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Bhutan PM urges all citizens to adopt stray dogs & plant a tree as King’s birthday gift

To tackle the menace of stray dogs, Bhutan’s Prime Minister Lotay Tshering on Friday has asked people to adopt a stray dog as a gift for the King’s birthday. The King will turn 40 years old this year. For it, he has urged people to give him a gift by either planting a tree, adopting a stray dog or committing to managing waste in your neighborhood.

“At an individual level, Prime Minister said one can choose to plant a tree and care for it, adopt a stray dog or commit to managing waste in your neighborhood. Personal commitment such as this, he said, would be the best gift for His Majesty. He also announced several programs in the areas of economy, education, health, and technology. The programs will be launched over the period of one year,” Bhutan’s PMO stated in the press release.

Stray dogs in Bhutan

The Bhutan government has been taking a number of measures to reduce birth of free-roaming dogs and encourage adoption of stray dogs. In July last year, it launched a project called Bhutan’s National Dog Population Management Strategy.   tTshering had earlier said that the growing dog population has created serious problems in the country. A number of steps has been taken to tackle it through community-based initiatives, the PM had said. Bhutan also has two mobile applications – mass dog vaccination and dog population management – that helps officials working in the field to monitor the team and have access to information like the number of neutered dogs.

Informing about the recent development, a Bhutan based journalist Namgay Zam said that she has already adopted 3 stray dogs and urged others to do so. The small Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan is focussed towards happiness of the citizens, and  9th article of its constitution cites it as a goal.  In the last census carried out in 2015  by the Ministry of happiness, 35% of the population answered ’extremely happy’, 47.9% said they felt ’moderately happy’, and only 8.8% of respondents said they were ’unhappy’.



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