‘Wild dogs cry out in the night,’ reminding me of our rabies project

By Armando Hoet
Associate Professor and Director of Ohio State’s Veterinary Public Health Program

Gondar, Ethiopia, Days 4 and 5

The last two days have been very intense and busy days trying to finish the program on time. Yesterday was especially interesting as I observed many “aha!!” moments for several of the participants. They have been working really hard the last two days:

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At the end, the training course was a success and they were really appreciative on the material and the course as a whole. And of course we all were smiles.


There was a celebration on Thursday night to provide the certificates which were handled by the Dean of the Veterinary School and the vice-president of research, and of course more Ethiopian handshakes and hugs!!


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I bless the rains down in Africa … (if you do not recognize the quote, you are not a Toto fan!). It rained very hard yesterday, including with some small hail.

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Even though is great for the farmers, I could not avoid feeling sorry for the people in the streets wondering where to go in such weather (remember most people walk from point A to B).  It was really cold and even some sections of the street disappeared.


I heard “The wild dogs cry out in the night”… (Yes, another Toto quote: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTQbiNvZqaY.) Between a late World Cup game between Brazil and Croatia and a dog fight on the street at 1:00 a.m. that lasted 2 hours (a lot of barking and  howling), there was very little time to sleep.

There is a major problem of feral dogs in Gondar, which associated with the circulation of rabies is a big issue.


It is estimated that 8,000-10,000 people die per year in Ethiopia of dog-associated rabies. This is one of the main reasons that Ohio State is leading the One Health program in Ethiopia, trying to curb such preventable deaths.

Yesterday two of our veterinary students arrived, Allie and Alexandra.


They are in charge of a major project to determine the density of feral dogs in Gondar. They are also going to be involved in several spay-and-neuter clinics in the next four weeks.

From the first Capital of Ethiopia.


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