My Week: David Newall learns about Indian-style dog control

The international director of Dogs Trust recounts his week

David Newall
David Newall

Monday: I spend the morning in email conversation with a dog sanctuary in Bucharest, Romania.The government there has taken a tough stance on the stray dog population and wants to shoot or poison them. The sanctuary owners are taking their plea for alternative methods of dog control to the People's Palace, so I am offering them advice. I then set off for Heathrow to catch a plane to India.

Tuesday: I arrive in Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) at 5am. India is such an intoxicating country and it seems like the billion-plus population are all on the move at once, on the road and in those omnipresent, exhaust-belching, people-moving machines. I hesitate to say 'buses'. I finally find a signal on my iPhone and receive great news via email: Dogs Trust Malta has successfully registered its 2,000th dog for neutering. This is a great achievement, considering the reluctance of the Maltese to neuter.

Thursday: After a seven-hour journey of overtaking, undertaking, cows and rickshaws, I arrive in Ootacamund. I meet a training colleague who is responsible for promoting and teaching all aspects of animal birth control and rabies control programmes. It is a momentous day as I get to see the inaugural training course take place, with five vets and seven assistants in attendance. Dogs Trust's international work usually takes place in Europe, so I'm grateful for this opportunity to support local organisations further afield.

Friday: This morning a cardboard box of one-week old puppies arrives at the clinic shelter after their mother was killed by a leopard. This is not something that we have to deal with much in west London, but the team here gets straight to work. Then, before I know it, my visit is over. Even with limited time on the ground, I got to sample some culinary delights. And I was surrounded everywhere we went by the Cricket World Cup, seemingly televised to all of the country's inhabitants. No complaints, though - I love the sound of leather on willow.

The Dogs Trust is the largest dog welfare charity in the UK

- David Newall is international director of Dogs Trust

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