Campus Voice: Are the Stray Dogs Really an Issue?

On this campus, and in this country as a whole, there are many stray animals.

We have a number of stray dogs on campus as food is often left around. In general these are affectionate and harmless animals, though there have been reports in the past of aggressive strays (I can’t say I’ve heard from anyone who has experienced this though). Even though there is a stigma against stray animals many students enjoy having the dogs on campus as fleeting companions and even give them names.

Yet one night as I was returning to my room I was confronted by an essentially anti-stray display. There were surveys lying on the table, the question being asked was ‘What do we do with the strays?’ the options given were: mass euthanasia, chasing them into the surrounding rain-forest and mass sterilisation. As you can see there’s no real humane position and the ideas this survey brings up are impractical and would have no lasting effects, as new dogs would come to inhabit the campus. It has also been noted that the costs of these procedures would far outweigh the benefits. The people responsible had not thoroughly thought through the reaction that this callous monument would spark in passers-by. I’ve even been told by one student that they thought it was a stunt by the UNMC Psychology Department to gauge the response for research purposes!

In relation to the stray campaign itself, efforts are being poorly focussed. Attacking the strays directly is illogical and a fruitless long-term solution. Instead energy should be placed in a crack-down on food being left out and encouraging students to keep their dustbins inside their rooms at night. By removing the reasons the dogs have for being here we will remove the issue of the dogs themselves. Indeed, that is if homeless canines can be considered a real ‘issue’ in relation to other welfare concerns at this university.
Brinna Barlow

"Zeal without knowledge is fire without light." - Thomas Fuller, 17th century historian

1 Comment

  • November 23, 2012


    Complaining is not a solution to anything. The individuals who truly feel that the stray dogs are a menace should take the initiative to find it re-homed or give it to pet shelters. Personally, I would hate to be involved in an initiative to eradicate all stray dogs from the campus when bringing into consideration the previous incident in 2011, where stray dogs were just shot at point blank range around campus. I would hate to see a dog being killed in front of me and it is not only emotionally unsettling but completely wrong to take away a life at the whims of others! This to me is not only heartless and insensitive but also shows the total lack and respect for another life – be it a human being or animal – at UNMC. Also taking into consideration the fact that it is in fact a country dominated by many Muslims, we have to accommodate their concern as well, but the solution is to initiate more events where we can raise awareness about places that can re-home or temporarily accommodate the dogs. The approach so far has in fact initiated a bigger problem which does not solve anything. I believe that we should work together if we do care about their lives as a team to find these dogs a shelter, if it is such a big issue to the majority of the campus.

    After all a life is a life. Taking away a life when we know that they have not been a menace to us is wrong. After all, we humans have invaded their natural habitat and now expect them to leave. HUMANITY – one word that should bring us all together instead of petty complaints.