relatively low. Sterilization rates for owned dogs and street dogs were approximately 30%, well below the sterilization rate of 65% - 70% that is necessary to reduce reproductive capacity below replacement levels and achieve population size reduction over time. The failure to sterilize owned dogs is primarily a function of the widely held perception in Mauritius that sterilization is “not necessary”. Despite this attitude, the Mauritian public expressed a broadly-held dissatisfaction with current street dog density, identified many problems and inconveniences associated with street dogs, and expressed overwhelming support for a systematic and effective street dog management program. The apparent disconnect between the desire to reduce street dog numbers versus the actions of individual dog owners emphasizes the need for effective humane education within the framework of an integrated dog management program. Such a program, if properly designed and implemented, would gradually reduce the number of street dogs over time, improve the quality of life for Mauritius’s street dogs, and reduce the problems caused by street dogs. The surveys discussed in this report establish a baseline against which future progress can be measured and evaluated and provide information that is critical in designing an effective humane street dog management program in Mauritius.
Boone., J. D. 2014. Baseline Surveys in Mauritius for Street Dog Management – 2013; Project Report, ver 2.Humane Society International, Washington, DC. March 14.