Welcome to Darjeeling Animal Shelter

How An Animal Shelter in Darjeeling Grew from Nothing


On an ordinary day in 1994, Christine and Jeremy Townend, living in Darjeeling, took a stroll down the street. There they witnessed a dog, dying of strychnine poisoning, and later discovered from a local resident, Dr. G.S.Yonzone, that dogs were being poisoned by the Municipality in order to control the spread of rabies. Dr.Yonzone called a meeting of Darjeeling leaders, and at the meeting it was resolved to start an animal shelter. Thus Darjeeling Goodwill Animal Shelter Trust was started and registered with the Government of India. The trustees then talked with the Chairman of the Municipality, who agreed that the council would stop poisoning dogs if an Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme was started in Darjeeling town. An ABC programme involved catching dogs, vaccinating them against rabies, spaying them with keyhole flank spay, and, after a full recovery, putting the dogs back on the street in the place they were caught. This way, the dogs guarded their biological niche, and new dogs, potential rabies vectors, did not enter the town.

It was at this time that Muriel Arnal of One Voice, sent an email to Christine Townend, suggesting a shelter should be built, which could be funded by One Voice. The only piece of land which could be afforded by the trust, was steeply sloping and swampy, at Le Bong on the outskirts of Darjeeling. However, a skilled architect, Mr. Ashok Pradhan, arranged for an analysis of the soil, and explained that the shelter could be built on the sloping land. Dr. Naveen Pandey, a qualified vet, worked with Mr.Pradhan to construct the shelter, preserving gardens which could collect water, together with a gully that enabled water to return to the creek, supplying houses below. The shelter was constructed with the intention of limiting work to the carrying out of an ABC programme. However, it was not long before local people began to bring their animals for treatment, or to ring up and ask the shelter staff to rescue a dog or puppy, dying on the street. No more dogs have been poisoned and to date more than thousands of dogs have passed through the ABC programme.

A shelter for all the furry ones and respite for the ones in need


Founded by Dr. Christine Townend in the year 1992 for the sole purpose of Animal Birth Control of street dogs that were suffering with genital problems , skin conditions and overburdened with a litter of puppies that were neither adopted nor fostered. The female dogs and litter of puppies had to succumb a life of despair and cruelty because the locals feared of rabies and female dogs procreating time and again.  About 22 years ago, rabies, a fatal disease/virus was  on the rise in India and in these two Indian districts under West Bengal, Kalimpong and Darjeeling. In order to curb street dog meance and its population that was multiplying often and wipe out rabies, the local Municiplality was poisoning dogs with strychnine. But it was studied, with such a step by the Municipality (a cruel method) there was still no end to the dog population. Dr. Townend then on her summer visit to these towns approached the Municipality seeing all the horros of street dogs being poisoned and with multiple ailments, viral diseases, mange and genitalia issues such as TVT (Trasnsmissible Venreal Tumour). She presented the Municipality the Animal Birth Control Programme based on WHO guidelines, the most humane and effective approach in curbing the street dog population. Furthermore, she explained how the ABC Prg. would also help in eradicating rabies. The Municipality  unanimously agreed to this approach then a new hope of positivity  dawned on Dr. Christine by starting an animal shelter  with a dispensary set-up for the near future well-being of street dogs where animals could be treated, rescued, caught for sterilisation and sheltered post-operative care for a few days and then be released. With this, Kalimpong Animal Shelter enacted the ABC Programme in 1998 and a few years later, the same Programme was extended to Darjeeling Goodwill Animal Shelter, a sister shelter. Eventually, the Programme carried out with mass sensitisation on locals and community where the staff members started huge vaccination drives against rabies and sterilisation camps in towns and villages travelling even to the remotest of villages to enlighten people about the benefits of spay and neuter programme.

Blogs & Stories



DGAS Annual Magazine 2019 - 2020 

Village camp by Kalimpong Animal Shelter

Village camp plays a very crucial role in the life of animals in the hill stations of West Bengal. V   illage camp basically is an outreach programme for the community animals living far off. It is through VILLAGE CAMP Kas extends its programme of Animal Birth Control...

Rescue of the other stray girl from Darjeeling

Meet Brownie   Woofers, an association of furry friends informed Darjeeling Goodwill Animal Shelter about the dog that was hit by a car. The dog couldn’t walk and her front leg was swollen, mainly the paw. The Animal Shelter team then further picked her up,...

It’s not about rainbows and sunshine all the time but about the storm that one has to face

Stray dog gets into a scuffle and hurt each other leaving dog bite marks around ears that later form maggots. Meet the brave stray dog, Tom Last year, Kalimpong Animal Shelter team rescued a dog with maggot wound in his ear after he got into a scuffle with his mates....

Adoption drive for Shelter and homeless puppies das

Adoption drive for Shelter and homeless puppies das   Due to the growing number of people interested in buying dogs, adoption of Shelter and street puppies are quite rare these days.  However, both Kalimpong and Darjeeling Animal Shelters have been spreading awareness...

It’s not about rainbows and sunshine all the time but about the storm that one has to face

Both sister organisations in Kalimpong and Darjeeling impart humane education to students from time to time. Kalimpong and Darjeeling Goodwill Animal Shelter encourage students through humane education to be kind and compassionate towards all animals. We teach young...

Abandoned dog finds a home

Dog chained up all night long against the pillar of Kalimpong Animal Shelter by his owner and thus, abandoned forever finds a home It was a cold morning in November, with the onset of winter, Shelter dogs and puppies were huddling together, with their lazy yawns and...

Camp at Bhalukhop & Rambi

KAS yearly conducts camps in outlying villages where ABC camps are previously carried out. To update yearly on rabies vaccination and to operate on new dogs growing in the community and also those owned by owners, ABC camp is highly preferable in all these places. ABC...

Animal Birth Control in Kurseong ,2019

For the past decade, Kalimpong Animal Shelter has been of great importance to not only animals but also humans. To help distant places and towns where Shelter for animals doesn’t exist, Kalimpong Animal Shelter has extended a helping hand to those in need. Kurseong,...