20,000 people die every year of rabies in India. 95% of the time it is the result of a dog bite. Just 6 months ago, one local man died of the disease. In order to prevent deaths, each December, DAR holds its annual population survey of street dogs in conjunction with a rabies vaccination camp. The camp takes two weeks and is a combined effort of a scientist who performs the survey, our catching team, vets, and volunteers. Vaccination is the number way to eradicate the disease.
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 100% preventable.
Every year, Dharamsala Animal Rescue hosts a 2 week population survey of the stray dog population. We use It is an opportunity to mass vaccinate as many dogs as we can within the 7 defined sections we are currently working. The goal is to hit 90% sterilization and 70% vaccination (percentages needed to stop growth of the population and 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 800+ 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.