ISLAMABAD-Chief Commissioner Islamabad and Chairman CDA Captain (Retd) Muhammad Usman will inaugurate first ever government-owned Stray Dog Population Control Centre in Islamabad on Wednesday.

The dog centre to house 500 dogs at a time has been established by the Directorate of Sanitation CDA, which is located in the area of Tarlai on Park Road opposite to the Pak Turk Maarif International School on war footings after getting strict directions by the office of the Federal Ombudsman.

The Federal Ombudsman Secretariat in the first week of August came down hard on civic agencies for failing to devise a policy on stray dogs and not setting up a shelter and vaccination centre as residential sectors, public parks and markets have seen growing numbers of stray dogs.

Later, the responsibility to arrange the logistics in this regard was assigned to the Director General Civic Management Shah Jahan Khan, who pursued the project actively and ensured its timely completion.

Not only the centre but two vehicles each for rural and urban areas of the city have also been arranged. Each vehicle will have four trained personnel including a driver and three dog catchers.

The Stray Dog Population Control Centre will also have a veterinary doctor and seven trained helpers to take care of the stray dogs.

In the past, the CDA/MCI used to kill stray dogs but the Islamabad High Court stopped them from shooting and poisoning them with the direction to devise a policy to neutralise such dogs.

As a first step, now the stray dogs would be caught by the teams and they will be transported to Stray Dog Population Control Centre instead of killing them on site, where they will be neutralised through vaccination.

“The stray dogs will lose the ability to breed once vaccinated,” an official informed, adding that the dogs will live their natural life and die their natural death.

The centre will help in prevention of unnecessary pain and sufferings of stray dogs while it will also help to reduce incidents of dog bites and rabies cases. The centre will create awareness towards responsible dog ownership in the city.  

Officials said that there are hundreds of complaints from citizens about stray dogs in their respective areas, which they filed through Pakistan Citizen Portal, but the same were left unattended as the court had barred the city managers from killing the dogs and on the other side they didn’t have an alternate arrangement.

According to municipal by-laws, residents are not allowed to keep dogs without the consent of their neighbours and valid licence issued by the municipal administration. However, in violation of rules and regulations, hundreds of people keep dogs as pets without following proper procedure. At present, only few people hold valid licences.

An MCI official said a licence was only issued after getting statements of two neighbours and checking the dogs’ vaccinations. However, the municipal administration has failed in implementing the by-laws.