Stray dogs in Dubai: Zero tolerance

A zero tolerance policy towards stray dogs in Dubai has helped the emirate to manage its dog population, said Dubai Municipality.

Officials from the Veterinary Services Section were invited to showcase their successful Humane Dog Population Management Program in Romania to help the city of Brasov to adopt an effective dog management program.

The section advocates a comprehensive multifaceted program addressing the root causes of problems associated with free roaming animals to ensure public health and community safety while improving animal welfare.

Dubai Municipality runs a holding and adoption centre where stray dogs when found are kept. “After a stray cat or dog is captured, we first check if it has a number. Then, we wait for 5 days. If the owner did not contact us to look for the pet, we offer it for adoption,” explained an official.

By law, every dog is subject to parasites control and vaccination against infectious diseases. Moreover, every dog must be identified and registered.

“Education and training, primary dog healthcare, mandatory identification and registration, reproduction control, establishing holding and adoption centre, and limiting or successfully managing waste resources are given great importance by the civic body in Dubai,” said Hashim Mohammed Al Awadhi, Head of Dubai Municipality Veterinary Services Section.

Recently, the section launched the pet app Aleef, a smart government app that provides a centralised repository for pet information in Dubai across both public and private clinics to enhance the pet ownership experience in Dubai.

Captured dogs can be seen, found dogs can be uploaded or people can scroll through the pictures if they want to adopt a dog. The programme is run by in partnership with World Animal Protection, a partnership which dates back 10 years. The animal welfare programs implemented have brought significant positive changes for animals and community as well, pointed the municipality out.

“There is greater awareness across the society on responsible pet ownership, lesser complaints related to stray animals, enhancement of animal welfare and reduction in human-animal conflicts. The program has resulted in increase in number of vaccinations and registrations.”

“Al Awadhi attributed the success of Dubai program to active public engagement and awareness, introduction and execution of rules and regulations, closely working with partners and stakeholders, education and training, clear leadership from the Dubai Municipality and the guidance from World Animal Protection.

Alistair Findlay from World Animal Protection said that Dubai’s example demonstrates how much can be achieved when governments implement a comprehensive programme to manage their dog population.