FOUR PAWS has completed its first pilot program for an ongoing spay/neuter and vaccination program to help homeless and free-roaming dogs and cats in Borneo. This program has had terrific results, improving animal health and building community support for companion animal welfare. In 2018, a holistic approach to stray animal management will be rolled out and allow FOUR PAWS to continue to improve the welfare of stray animals, wildlife, and people alike in local communities.
Late in 2017, FOUR PAWS collaborated with local Indonesian organizations and veterinarians to complete a massive medical operation in Kalimantan, Borneo, involving spays/neutering and vaccinating 150 animals in just four days. The effects of the program were enormous. Both stray animals and communities were happier and healthier. It was also the first and only program of its kind carried out in Kalimantan that focused on improving stray animal welfare while also protecting endangered wildlife from diseases that can be transmitted by domestic animals.
Often abandoned by humans or born into a life of suffering, homeless dogs and cats are routinely subject to infectious disease, injury, abuse, and starvation. FOUR PAWS spay/neuter programs are a crucial tool to stabilize stray animal populations, reduce their impact on the local environment and wildlife, and improve their care in the community.
In Borneo, FOUR PAWS provides animals with medical care they would have never received otherwise. Veterinarians provide each animal with an overall medical check-up, anti-worming medication, anti-flea treatments, and antibiotics, if needed. If healthy enough for surgery, cats and dogs are spayed or neutered.
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) has been recognized by leading animal welfare organizations as the only humane and cost-effective approach to reduce stray cat and dog populations when performed in a targeted manner. Spay/neuter and vaccination improves the health and welfare of cats and dogs, reduces problematic behaviors such as fighting, vocalizing, and of course reproducing.
In collaboration with the local authorities and government, FOUR PAWS works with many local stakeholders including veterinarians, animal welfare groups, farmers, and individual community members. FOUR PAWS believes in using community-based approaches to bring about sustainable solutions that benefit both animals and the community. Programmatic success depends upon understanding the community’s challenges and wishes in regards to stray animal care.
In addition to providing veterinary care, in 2018 the program will include an education program aimed at improving animal welfare through awareness and compassion. The program hopes to change perceptions regarding stray animals, and improve their overall care by community members for years to come.
Borneo is among the most biologically diverse places on the planet, and home to some of the most marvelous creatures in the world. Sun bears, orangutans, and rare endangered birds including the Bornean ground cuckoo and peacock pheasant all call Borneo home. Stray and free-roaming dogs and cats can conflict with local wildlife populations through resource competition, disease transmission, and predation.
The FOUR PAWS Borneo program helps mitigate these issues by ensuring stray animals are free from disease and unable to reproduce. Spay/neuter has the added benefit of reducing roaming, fighting, and other unwanted territorial behaviors that can pose a threat to wildlife. As a result, stray dogs and cats also become better neighbors with their human counterparts, which improves community acceptance and care.
For wildlife, FOUR PAWS is now concentrating on setting up an independent project in a new forest area with a focus on caring for individual orangutan orphans to give each the best possible chance to survive and prosper following their release into the wild. Learn more about FOUR PAWS work in Borneo