Stray Animals:Three Articles Promoting a Solution

by Julia G. on April 2, 2017 - 1:32pm

         The epidemic of rabies is the negative result caused by dogs that have been abandoned and neglected by careless owners. The newspaper article, "I Want to Kill These Dogs: Question of Whether to Cull Strays Divides Yangon" written by Poppy McPherson and published to The Guardian on January 19, 2017 addresses the concerns of the community in regards to the dangerous stray dogs.

            The overwhelming amount of dogs that are infected with rabies is alarming to the public as they are prone to become aggressive and attack human beings. Particularly in developing countries such as Myanmar, there have been several dog attacks every week. An 18-month-old child was surrounded and attacked by a pack of dogs. The child required immediate care and was injected with an anti-rabies vaccine in order to prevent infection. According to a doctor who could not be named in the news article claimed that, "they see between two and five cases per week" (McPherson). In Myanmar, there are approximately 1000 deaths per year caused by rabies and it has become a serious issue.

            Human beings are not the only ones suffering from injuries, as there is an overpopulation of stray dogs in Myanmar that have been abused and abandoned. Many of them have no ears, are partially blind, and suffer with every step they take as they have dislocated or paralyzed limbs.  They are in very poor condition as McPherson mentions, "some are scrawny creatures, rib cages pressing against flea-bitten skin, tumours flapping as they nose through rubbish carts." There is a lack of agreement in the community in regards to helping these strays, as there are those who consider these dogs to be dangerous and do not see the bigger picture as to how they became this way or how to assist in solving the issue.

            Many people in the community want to take drastic measures in dealing with the issue of the stray animals, as they have become a burden. At night, these dogs begin to howl, and they make it unsafe for humans to wander. Some dogs are not only violent with human beings but with their belongings. For instance, a pack of dogs damaged the car of one individual as they kept jumping on his car and as a result destroyed his windshield wipers.  The resolution to the troubles they cause is mass slaughtering. This way, the amount of stray and dangerous animals will be reduced. However, there are people in the population who are opposed to such methods, as they believe in the rights of the animals. The global nonprofit Humane Society International and Soi Dog Foundation are assisting the capital of Yangon with the implementation of a new project to protect the animals. This project consists of the focus on spaying and neutering these dogs, and vaccinating them to prevent them from being infected with rabies. Rahul Sehgal, the Asia director of Humane Society International, supports the "spay-neuter-release" method rather than the violent culling approach. This way, the stray animals will be captured, sterilized, and vaccinated.  The effect of this method involves the acknowledgment of how dogs socially interact with their environment. Since these dogs will be healthy, it will cause other stray and harmful dogs not to migrate into their environment. This way, the stray dog population can be reduced and healthy.

            Furthermore, I intend to write a research paper that addresses the issue of stray animals that have been abused, neglected, and become infected by disease. The research question that my paper will answer is; what approaches to supporting abandoned and neglected animals have proven to be most effective?

            The first academic journal article I plan to consider is "Why Family Professionals can no Longer Ignore Violence Toward Animals" written by Clifton P. Flynn. The academic discipline researched in this article is psychology. It focuses on the behavior of human beings and the reasoning behind their actions. The particular subject researched is animal abuse. This article will prove to be useful as it explains the mentality behind conduct disorders in individuals who abuse of animals and neglect them. The focus in this case will be placed on the root causes of stray animals. The solution will be specific to preventing pets from being abandoned and wounded on the street, and to become infected with rabies as demonstrated in the newspaper article previously discussed. There is an overpopulation of dogs in developing countries that are victims of abuse, and are infected with rabies. They are considered a danger to the population, and most people fail to acknowledge the reason behind why they are strays. Thus, the focus on psychology in this journal article will be preventative in the manner of finding a solution based on the root cause, which is the pet owners' mindset and behavior.

            The second academic journal article I plan to consider is "Chinese Animal Protection Laws and the Globalisation of Welfare Norms" written by Yangzi Sima and Siobhan O'Sullivan. The academic discipline researched in this article is law. It focuses on animal rights and the regulations imposed on the population in China. Animals are treated as equals, and the regulations set in place denote that these animals cannot be mistreated. This benefits animals as less of them will become victims of abuse. Referring back to the newspaper article discussed previously, the animal rights advocates would fully support these laws, as they were opposed to mass culling. Therefore, the focus on law will reduce the amount of dogs being abandoned and abused. It will protect them from violent methods being used as a solution to decrease the population of strays, as there are other ways that will result in the same outcome.

            The third academic journal article I plan to consider is "Lyssaviruses" written by Louis H. Nel and Wanda Markotter. The academic discipline researched in this article is biology. It focuses on the diseases that many stray animals carry. One in particular is rabies. As discussed in the newspaper article about the overpopulation of dogs that are a threat to the community because of their infectious disease, the authors want to find a solution to the amount of strays that are infected. The research of biology is useful as there can be more treatments for the diseases that stray animals carry. The authors claim that killing stray dogs does not serve as a solution to control rabies. Instead of violent methods, there must be vaccination programs in order to control rabies as well as the overpopulation of abandoned animals. This way, the long-term solution to the issue of abandoned animals is to control the diseases they carry.

Works Cited

Flynn, Clifton P. "Why Family Professionals can no Longer Ignore Violence Toward Animals." Family Relations, vol. 49, no. 1, 2000, pp. 87-95. Research Library,

Nel, Louis H., and Wanda Markotter. "Lyssaviruses." Critical Reviews in Microbiology, vol. 33, no. 4, 2007, pp. 301-24. SciTech Premium Collection,

Sima, Yangzi, and Siobhan O'Sullivan. "Chinese Animal Protection Laws and the Globalisation of Welfare Norms." International Journal of Law in Context, vol. 12, no. 1, 2016, pp. 1-23. Research Library, doi:

About the author

I am a Criminology student from Montreal. I love animals, music, and reading...especially when it involves sitting on the beach.