For years, as in many other countries, the authorities dealt with stray dogs by using poison or shooting them. This, of course, does not solve the problem, all it does is create space for different dogs to take over the area and multiply.
The Stray Animal Control Programme is a long term programme which is designed to reduce the number of stray animals in a humane way. The process involves catching the animals, marking the area where they are from, performing castrations and vaccinating them for rabies whilst also tagging the dogs so they are not re-caught, and then releasing them back to exact area where they were caught. This ensures that no new animals move into the area, ensures that the animals are healthy and reduces the numbers as they can no longer mate.
In Jordan, this all started with Dr. Chinny Krishna of the Blue Cross of India. India was responsible for 55% of human rabies across the world. Once the programme was started in 4 cities in India, the incidence of rabies over 5 years was reduced to 0 and the number of stray dogs declined. Dr. Krishna visited Jordan in 2009 and met with a number of officials who all agreed that this seemed to be the best way to go.
In May of 2010, a team from Vier-Pfoten (Romania) came to Jordan to initiate the programme. The team spent ten days in Jordan where they started the programme and trained the Jordanian teams. There are two centres for the programme, New Hope serving Amman and the Jordan University of Science and Technology serving the North. The operations are under full swing and within one month of the programme starting the number of dogs who had been operated on had reached just over 200. This may not seem such a large number in view of the overall problem, however with the small number of vets who are able to perform the operations we are very pleased with the overall numbers. The vets are getting more confident each day and the operations are moving faster.
We are also very fortunate that international vets are volunteering their time to come to Jordan to assist in the programme. This enables out vets to continue their training and gain new methods of operating as well as having extra pairs of hands to help! We look forward to even more volunteers!
Jordan is the very first country in the region to adopt this programme at a National level and we are very grateful to all who are working so diligently to make this a success.
To our international and local partners for helping to get this programme up and running and to all those who have volunteered - thank you!