How To Start?

Create a group of caretakers and others. Agree on a strategy to manage your community dogs, following the steps.

Create your local community dog management group
Feeding and taking care of stray dogs is often divided over different people who do not always inform each other. Some dogs are getting well fed, others get neglected. And how do you know if a community dog has been vaccinated against rabies?

It is helpful to coordinate with others.

How to initiate a group?

Create a chat group – If you know anyone in your colony who is feeding and taking care of one or more dogs, ask them to join your group on Whatsapp (or Telegram or Signal) for easy coordination and communication. The guards, shop keepers, presswalla or chaiwalla in your colony can probably help you to identify feeders in your colony.

Invite an RWA executive – Meet with one or more executive members of your Residents’ Welfare Association. Explain why you took this initiative and invite them to be part of your informal group so that they can see the efforts you are making. Later on – if desired – the informal group can be formalised as an official RWA Animal Welfare Committee.

Keep focus on your own locality – Agree that your chat group will focus on managing strays residing in your colony only – your own community dog population. It is not meant for adoptions and rescues of animals outside of your colony. Although this is also important, there are many other groups on social media for that purpose.

Moderation by the Stray Buddy team – Get in touch with us if you would like your group to be moderated by one of our team members. A neutral facilitator can be a huge benefit for bridging the gap between residents’ and animal welfare interests. The facilitator can also guide you on the implementation of the five steps and lead you to the tools.

Strategize, plan & formalise

Agree on a strategy

Discuss how human-canine conflicts are two sides of the same coin: the human-side and the dog-side. A balanced approach requires genuine efforts to find solutions addressing both sides.

Stray Buddy’s stepwise approach gives practical guidance how to do this.

Get your strategy adopted by your RWA in an annual general members meeting, if possible. Or simply start working on positive actions with your group members.

Download a template for your strategic plan, which you can customise.

Make an activity plan

Brainstorm with your group/committee members (on video call if not in person) to agree which step has highest priority in your colony to start with. Make an activity plan and budget estimate for the next 3-6 months.

The FIRST activity for every group should be to identify ALL strays residing in your area and their caregivers and make a complete list. See STEP 1 how to do this.

See Resources for an activity plan template and tools to create dog records in a fun and interactive way.

Formalise the group

Every Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA) needs to establish an Animal Welfare Committee according to the Delhi High Court. If this is not yet done, request your RWA to constitute the committee, and nominate members of your group.

If your RWA is not cooperative, you could carry out the activities of your group in collaboration with one of the animal welfare NGOs in your city instead. Or get in touch with the Animal Welfare Board of India.

See Resources for a consent form template to nominate committee members.