Shelter dogs say: “Winter, come try me”!

donate blanketOutside it is getting colder, but the Chobar Animal Shelter is heating up. The secret behind are those blankets and quilts that has are pouring in this season from our well-wishers.

Stray dog often suffer from hair loss and malnutrition and on top of that lack a home and a cosy shelter. Thus Winter tends to be very difficult for them.  But with a little bit of effort and kindness we can save a dog this winter.  More

Children raise funds to help stray dogs

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Animal Nepal is delighted to get support from Help Save Street Dogs, an initiative by 9 year old Michelle and her friends. The children have been feeding stray dogs since many years. Last year they started selling selling handicrafts for sick and injured strays. The income, close to Rs 8000, was handed over to Animal Nepal.

Michelle was inspired by her love for her dog, Luna. Her friends Hennie, Maren, Medha, Kioni, Hridyendra, Christoph, Ayushma, Carmen, Claire, Ellie and Ivan joined efforts to increase sells and raise funds. They opened memberships to HSSD for which members had to pay a monthly fee. Some class kids sold mini books with stories they wrote and illustrated; notepads which they cut, decorated and stapled together and sold.

Well done, HSSD members, and a big THANK YOU for supporting the suffering dogs at our shelter!

Animal Nepal and HART conduct CNVR camp in Badikhel and Godavari

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Badikhel/Godavari, November 23, 2012 – 118 dogs ‘fixed’; 5 sick dogs rescued; many more treated: hundreds of pet owners and community members educated. Those were among the outcomes of a Catch Neuter Vaccinate Release and Monitor (CNVR-M) camp organised by Animal Nepal, in cooperation of Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust (HART), in Badikhel and Godavari.

Badikhel and Godavari, like most other settlements in Nepal, suffer from an overpopulation of dogs. Local canines tend to suffer from skin problems and traffic injuries, while people often have a fear of rabies.

The staff of the two organisations worked very hard to improve the conditions of both dogs and people in the villages. The team was supported by UK veterinarians Dr Russell Lyon and Frances Coles and a number of Nepalese volunteer paravets and vet students.

Animal Nepal and HART sterilized and vaccinated 94 females and neutered 24 males. Among these were 2 pet dogs.

The surgery was conducted in four tents which were put up in the compound of Animal Nepal’s Donkey Sanctuary. The donkeys certainly did not mind having many dogs and people around!

Animal Nepal would like to thanks its donors Brigitte Bardot Foundation, Mayhew International and Humane Society International as well as HART team, the volunteers and everyone else who contributed to the success of the camp.

The full report can be read here.

Walk for Nepal, also for its animals!

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During this year’s Walk for Nepal, organised in Dallas on October 20, 2012, some participants will walk for needy animals back home. The organisers of this annual event are ‘Nepal ko Yuwa’, a global Nepali youth movement. The Walk for Nepal (“WfN”) campaign was initiated in 2011 to bring people together and support one great cause – Peace for Nepal.

The Dallas team members suggested to include animals in this year’s walk. “No matter how advanced the country is or literate the people are, animal abuse still exists.  Animals deserve to live a life free of torture and abuse just like humans,” they say.

We want to thank Nepal ko Yuwa for this wonderful initiative and request all NRNs out there: walk for Nepal, both for humans and animals!

Mission (im)possible

“Our children are much less scared of dogs.”
“It is such a relief not to have all these puppies walking on the streets!”
“Please help the dogs to get rid of their skin problems!”
“Can I get my dog spayed too?”

These are some of the comments we got from local communities after we introduced our pilot Animal Birth Control/Anti Rabies (ABC/AR) programme. We called the programme ‘Patan Rescue” because it felt like a rescue mission. With over 35,000 stray dogs in the urban areas of Kathmandu Valley alone, and the majority of them suffering from malnutrition and disease such as skin problems, open sores, tumours, birthing complications and –last but not least- much feared rabies, our mission to create a smaller, healthier dog population seemed Mission Impossible.

With the help of a grant from HSI US and a matching grant from HSI Australia, we felt secure enough to take the first important steps: building a rehabilitation center, training our vets in spaying techniques and buy an ambulance. The local forest committee of Chobar, a beautiful historical village build on a hill on the outskirts of Kathmandu Valley, provided us with a plot of land. An architect friend designed an office building with operation theatre made entirely from renewable materials: unfired mud bricks, to be covered with cow dung.

Training our staff was a tough one, as virtually no vet in Nepal knows how to conduct the preferred sterilisation method, flank spaying. We were helped by the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Center (KAT) whose vets were trained by Help in Suffering India.

Our happiness knew no bounds when a grant from 30 Million d’Amis (France) enabled us to buy a Maruti Gypsy car, acting as Kathmandu’s first animal ambulance.

Even before the center was completed sick and injured dogs were dropped at our premises. Among the first residents was Toffee, a blind Labrador, abandoned by his owner. He was a handful in the beginning but once Toffee understood the parameters he became a very affectionate dog. A few months later Toffee was adopted by Volunteer Director Pramada Shah and travels with her wherever she goes. He regularly visits our office and his old home at the Chobar shelter!

Another early patient was Marky. Terrible malnourished, Marky suffered from rickets and a bone disorder. His condition is a painful one and apart from providing with nutritious food there was little we could do to ease his discomfort. Marky became close friends with Dutch volunteer Aicha Boele, who decided to take him to Holland. There he will receive physiotherapy and specialised care to ease his discomfort.

Yet another suffering creature staying at Chobar was Namuma, a hairless, extremely weak puppy. Namuna turned out to be a great character who loved to be cuddled but at the same time proved to be a good guard dog. When his hair grew back Namuna developed a shiny black coat with dots on his belly. An elderly lady adopted him; he now guards a large compound while keeping his ‘mummy’ company.

On October 17 we celebrated Kukur Tihar, or national dog worship day, by officially opening the Chobar Animal Sanctuary. In the next two months time 35 dogs were treated and rehabilitated. On December 28 our vets Surendra and Sudeep spayed and vaccinated the first batch of stray dogs. On April 13 we spayed and vaccinated Putali, a lovely black dog from Taudaha village, the 100th dog.

By now we feel confident that we can make a lasting change in the situation of stray dogs in Kathmandu Valley. We have launched a 2-year programme called “Kathmandu Rescue” in which we hope to treat and/or spay and vaccinate 1250 dogs. We also hope to educate and work closely together with the different communities from where the dogs are taken. The two municipalities involved will gradually increase its involvement by providing staff and finances. We will teach children in local schools about animal welfare and encourage them to be involved.

Making a lasting difference means we need to prepare the next generation. They need to develop a different relationship with stray dogs. Not one based on fear, but based on trust, love and care. We are set to make it happen!

Lucia de Vries
Volunteer Director Animal Nepal