The stray dog project (and my PhD!) officially began on the 23rd of January. The beginning of this week marked my four-month anniversary - and what an exciting time it has been so far! Since beginning, I have settled into life in Leeds, attended animal welfare conferences in Birmingham and Brussels, become familiar with the literature around dog population management (after searching through the 3000 articles which resulted from a systematic review!) and I'm planning my first field trip to Bulgaria.
This project is funded by Four Paws International and I will soon be joining their stray animal care team at their clinic in Sofia, Bulgaria. During this field trip I will be carrying out a pilot study collecting data on dog population demographics and public attitude towards stray dogs. Having never travelled to this part of the world before, I'm excited for the field trip and also, to see what data I collect while I am there. However, before I set off for Bulgaria, I will be travelling next week to Italy to train with our collaborating institution the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise (IZSAM) in the beautiful location of Pineto!