The All Dogs Matter Camp was a humane sterilisation and vaccination drive delivered by WVS in partnership with Give Goa Dogs and supported by our Mission Rabies Goa team. Over 2,500 dogs received spay/neuter surgeries in just eight weeks in Goa, India.
The only humane and effective way to reduce overpopulation is with mass sterilisation campaigns. The overpopulation and uncontrolled breeding of stray dogs leads to overcrowding, which results in competition for resources, the spread of deadly diseases, conflicts, and issues within communities. Sterilisation improves animal welfare by controlling the population, whilst also helping to stop unwanted litters who could face abandonment and suffering.
The cored objectives of the All Dogs Matter Camp was to build a brighter future for dogs by increasing spay/neuter coverage, decreasing birthrates, and helping to improve dog and and human relations. On top of this, it aimed to create a new standard of animal welfare for sterilisation campaigns that can be replicated, with the top priority being the welfare of each animal.
As Andy Gibson, Director of Strategic Research at WVS, explains, "Trying to solve this problem of how we improve dog population management, part of that is in doing large-scale sterilisation programmes with dog compassion and humane approaches at the very core."
"We are thinking about the experience of those individual dogs and ensuring that every single step of that dog's journey is to the highest possible standard."
Every part of the camp had been designed to make sure that each dog's experience was as relaxed and comfortable as possible. This was to ensure that every animal at the camp had a positive experience, while also having a larger impact on improving human and dog relations. There were designated spaces and kennels for the dogs to cool down before surgery, and the humane handling of dogs was emphasised to reduce stress during their visit.
Trainers and behaviourists were consulted to make sure the kennels were warm and welcoming. The interior of the kennels was designed to make dogs feel comfortable in a natural environment. The kennels were lined with garden nets and wood shavings, calming music was played, and plants and water pots were added for a cooling effect during the hot weather.
The team worked incredibly hard, providing expert care with the support of volunteer vets and vet students from all over India. The dogs had a dedicated area with individual kennels to recover from their surgery, before being transferred into larger kennels to socialise. The dogs' behaviours were carefully monitored throughout to ensure that more dominant dogs were housed separately for the safety of quieter or more nervous dogs.
Dogs were only put in the same kennels if they were from the same territory to reduce conflict and ensure that every dog had a comfortable experience. An important part of the process was implanting a microchip in every dog and entering the data into the GoChip app and WVS app. These microchips can be referred to in the future to check an individual dog's sterilisation and vaccination history.
The teams focused on ensuring the best experience for every single patient, from the catching process right through to post-operative care. This included providing other clinical and surgical treatments, with over 100 dogs treated for injuries and other conditions. Every patients was just important as the next and our team delivered the very best care for each individual dog.
A Mission Rabies static point vaccination clinic was set up at the camp, allowing all dogs to receive a free rabies vaccination during their visit. Over 2,900 animals received life-saving vaccinations against this deadly disease, helping to protect their community. The Mission Rabies Goa team also assisted with animal care at the camp, ensuring that the dogs' environment was clean and hygienic, as well as hydrating, feeding, and interacting with the dogs.
Thanks to our supporters and partners, we are creating healthier and happier dog populations, addressing the animal welfare issues caused by overpopulation. A healthy dog population also reduces the spread of deadly zoonotic diseases, protecting whole communities.
Thank you to all of the team, and our project partners, for working incredibly hard to ensure the best care for every single patient at the camp. We look forward to building on this campaign to support more communities and improve the health and welfare of animals through humane sterilisation surgeries and other vital veterinary services.
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