Tue, Sep 18, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Changhua stray dog plan to focus on free neutering

By Yan Hung-chun and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Changhua County Government on Saturday announced plans to implement a trap, neuter, vaccinate and return program to control the county’s stray dog population.

As the county government-run animal shelter faces overcrowding and plans to build a new shelter inside Sijhou Gardens in Sijhou Township (溪州) have been thwarted, the number of stray dogs has become a major issue.

The county government has proposed a plan to work with residents and animal hospitals to control the reproduction of free-roaming dogs.

The Changhua County Animal Disease Control Center said it is working with two veterinary hospitals in Hsihu (溪湖) and Hemei (和美) townships to implement a comprehensive spay-and-neuter program.

If a resident sees a stray dog, whether it is female or male, they can bring it to either of the animal hospitals to be spayed or neutered, the agency said, adding that the animal would be released where it was found after three to five days of rest.

The county government is to cover the costs of about NT$2,000 per dog, it said.

Spaying and neutering is the most feasible way to humanely limit the stray dog population, Changhua Animal Disease Control Center Director Tung Meng-chih (董孟治) said.

Key to the program is that people in local communities must take the initiative to catch stray dogs that are aggressive and have strong reproductive abilities, Tung said, adding that with cooperation from residents, the program would succeed.

A similar program has been effective in Tainan, where it has been running for many years, he said.

While many township offices in the county have reportedly expressed support for the program, critics have said that the county government is resorting to “extreme measures” to solve the problem.

Instead of the county’s streets being filled with stray dogs, it would be filled with neutered stray dogs, the critics said.

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