Virtual March to Fight Rabies Stands 100,000 Dogs Strong

PetMD Editorial
Published: January 17, 2012
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In one week, on January 24, approximately 100,000 virtual dogs will “march” across the Internet to deliver their message of using collars, not cruelty, in the fight against rabies.

"Every year, nearly 20 million dogs are needlessly and cruelly killed in misguided attempts to control rabies," said Ray Mitchell, International Campaign Director at the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). "Through this virtual dog march, we want to tell governments and people around the world that it doesn’t have to be this way – through mass vaccination, they can humanely and effectively tackle the disease."

Animal welfare advocates from around the world can visit the WSPA’s "Collars Not Cruelty" campaign site to virtually name and "collar" an animal to participate in the march.

The WSPA recently carried out a mass vaccination project in Bangladesh. Nearly 70 percent of the dog population there was immunized. Once immunized, the dog is given a red collar to show that it has been vaccinated.

There was another project held in Bali where the WSPA vaccinated 210,000 dogs within a six month period, resulting in a dramatic decrease of rabies cases.

"Collar a dog, spread the word, help save a life. It’s as simple as that," said Ricky Gervais, comedian and WSPA celebrity ambassador.

"The fact that millions of dogs are being killed every year in failed attempts to fight rabies is horrifying," added Victoria Stillwell, another celebrity ambassador. "It's vital that everyone in the animal welfare community come together and take action on this important issue – please sign up for WSPA's virtual dog march, today, and help deliver the message of 'Collars Not Cruelty' to governments and people around the world!"

WSPA happily invites media, companies, organizations and members of the general public to co-host the virtual dog march on January 24. If you are interested in posting a dog march banner ad to your site for the day, please contact WSPA's U.S. Communications Manager, Laura Flannery, at

Image: Joe Gough / via Shutterstock