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BBMP mulls crowdsourced stray dog census in Bengaluru

The exercise will be instrumental for executing neutering/spaying, vaccination and deworming of stray dogs.

Published: 24th June 2019 06:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th June 2019 06:30 AM   |  A+A-

The Android app will help train animal lovers document strays

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The animal husbandry department of the civic agency in the city is proposing a census of stray dogs to be done through public participation in various areas. The department has sent a proposal to Manjunath Prasad, the commissioner of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), over the crowdsourced census, which was put forth by Wagg Veterinary Technology, a startup. BBMP had planned to conduct the census post-Lok Sabha elections and is mulling over different ways to do it. 

“We sent the proposal last week. During any census, the dogs often wander to another location, which may lead to miscounting or double counting,” Shashikumar S, deputy director, animal husbandry department, said. “One of the challenges is lack of sufficient manpower. This method proposes to engage three or more animal lovers who are also familiar with dogs in their area,” he added. 

The startup has proposed a tech-driven census, which uses their mobile application. The aim is to get the existing number of dogs at the ward, zone and road level, so as to ascertain neutering needs in order to control the birth rate, said Anish Ratnam, co-founder of the startup. 

“The idea is to train animal lovers at the ward level. They will document strays using the Android app, including photos and location. It will categorise the dog into lactating mothers, neutered and non-neutered dogs,” he said. 

“A graphic visualisation of dogs will help BBMP define the target neutering rate. An algorithm will project the growth rate,” Ratnam said, adding, “Post the census, the app will be made available to public for them to document any stray dogs that we may have missed.” The image recognition technology will prevent double counting. 

If the proposal is approved, BBMP will go through the regular tender process. The exercise will be instrumental for executing neutering/spaying, vaccination and deworming of stray dogs.

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