20,000 (of what is recorded) people die every year of rabies in India. 95% of the time it is the result of a dog bite. In order to prevent deaths, annually on World's Rabies Day, DAR holds a 10 -day rabies vaccination camp. The combined effort of DAR and the community - vets, and volunteers. Mass Vaccination is the only way to eradicate the disease along with education of the people on post bite protocols. Facts can take the fear out of rabies. Rabies is 99% fatal but 100% preventable.
India has the highest numbers of stray dogs in the world at an approximated 35 million. India also has the highest amount of human deaths by rabies. 95% of the time this is the result of a dog bite. Rabies is 99% fatal and 100% preventable. The WHO calls rabies a "neglected zoonotic disease." With 59,000 people dying world wide each year and 36% in India, with little or no government intervention, it is neglected. In our town, it is up to DAR to try to manage the the endemic disease.
Every year, starting on World Rabies Day, September 28th, we run a mass vaccination 10-day camp. We partner with other NGOs and local feeders, recruit volunteers, and dedicate our staff to vaccinate as many dogs as possible. The goal is to hit 70% vaccination (percentages needed to eradicate rabies). We bring the community together to help capture the dogs and learn more about how to safely and compassionately interact with street dogs.
In addition to vaccinating 2000 street dogs, Dharamsala Animal Rescue will do a population count so we can get an accounting of the number of strays in our area. With this data we can focus our humane dog population management (HDPM) program so we can better monitor and evaluate our success. HDPM also includes working to sterilize 90% of the population to control the dog population. Each year we sterilize more than 1,000 dogs to ensure the long term safety of the community.