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Gross National Happiness in Promoting the Well-being of Bhutan’s Street Dogs

Friday, November 2nd 2018
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Event Description

Dr. Marion C. Willetts, Associate Professor of Sociology, and Dr. Frank D. Beck, Director, Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development and Associate Professor of Sociology, will present a talk entitled, “Gross National Happiness in Promoting the Well-being of Bhutan’s Street Dogs” at the University Club at 4:30 p.m. Friday Nov. 2 in the Circus Room in the Bone Student Center.   Hundreds of millions of dogs roam freely throughout the world and are most visible in the urban centers of low-income countries. In attempts to mitigate the growing populations of these “street dogs,” local governments engage in “culling” programs, which include methods such as shooting, poisoning, and paying local residents to kill dogs using any means they wish. The Kingdom of Bhutan is unique, however, in that it is the first country in the world to develop and implement a nationwide Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Release (TNVR) program to reduce the population of free-roaming dogs. We explore what makes Bhutan unique in its efforts to control its free-roaming dog population and how successful are these efforts through in-depth interviews with the founders/representatives of animal shelters/sanctuaries in Bhutan. Preliminary results suggest that Bhutan’s unique development policy of gross national happiness is a primary factor in protecting the welfare of Bhutan’s street dogs.

All faculty, staff, annuitants and guests are welcome to join us at the University Club from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday Nov 2 in the Circus Room in the Bone Student Center. You need not be a University Club member to attend.  Additional information about U-Club events and activities can be found at our website, http://uclub.illinoisstate.edu/. Continued program support is provided by the Office of the ISU Provost and President. In addition, snacks and liquid refreshments are available at each meeting.

If you will need special accommodations, please contact the event organizer.


University Club
(309) 438-7933


Bone Student Center
200 N. University Street
Normal, IL
Founders Suite
(309) 438-4636