Anti-rabies vaccination camp held at Takling

Anti-rabies vaccination camp held at Takling

Anti-rabies vaccination camp held at Takling

Rabies, a zoonotic disease had spread far and wide in the small town of Kalimpong, in the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas, India. Rabies is carried both by wildlife and by dogs. Because of rabid dog bites in humans, previously there was an increase in human mortality rates without any cure to this fatal disease. The Municipality then felt strychnine poisoning of dogs was the only resort to fight against this ghastly disease.

Many people living in small hamlets and outlying villages were attacked by rabid dogs. The virus had spread from one dog to another. When the mortality rate grew,people started to concentrate on the cure to this disease with thebelief thata local healing plant called ‘Dhatura’, could be used to combat rabies; the local medicine wasn’t of any use.

‘Vaccination ‘was new to village people, and previously nobody had attempted to introduce rabies vaccine to these villages and town. The Municipalities of both Kalimpong and Darjeelingwere poisoning dogs until Kalimpong  and Darjeeling Animal Shelters came into existence and introduced rabies vaccine to people without taking anything in return from the community. This marked an epoch in the history of Kalimpong Animal Shelter.

The shelter staff travelled every day to towns and villages to catch the dogs, bring them back to the shelter, sterilise and vaccinate them, and release them in the place they were caught after a full recovery. Although,some roads weren’t accessible to vehicles,the staff of KAS and DAS travelled by foot through paddy fields near and far to vaccinate dogs and spread awareness to the community on ‘rabies vaccine’.

Eventually, the town and outlying villages saw a big change in their community with dog bites declining every year. The awareness programme conducted by Kalimpong Animal Shelter twice every week helped people understand and accept that ‘ rabies vaccine’ was the only effective means of combatting the disease.

From early beginnings, Kalimpong Animal Shelter has had an impact on the community due to hard work and dedication. Today,the shelter is still carrying out ‘camps’ in remote, outlying villages andin town areas. People are notified about anti-rabies vaccination camps through posters and social media or through a village co-ordinator.

This year KAS and DAS conducted an anti-rabies vaccination camp in a village name ‘Takling’ where 134 dogs were vaccinated against rabies. The photos accompanying this story were taken at Takling camp.

Yogita Chettri

Publicity Officer

 The total no. of Village camps including ARV and ABC conducted so far by Kalimpong Animal Shelter is 306 where thirteen thousand nine hundred and ten dogs (13910)  were vaccinated against rabies and two thousand and twenty six (2026) dogs spayed and neutered

 

 

The lucky dog

The lucky dog

Meet Juno, the surrendered dog who found a home and sponsor

 One cold morning with dew drops on the     ground, Kalimpong town had fallen to   sleep.   Herds   of dogs flocked together and   slept like there is no tomorrow. From the   corner a   dog   infested   with ticks and fleas   shrieked out of pain, but there was nobody   to her   rescue until she came   across two   tourists in town who Lucky thought at once could be her   saviour. They saw the   dog   lying with its face downward and yelping   for help. Unable to   resist its pain, the two   Canadian tourists picked her up and tried feeding her, but the dog   didn’t eat at all. Her   abdomen was swollen and her body had gone cold, her sunken eyes   and feeble looking body   brought tears to their eyes, and they thought that ‘veterinary aid’   was the only way that could   bring her back to life. On her arrival at Kalimpong shelter, the   Vet diagnosed her with ascites   and dehydration so; immediate treatment was given to her,   and continued for many days.   Gradually, on the fifth day, Lucky started showing signs of   improvement, and her god parents   were always by her side to give her the support and pull   her up which helped her feel better   every day.

Today, she is homed by the same foster parents in Vancouver, Canada and is living a new life. She has also befriended a new mate, Kloe who has now become her best pal. Lucky’s ordeal wouldn’t have ceased without her foster parents, Laura and Harry who were her angels in disguise.

The homeless and injured four-legged

The homeless and injured four-legged

   The homeless and injured four-legged

 

Darjeeling animal shelter, a sister organisation to Kalimpong animal shelter has always worked hard in rescuing animals from the streets for ages. When any injured stray is found on the road, the dog is thereafter treated and taken care of by Darjeeling shelter until its recovery. The journey of Darjeeling has come very far in helping the victimized dogs live a healthy life. Many dogs posing threat to society or causing menace in army cantonment area are also rescued by the staff from Darjeeling shelter; the staff are always at their beck and call.

