Mayhew Afghanistan today marks reaching an epic milestone having neutered 30,000 dogs in Afghanistan on 25 August 2022.
Mayhew Afghanistan’s dog neutering programme commenced in July 2019 with a strategy of delivering 10,000 neutered dogs per year in the city.
However, first COVID-19 restrictions disrupted plans in 2020 and 2021, followed by the subsequent regime change in the country which resulted in a temporary pause in activity by the 10-strong vet team.
The pioneering team responsible for delivering the programme are all Afghan vets and vet assistants supported by teams of dog catchers and kennel assistants supplied by Kabul Municipality, who have all received training from Mayhew’s team in humane catching, handling and restraint, and pre and post-op care in the kennel block at the clinic.
The dedicated team works six days a week and can average about 60 neutering operations a day. The dogs are caught by the dog-catching team and then transported to the clinic. They are usually operated on the next day following careful veterinary assessment and after spending up to 48 hours in recovery, are then released to the same areas where they were caught, in accordance with industry practice.
Dr Hashimi, Mayhew Afghanistan’s head vet and Animal Birth Control (ABC) clinic manager explains: “This is a massive achievement for all the Mayhew Afghanistan team at the dog population control ABC Clinic in Kabul.
“Despite the challenging circumstances they had to face, the team was able to continue the neutering programme and have now been able to neuter 30,000 dogs over three years, saving both human and animal life.
“We cannot thank Mayhew supporters enough for helping us to enable this to happen.”
Mayhew’s neutering programme comes under an MoU with Kabul Municipality, the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock and Kabul University Vet Faculty and is presently in place until 2024 when programme will be reviewed to see if has achieved its objective of having a managed, healthy population of dogs.
The neutering programme initially covered 16 residential areas of Kabul, but Mayhew Afghanistan has now been approached to extend the programme to six other outlying districts of Kabul which have now become more accessible and more urbanized, which can lead to roaming dogs taking advantage of the resources of food, water and shelter this brings.
The neutering programme runs in parallel with the mass canine vaccination and Community Engagement programmes which Mayhew Afghanistan also delivers across Kabul.
Each year an annual dog population survey is carried out to assess the number of neutered and unneutered dogs on the streets of Kabul and the data then helps to plan the strategy for the next year and the target for the number of dogs to neuter.
As Caroline Yates, head of international projects and relations, Mayhew International, said: “This really is monumental news for Mayhew Afghanistan.
“None of this would have been able to happen without the support of Mayhew’s wonderfully generous donors, including the initial set up and first year funding by Dogs Trust Worldwide and Brigitte Bardot Foundation, who for the last three years, have been our partner on the project, enabling Mayhew Afghanistan to fulfil its objectives.”
She continues, “But it doesn’t end here, our agreement with the Afghan authorities is for five years, so there are just over two more years of the project to run! We hope people will continue to support us and our wonderful team in Kabul as we continue the path of improving animal welfare in Afghanistan.”