Surveys of the street and private dog population in Vadodara, India Nov 2017
HSI conducted two surveys in Vadodara; a street dog survey across all twelve wards and a household survey covering the wards 1, 2, 5, 7, 8 and 9, where HSI and the Vadodara municipality plan to implement a sterilization and vaccination program, including microchipping. Estimated dog populations are 24.2 street dogs per 1,000 people (17,695 females and 26,323 males, totaling 44,018) and 12.4 private dogs per 1,000 people across all wards. Extrapolating from 0.058 private dogs per household in the six surveyed wards by the number of households in the wards (Census, 2011) we estimate a private dog population of 9,897 in the six wards and 21,824 dogs in all twelve wards. Sterilization rates among private dogs were low (36%) and the willingness of owners to sterilize their unsterilized dogs was very low (only 4% would be willing to have their dogs sterilized). Considering that 71% of all recorded females in this study were over the age of 2 (reproductive age) and 47% of them had had at least one litter in their life, it appears that educational campaigns are needed to inform dog owners about the benefits of sterilization and clarify some misconceptions. From street dog observations, we estimate that 48.9% of the dogs across the twelve wards are sterilized, ranging from 30.4% in ward 1 to 65.3% in ward 5. Vaccination levels were reported to be high among private dogs (94%). However, we suspect that reporting bias might have influenced respondents to report that their dogs were vaccinated and that the actual vaccination rate might be lower. When dog owners were asked if they had visited a veterinarian in the last 12 months, only 75% said that they did indicating that fewer dogs (than reported as vaccinated) have actually seen a veterinarian in the last 12 months. The upcoming sterilization and vaccination program, which include microchipping, offers an opportunity to implement a wider scheme to promote and enforce responsible pet ownership. Throughout the program, microchips can be used to verify the vaccination and sterilization status of dogs and will help to generate more accurate vaccination and sterilization estimates for the private and street dog population.