Developments are well underway for the country’s first government-sponsored dog shelter, which is slated to open in October.
As part of the preparations, YCDC officials have begun to gather stray dogs to move into the shelter once it officially opens, reports The Voice. The shelter will be able to house approximately 1,000 dogs. Authorities have already gathered over 100 strays in Hlaingtharya and Shwepyitha Townships, which reportedly have the largest numbers of strays in the city.
The shelter will also be located in Hlaingtharya.
The Voice quoted a ‘senior official’ from the YCDC’s Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department who said that they have received medicine and monetary donations from several donors to use in the meantime before the dogs can be moved to the shelter.
The official also stated that citizens can report areas that have large stray dog populations, but do not have permission to capture the dogs and bring them to the shelter themselves. Additionally, when it comes to space in the shelter, priority will be given to dogs that are ill and/or physically hurt.
Although several charity shelters already exist around Yangon, this will be the first one set up by the regional government.
While the exact number of stray dogs in the city is uncertain, recent government reports place it at around 180,000.
In the past, the YCDC has regularly carried out mass culls in order to combat the city’s increasing stray dog population and to appease citizens who worry about the spread of rabies, despite widespread criticism that replacing culling with a spay-and-neuter program would be much more effective.
Now, animal charities hope that the establishment of a government-sponsored shelter will be the first of several humane steps towards keeping the city’s stray dog population under control.
“This will be a good way to keep all the stray dogs in one place. Combined with the work of other animal charity groups who take them in, the number of stray dogs on the streets should significantly decrease,” said a doctor working with the Golden Heart Animals Rescue charity.