For the first time, several departments have jointly started a project of sterilization of stray dogs, which would not only protect people’s lives but would also control the population of the dogs wandering in the city. The Peshawar district administration, the livestock department, Water and Sanitation Services Peshawar (WSSP) and Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) are jointly working on the project. Talking to Daily Times, Deputy Commissioner Peshawar Muhammad Ali Asghar told Daily Times that the fund for the project has been released by the district administration. “The idea of the project emerged during my talks with the livestock department officials and we decided that instead of the previous practice of shooting dogs, we should give them a humane treatment,” the official added. The idea behind the project is that such a treatment will not only ensure the lives of dogs but would also protect human lives. He said that deliberations on the project had started in September. Livestock Department director DrMasoomAli said that sterilisation of the animal would save human lives and also it is cost-effective solution for the health department since the rabies vaccines are very expensive. He added that if all the dogs in the area are sterilised and tagged, then nobody will need to buy the anti-rabies vaccines. “A stray dog is captured by the trained teams of WSSP and PDA and then intoxicated. The animal is later shifted to the veterinary hospital in Peshawar city where we perform sterilisation surgery on it,” he said. Dr Masoom said the dogs are also vaccinated against rabies and kept in the hospital premises for a few days till they are healthy enough to be let loose. “The rabid dogs are, however, killed. There have been 13 surgeries on stray dogs so far, but we have not captured any rabid dog until now,” he added. Officials estimate that there are around 7000 stray dogs across the provincial capital and the project would ensure that the stray dogs do not threaten people with rabies. Any person, after bitten by a rabid dog, must be administered a fast-acting shot (rabies immune globulin) to stop the virus from leading to an infection. Otherwise, an infected person may die in case the signs and symptoms of rabies appear in someone.