Animal Friends Blog
Our friends at War Paws, a charity set up to protect dogs in Iraq, have written a fantastic blog about their fight against Rabies and their efforts to alleviate the pain and suffering of dogs in the Middle East.
Dog overpopulation and the increase in Rabies
The dogs of Iraq are the innocent victims of war and over the years the population of street dogs has increased to record levels. The street dogs are constantly breeding and unfortunately, the population control measures being used at present there involve either poisoning or shooting the dogs which is neither humane or effective.
Rabies is a huge problem in Iraq, with so many dogs on the streets the disease is easily spread to other dogs, livestock and people and the only real way we can put an end to the constant breeding and issues with rabies is to work towards a large scale TNVR (Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, Return) program.
Medical intervention and adoption schemes
War Paws is not only working towards effective solutions for rabies control but we also rescue the dogs and cats that are adopted by foreign soldiers serving in Iraq and we also work alongside local rescue groups in Iraq to promote animal welfare and provide vet care for sick and injured strays with the intention of getting them adopted locally.
How have Animal Friends helped?
With the grant that Animal Friends has just awarded to us we are working to start the first ever rabies vaccination program in Iraq. The program will be carried out by a team of local vets along with our very own in-country rep, Kurdo.
We aim to speak to the children in local schools, put public announcements out on local radio and in the local press to encourage locals to bring their pet/working dogs into us for vaccination and to help us to capture and vaccinate the street dogs. The program will run for a period of 8 weeks and we are aiming to vaccinate between 50 and 100 dogs per week during this time.
In order to achieve total eradication of rabies, we aim to vaccinate 75% of the street dogs in each area we work in so that we can break the chain of transmission, but this is a huge task and it will take time and funding to get to this target!
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