Canine population dynamics in Ibiúna-SP: retrospective study
Keywords:Animal populations, Euthanasia, Animal population control, Dogs
AbstractIn this study, we estimated parameters related to the dog population dynamics in Ibiúna, a town in the state of São Paulo, regarding household, sheltered and euthanized dogs, in the period from 1998 to 2002. Sheltered and euthanized dogs data were obtained from Ibiúna Zoonosis Department records, and also from household dogs population census, through surveys conducted using a questionnaire to interview household members, during rabies vaccination campaigns. Both the number of sheltered and euthanized dogs increased progressively in the studied period. The values for the human to dog mean ratio were 3.16:1, 7.67:1, and 3.91:1 for the rural area, the urban area, and the whole town, respectively, with predominance of male (70.10%) and mixed breed (80.71%) dogs, in the household dog population. A 16.69% mean annual rate of increase was observed for the dog population, and most of the dogs lived in the rural area (82.93%). Euthanasia and sheltering of dogs did not show to be effective, in the way they were applied, as methods of dog population control in Ibiúna. The dog population parameters estimated in this study will help the health authorities from Ibiúna to design control programmes for both dog population and zoonosis. The results observed call our attention to some aspects related to responsible ownership and to the importance of the animal owner's role for the solution of the abandoned dogs problem.
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