I read this article at CNN, and it ticks me off. I know it was chosen because it will tick off dog lovers everywhere. Still, I want to take a moment on my personal megaphone – my blog – to explain exactly why spay and neuter programs are vastly superior to brutal cullings of this nature.
If you kill a dog, you make the resources that dog would have consumed available to other dogs who were smart enough not to get killed by the guys with shotguns and tainted meat.
So, what’s going to happen, is dogs that are fearful of people in extreme will survive, and consume the resources left behind by the dogs that were killed. Those dogs will breed, and raise larger and larger groups of fearful dogs.
Fearful dogs are more likely to attack humans. Fearful dogs are *way* more dangerous than a dog that would run up to take a handout from a friendly-seeming human, while that human is hanging around and watching.
Dogs get real big in about a year and a half. Give this program five or six years, and the dogs will be meaner, scarier, and harder to catch.
Spay and neuter programs work because the dog population, initially, does not stop consuming the resources of the area. Dogs are forced out of hiding, searching for resources where the dog can be caught, spayed and released again, creating a cycle that solves the problem. Three or four years later, the dog population will reduce dramatically on its own as dogs stop breeding, but do not stop consuming the resources that would otherwise be used to create more dogs. In fact, they are more likely to leave human communities in search of food, because the sterile dogs have too strong a hold on the resources of the city.
Running around with a shotgun and blasting the shit out of animals is not only horrifically cruel, it will encourage a system that will lead to an increase in the problem, and an increase in the fear that people will have for dogs.
The best solution is the mobile spay and neuter teams. The resources that dogs survive on don’t go away if you kill the dog.