As is the case in many cities around the world, Praia also has a large stray animal population. The contact to humans varies in kind and intensity, but most of the animals belong to a household in some way, although they are unattended and in search of food for most of the day.
The animals dig into garbage or wait for waste in market places or near slaughterhouses or fish markets. They also hunt rats and mice. Some are fed by their owners, at least in addition.
This way of life has consequences:
For all these reasons street animals are perceived as a problem. The worldwide response has been to reduce the amount of animals by rigorous methods, including poisoning. Such methods are not only brutal but have also been proven ineffective. „Dog Population Management“ methods have been developed as a result, which are part of the philosophy and methodology of Bons Amigos.
The dogs and cats living in the street also fulfill positive tasks by eliminating organic garbage and reducing the plague of mice. Dogs are also often used to guard houses or building lots.
Studies ordered by the WHO have proved several times that the population of stray dogs continuously increases with human population. The number of animals living in cities is dependent on the supply of food, water and shelter. The greater the population, the more stray dogs and cats exist. The capacity of reproduction of dogs is very high – with enough food supply the population could easily triplicate in one year. This is why attempts to reduce the number of street dogs by systematic killing have so far failed. These culling programs have proved to be in vain and expensive. When dogs are removed by killing or capture, they are rapidly replaced by higher reproduction and immigration because of the then better living conditions. The new population is normally even more affected by infections and parasites, because younger animals are more vulnerable, and migration movement always contributes to the distribution of diseases. In addition, there are often attempts to kill dogs by laying out toxic bait. Toxic bait, however, is also dangerous to humans; above all it is a serious threat to children.
Since 1990 the WHO has recommended the use of methods for the reduction of dog population which start with the living and environmental conditions in a specific country. It also emphasizes the importance of identifying dog owners and to give them responsibility, to inform and include the human population, and to execute castrations.
The Municipality of Praha has rewarded our good works and our reach-out efforts with its support. Public mobilization against strychnine poisoning has been especially successful.
Read more >>