English | Dzongkha Sunday, May 16, 2021

Increasing number of stray dogs in Zhemgang

Feb 8, 2021

With the increasing number of stray dogs in Zhemgang town, residents raised their concerns over the possibility of a rabies outbreak. They say, with many new stray dogs in the area, walking in and around the town has been also unsafe.

During the day, people are seen walking with a stick or either in groups fearing dog attacks, while most of the residents said they have to spend sleepless nights, especially for children.

Residents said it has been about a year since the town saw an increasing number of dogs.

“We don’t know whether the people drop their dog here or not, because we don’t have many puppies here. These days we can see many different stray dogs,” said Tandin from Trong.

“I am carrying a stick to protect myself from the dogs,” said Sonam, another resident.

“These days, dogs bark a lot may be due to the weather pattern as it is too cold outside during the night. Moreover, I feel that during the recent lockdown, as people were not allowed to go outside, nobody fed them,” said Ugyen Lhendup, the Dzongkhag Livestock Officer of Zhemgang.

However, he added that there is less chance of rabies outbreak as they conduct mass sterilization annually. Last year, about 340 stray dogs were sterilized and 400 were vaccinated against rabies.

“We have vaccinated the dogs. However, looking at the increasing number of stray dogs in the area, we doubt that people coming in from other Dzongkhags are dropping their dogs here. People need not panic as we conduct annual sterilization program. So there is less chance of rabies outbreak,” said Dzongkhag Livestock Officer.

Every year, Zhemgang hospital records around 15 dog bite cases.

Pema Samdrup, Zhemgang

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