SANTIAGO – As the number of street dogs in Santiago starts to grow into a serious problem, an initiative has been launched that seeks to sterilize street dogs. Another solution is to relocate stray dogs and stimulate adoption projects. The population of stray dogs in the Metropolitan Region is estimated around 400.000 dogs.
To prevent further growth of the thousands of street dogs that currently inhabit the street of Santiago, 52 municipalities in the region will start a project aiming to sterilize and relocate the current population of abandoned dogs.
The project, with an estimated cost of CP$3,157 million dollars, wants to sterilize 100.000 stray dogs in two years. The current population of street dogs is growing with 1.8%, and the project hopes to reduce this growth to 1.3%. Apart from sterilizing dogs, the initiative seeks to stimulate projects that offer dogs for adoption.
The campaign wants to stimulate people, who want to have a dog, to adopt one from the streets. Not only to tackle the current problem of stray dogs, but also to prevent animal abuse on the streets. Stray dogs in populated areas cause public health problems, as they can carry diseases, cause traffic accidents and can be aggressive towards other pets and people.
To prevent people from abandoning their dogs on the streets, all dogs owners are already obliged to chip their pets. It often happens that families buy a dog without realizing the costs and work adding a dog to their family brings. These dogs often find themselves abandoned after a few months. Obliging dog owners to chip their dogs makes it easier to find back owners, and if necessary fining them for neglect.
Editor-In-Chief Boris van der Spek is the founder of Chile Today.