January 26, 2021
We’re pretty sure that you wouldn’t grab a bucket and start to bail out the water, or build a tank in your garden to store the overflow. You’d go to the sink, turn off the tap and pull the plug out. And we think it’s exactly the same with street dog management.
In Sri Lanka, there are thousands of dogs, but nowhere near thousands of good homes for them. Whereas in the UK or America, a dog might be taken to a shelter or pound, and risk euthanization after a legal holding period, in Asian countries like Sri Lanka, excess dogs tend to be left at the roadside.
In the UK, it is estimated that over 1,300 dogs were put to sleep between 2018 and 2019 (Dogs Trust Stray Dogs Survey Report 2018-19). These figures don’t include the thousands of dogs discarded from the Greyhound racing industry or puppy mills each year. Even in the UK, rehoming strategies don’t always work.
But rehoming organisations struggle to match dogs to good homes, and non-rehoming shelters are expensive to run. Many in Sri Lanka are underfunded, understaffed and can become unsafe for dogs. Simply put, they’re not the solution to this crisis.
In Sri Lanka, like the UK, it's impossible to find a home for every dog, no matter how much love we give them. So instead, like a leaking tap, the problem just keeps growing, with more dogs on the streets every day. The only way to stop the flow? An award winning spay/neuter service - the largest of its kind in Sri Lanka.
By sterilising dogs, we give them a life free of unwanted pregnancies and pups. We stem the crisis and can instead focus on giving the dogs that are on the streets the veterinary care they need. Vaccines, skin treatments, and even food during the COVID-19 pandemic - these all make a significant difference to the lives of existing street dogs.