Residents of Phobjikha and Gangtey, who used to live with stray dog problems, expect the National Accelerated Dog Population Management (NADPM) and Rabies Control (RCP) program to solve the dog problem in the community.
Over the past few years, residents had raised safety and hygiene concerns about the increasing population of stray dogs in the communities.
Stray dogs have also attacked domestic animals and posed a risk to residents.
The program was launched last year to achieve 100% sterilization of free-roaming dogs, register and vaccinate all pet dogs and control feral dogs.
Gangtey Gup Kinley Gyeltshen said that in the past stray dogs from other places were dropped off at Lawla which then moved towards the two gewogs and increased the dog population.
“Stray dogs feed on weak or dead horses in the field and then seek out similar prey such as calves and sheep,” he said.
Gup Kinley Gyeltshen said the community will be safer thanks to the canine population management program’s neutering and vaccination activities.
Last year a pack of loose dogs entered a pigsty and killed a piglet and injured a piglet in Gangtey. Even endangered black-necked cranes often fall victim to dog packs.
However, a farmer from Phobjikha, Passang said the number of stray dogs has decreased compared to a few years ago.
“The extension of gewog cattle and the NADPM neutering program are proving beneficial in reducing the dog population,” he said.
Locals said the increased litter in campers’ gewogs leaving behind trash and hotels served as a food source for the dogs.
Pema, 53, from Phobjikha, said the dogs feed on rubbish and hang around, posing a risk to young children and pets. “Some dogs even growl at people and attack calves.”
The program registered 4,006 dogs in Wangdue dzongkhag during a survey.