Addis Ababa inks s/n pact
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2008:
(Actual publication date 11-5-08.)
ADDIS ABABA Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, home to three million people and as many as 750,000 dogs, on November 4, 2008 agreed to cooperate with the Amsale Gessesse Memorial Foundation, Best Friends Animal Society, and Humane Society International to control the dog population through sterilization instead of poisoning.
The project is to begin on March 1, 2009. The pact was reached after more than a year of negotiation involving half a dozen Ethiopian government agencies, Best Friends cofounder Gregory Castle and rapid response team manager Rich Crook, DVM, and Anteneh Roba, an Ethiopian-born Houston physician who founded the Amsale Gessesse Memorial Foundation to honor his deceased mother and enlisted Best Friends involvement.
Addis Ababa will provide vets, vet techs, and city workers to catch the dogs, along with office equipment and some of the medical supplies, reported Sharon St. Joan for the Best Friends Network. Best Friends will be responsible for operational integrity and budget oversight. HSI will train the veterinarians, the vet techs, and the dog catchers.
ANIMAL PEOPLE transmitted statistics and how-to information to Roba at his urgent request just before he and Crook met with the Addis Ababa officials on October 31 to negotiate the agreement that was finalized four days later.
This helped me so much, Roba wrote. I made a PowerPoint presentation that was extremely well received. They were not talking about if the program can be implemented, but when. They want us to start yesterday.
The discussion began after Addis Ababa officials in September 2007 proposed poisoning to control the dog population, meeting vigorous opposition from the Homeless Animals Protection Society and some local news media.
HAPS, whose founders salaries ANIMAL PEOPLE has paid since 2004, demonstrated dog and cat sterilization for several years in Addis Ababa, but the HAPS clinic closed in September 2008 after HAPS lease on the land expired. As of mid-October, HAPS president Efrem Legese said, he had not found a new location. The clinic equipment, he said, was stored with some of his relatives.