The response of local governments to my visit to Calabria was more positive than expected, and 18 mayors and councilors attended our meeting concerning stray dogs, entitled “Decalogue of a virtuous municipality”.
Throughout the talks there was an ongoing debate that on the one hand confirmed to us that the administrators, weary of sending dogs to kennels run by obscure businessmen, are “hungry to find a solution”, but they also highlighted the enormous difficulties involved in dealing with the regional authorities.
After driving 1,094 km up and down the Sila mountains (where so many stray dogs are frequently found poisoned), we left the area secure in the knowledge that we had chosen two very reliable local partners dedicated to the cause and resolved to follow through on agreements that had been established with certain municipalities that have asked for our help, such as San Giovanni in Fiore.
Our objective is to invite one of our trusted veterinarians to regularly visit this area in order to carry out the sterilization of ten privately-owned female dogs every month. We hope that no unexpected obstacles will present themselves because there are many people who are not dog lovers hidden away in every corner of Calabria, but these interventions which we had not originally envisaged should bring the total number of sterilizations in 2021 to over 300.
This will necessitate an additional economical challenge for Save the Dogs, but I am more convinced than ever that these territories are in dire need of our intervention and that only by investing in prevention can things really begin to change here.