App developed to improve stray dog care

A team of vets have developed a smart phone app to improve care for the millions of stray dogs around the world.

Created at the University of Edinburgh, the app has been trialled in Asia and Africa with clinics monitoring dogs brought in for treatment.

Researchers say there are around 200 million street dogs across the world with many put through so-called "catch-neuter-return", a common public health strategy in countries with high numbers of strays.

During the process, stray dogs are taken in by local animal clinics and sterilised before being released but vets believe the welfare of individual dogs can be overlooked during capture, transport or surgery.

The new app will support staff to monitor welfare, spot signs of distress and develop strategies to improve care.

Project leader Heather Bacon of the University of Edinburgh's Royal School of Veterinary Studies said: "Humane street dog management is key to both animal and human health.

"However, in any situation involving capture, transport and surgery, there is the potential for welfare problems to arise.

"This innovative app will support handlers to recognise potential problems and improve care."

The app will be launched on Friday at the British Small Animal Veterinary Association Annual Congress in Birmingham and is based on research funded by the Dogs Trust.

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