Human Attitude Change Towards Roaming Dogs After a Capture Neuter Vaccination Release (CNVR) Program in Two Socioeconomic Groups in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Humane Dog Population and Rabies Control Project, Blue Paw Trust, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Nearly 4000 dogs roam the streets of Colombo municipal council area. Attitude towards roaming dogs and their welfare before (2007) and after (2010) CNVR intervention* was tested independently (Chi square analyses) in two localities: Mattakkuliya lower-income households and Kirula upper-income households in both dog-owned (DOHH) and non-dog-owning households (NDOHH).
A door-to-door questionnaire was administered to household residents selected systematically. Statements administered: (1) "Street dogs should be looked after by the community"; (2) "Welfare of street dogs is important to me"; (3) "I like to have dogs around my street"; and (4) "It is not acceptable to kill dogs." Responses of "agree," "disagree" and "unsure" were analyzed using Microsoft Access 2000 and Excel software. Response rate was over 60%.
For statements 1 and 2, the intervention* seemed to have no influence in Kirula. However, an improved attitude was observed in Mattakkuliya for both statements in NDOHHs. A statistical association between attitudes for statement 2 in 2007 in both localities was observed, and it was related to dog ownership (p > 0.05).
Majority of residents irrespective of dog ownership, socioeconomic status and intervention* disliked roaming dogs and culling. In Mattakkuliya (2010), there was a statistical association between attitude values for both latter statements. It was related to dog ownership (p > 0.05) and not influenced by the intervention,* although not proven statistically. Clearly roaming dogs are a community concern, and the data infers a positive correlation between the intervention* and changes in attitudes. Work is continuing with a 3rd survey in 2013/14.