WELFARE OF DOGS KEPT IN THE HOMES AROUND UTHIRU IN KIKUYU DISTRICT, KIAMBU COUNTY.

ABSTRACT

Animal welfare is the well-being of animals. It is the ability of an animal to interact comfortably with its environment through its physiological, psychological and behavioral systems.

Many households in Kenya own dogs for different purposes but mainly for security/guarding owing to the rising cases of insecurity. However, the dogs kept in many homes have their welfare violated.

The objective of this study was: 1. to determine the state of welfare of the dogs kept in the homes around Uthiru based on the five freedoms, 2. to observe indicators of poor welfare that is easily seen on dogs in the homesteads around Uthiru. This was achieved through administering structured questionnaires in a cross-sectional study of fifty homes around Uthiru area of Kiambu County. The questions in the questionnaire required information of the five welfare freedoms. The investigator administered the questionnaire as the interviewer and the dog owners were the interviewees as respondents.

Over 50% of the respondents violated the dogs’ welfare through various ways. The violations observed included: provision of poor quality foods, poorly designed and uncomfortable housing facilities, confinement for long periods of time and lack of medical intervention in case of disease conditions.

The study concludes that issues of animal welfare touching on dogs have either been ignored, or totally or neglected due to lack of adequate laws to protect them or convict those who violate them.

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