A scientific project to determine the sustainability, effectiveness and efficiency of stray dog population management methods


Stray dog overpopulation is a global problem that is of public health, animal welfare and environmental concern. FOUR PAWS has been involved in the humane management of stray dog populations for more than 25 years, using Catch-Neuter-Vaccinate-Release (CNVR) to manage stray dog populations. We use this method to humanely reduce the number of dogs while at the same time improving their welfare.

FOUR PAWS vets work with communities across Eastern Europe using stationary and mobile clinics to neuter dogs. FOUR PAWS also supports programs in Germany and Switzerland that help control stray cat colonies through education and awareness campaigns, and by providing support for local veterinary neutering efforts.


In over 25 years, we've treated more than 500,000 dogs and cats!

Apart from CNVR, other methods to reduce the stray dog population size include the long-term sheltering and mass culling of dogs. However, these methods do not offer a sustainable solution to stray dog overpopulation, as the removal of stray dogs from the streets creates a temporary vacuum in the population that is quickly filled in by other individuals, either through birth or immigration from neighboring areas. Moreover, these methods pose serious animal welfare issues and are therefore to be avoided.

To determine the sustainability, effectiveness and efficiency of the dog population management methods mentioned above, FOUR PAWS is currently collaborating with the University of Leeds, UK and IZSAM (Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise 'Giuseppe Caporale'), Italy on the STRAYS project.

The STRAYS Project is structured as an academic PhD research and involves collecting data on dog populations from two study sites (Lviv, Ukraine and Teramo, Italy) and on public attitudes towards stray dogs using online surveys. Stray dog population size, financial costs, welfare impact on the dog population and impact on public health are some of the factors this study considers when comparing different dog population management methods. Data from repeated dog counts and from public attitude surveys has been collected since April 2018 and is now being analyzed. This will allow us to predict which dog population management method is more effective at reducing the number of stray dogs over time while at the same time improving their welfare and reducing the risk to public health.

If you would like to find out more about the project, you can read more here:

Help for Stray Animals

Worldwide projects to help stray dogs and cats 

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