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It was a very good end to 2018 with a lot of fond memories. It was even more meaningful when Sampten Gompa, a Buddhist monastery in Darjeeling sitting atop a hill in a very beautiful location called Rimbik, Darjeeling invited Darjeeling Goodwill Animal Shelter for a visit and to conduct spay-neuter programme on 30th December, 2018.

Samten Gompa like any other monastery has been very kind to dogs. They have over the past years also taken care of numerous dogs and helped them live a healthy life by getting them neutered. The Buddhist monks are great spiritual leaders with kindness in them. As they believe in Ahimsa meaning Non-violence, they are quite a blessing to animals.

When small animals like cats/ dogs or sometimes birds fall sick, they quickly inform Darjeeling Animal Shelter about giving them first-aid.  And on many occasions, the monks travel to the Shelter and get their dogs treated in Lebong. There’s no doubt that the Animal Shelter in Darjeeling has always been of great help to the locals and the monks everywhere.

On 30th December, 2018 the Shelter team left for Sampten Gompa early in the morning. It was a frosty day and Darjeeling had just soaked in snow. Indeed, a chilly morning but a refreshing one and with so much excitement in everybody at the thought of visiting the monastery and operating dogs there. It was a perfect way to end the year by serving man’s best friend.

The Animal Shelter team was welcomed by the monks from Sampten monastery. They were very pleased to see great concern of all the Shelter team members for the dogs at Sampten Gompa. The camp was held on the front yard of the monastery.  It was a makeshift camp. Many locals had even come for vaccination of their pet dogs.

Dr.  Mihir, a new Vet at Darjeeling Animal Shelter was more than happy to try his hands on spay. To him it was a new experience to participate in a village camp and see the local life there and dogs waiting in a queue for operation. He was assisted by the Shelter compounders, Naren and Prem. One of the Shelter Volunteer Vets, Dr. Sameer was also present at camp. Dr. Mihir operated 12 dogs smoothly whereas Dr. Sameer helped the team with vaccination of dogs against rabies.  He and team vaccinated 32 dogs from the monastery and the local community there.

All of the local dogs there were spayed and vaccinated on that day. Now the monks wouldn’t have to   worry about the dogs turning aggressive during the mating season. And also the visitors and worshippers need not have to worry about the new litter of puppies or getting bitten by dogs in the monastery.

The camp was delightful. Happy monks and their hospitality made the camp even more worthwhile.