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Direct Observation of Dog Density and Composition during Street Counts as a Resource Efficient Method of Measuring Variation in Roaming Dog Populations over Time and between Locations

By Elly Hiby, Lex Hiby

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Category Journal Articles
Abstract

Dog population management is conducted in many countries to address the public health risks from roaming dogs and threats to their welfare. To assess its effectiveness, we need to monitor indicators from both the human and dog populations that are quick and easy to collect, precise and meaningful to intervention managers, donors and local citizens. We propose that the most appropriate indicators from the roaming dog population are population density and composition, based on counting dogs along standard routes using a standard survey protocol. Smart phone apps are used to navigate and record dogs along standard routes. Density expressed as dogs seen per km predicts the number of dogs residents will encounter as they commute to work or school and is therefore more meaningful than total population size. Composition in terms of gender, age and reproductive activity is measured alongside welfare, in terms of body and skin condition. The implementation of this method in seven locations reveals significant difference in roaming dog density between locations and reduction in density within one location subject to intervention. This method provides a resource efficient and reliable measure of roaming dog density, composition and welfare for the assessment of intervention impact.

Submitter

Katie Osborn

Date 2017
Publication Title Animals
Volume 7
Issue 8
ISBN/ISSN 2076-2615
DOI 10.3390/ani7080057
URL http://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/7/8/57
Language English
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Animal health and hygiene
  2. Animal welfare
  3. Dogs
  4. Health
  5. Mammals
  6. population control
  7. population density
  8. stray animals