Community attitudes and perceptions towards free-roaming dogs in Goa, India

J. Corfmat, A.D. Gibson, Richard Mellanby, Wendy Watson, M Appupillai, G. Yale , L. Gamble, Stella Mazeri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Free-roaming dogs (FRD) represent a large proportion of the canine population in India and are often implicated as a source of conflict with humans. However, objective data on the attitudes and perceptions of local communities towards FRD are lacking. This study collected baseline data from 1141 households in Goa, India, on FRD feeding practices and assessed people’s attitudes towards FRD in urban and rural communities. Additionally, respondents identified problems caused by FRD and proposed potential solutions.
The study reported that 37% of respondents fed FRD with dog owners and Hindus being the most likely to feed. The majority of respondents agreed FRD were a menace (57%), a nuisance (58%) and scary (60%). Most respondents also agreed FRD were a vulnerable population (59%), that belong in communities (66%) and have a right to live on the streets (53%). Barking was the most commonly reported problem associated with FRD and the preferred solution was to impound FRD in shelters. This study reveals the complex and often misunderstood relationship between local communities and FRD and highlights potential strategies to reduce human-dog conflict
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Early online date17 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Jan 2022

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