Last week in the month of October, 2017 when the long indefinite strike in the hills had lifted there were cases of dogs suffering from mange or falling sick due to the cold weather of Darjeeling. In this respect the dogs were brought to shelter and treated till they recovered from all such ailments. Not only this, but Darj shelter has many a times come across dogs that have met with car accidents causing severe injuries. Hit and run case has been on the rise everywhere and even though people are learning to love animals yet they forget to save these innocent animals.

Recently in October, an injured dog with a swollen hind leg was found limping on the street near Tibetan refugee centre. This dog was crouching in pain and looking for some help but there was nobody to its rescue. The monks living at Tibetan refugee centre having seen the dog was deeply moved by it as the monks believe in ‘Ahimsa’ meaning non-violence to animals. They wanted to help the dog at the first sight and the best possible way for them was to seek help from Darjeeling animal shelter. One of the monks watching the dog suffer called the animal ambulance for help and shared his concern towards the dog. On hearing this, the shelter rescue squad reached the spot and located the dog that was found limping on the road. The dog was then brought back and examined thoroughly for its treatment which would follow a weekly dose of antibiotics as well as dressing and debriding. The hind leg foreskin had been peeled off with bones jutting out where pus had formed. The dog was in real pain and his eyes could reveal his hidden story.

It has now been five days the dog is admitted at the shelter and he is improving day by day. His dressing starts on alternate days followed by a daily dose of antibiotics, pain relief injections and ointment.

Once he feels safe and better he will be released into the street where he will meet his old family and unite again.

 

 

Meet Juno

Meet Juno

Meet Juno, the surrendered dog who found a home and sponsor

With the arrival of spring, work at Kalimpong animal shelter was running smoothly. Rescue operations were being undertaken and surgery of cats and dogs. There were owners waiting for their dogs to regain consciousness after surgery, the staff were checking on their busy schedule, and at sunset saw a gentleman standing in front of the clinic. Behind him was a dog hiding her face.

He had brought his dog in order to surrender her at the shelter because he had a job transfer, but the dog stood with her tail between her legs, trembling. After he had filled out a Surrender Form and when he handed over the lead to Wongal, the dog tried to follow him out the gate.

On that first day she did not sleep nor did she eat. She found it difficult to adjust to the pups running round who barked at her and distracted her, while he was in a deep thought thinking of her master. She stayed silent and awake, but within a few days, she was playing with the puppies. The shelter staff went near her and gave her some food. She wagged her tail and grabbed her food; it was a happy moment for the staff seeing her play and eat. Time passed by and she felt better every day. She was named Juno by the staff.

Today, she is a much happier dog. She resides at the shelter, and living with her new shelter family, looks happier than ever, wagging her tail when she welcomes visitors.

Now Juno has turned three, she eats three meals a day and loves to play fetch with her new family. She adores puppies a lot and runs with them to and fro during the day. On sunny days, she basks in the sun with puppies and the other dogs, Norie, Noah, and Blacky. She ends up sleeping as though there is no tomorrow while she basks in the sun, and by the time she wakes up, her friends are gone. Juno is a loyal dog, humble and nice, such kind of a dog is very rare to find. She loves to eat soggy food such as rice mixed with meat chunks and thick soup. She loves soup so much that she will lick all the leftovers in the bowl and leave the bowl clean and shiny. If Juno gets your company, she will welcome you by kissing and jumping on you.

When there are visitors at the shelter, Juno signals them saying,’ Hey! I am right here, come and see me’. After all she is an attention seeker. She will wag her fluffy tail for a couple of minutes even when she sees you from far, and howl in excitement. She also loves to sprawl on the shelter’s lush green grass and pounce on cricket and grasshoppers.

Juno is so nice that she allows all her pals to bully her, and still she won’t complain but turns those bullies by staying quiet or sleeping. When her best friends, Norie and Blacky bark at other dogs, Juno stays in her own world and acts as though she saw nothing at all sometimes.

Her parting with her master two years ago might have aggravated her pain for a while but it was this parting that made her realize the importance of love and good home and know the difference between good and bad master. And it was also this parting which turned out to be very favourable for it brought her closer to the animal kingdom and helped her get sponsored by One Voice, France. Not only that, but she even met a lot of furry friends and kind staff at the shelter.

Darjeeling camp

Darjeeling camp

 

   Anti-rabies vaccination conducted by Darjeeling Goodwill Animal shelter

 

Darjeeling, one of the most popular tourist destinations attracts thousands of tourists every year offering the scenic beauty of the calm and placid landscapes covered in mist with the view of Mt.Kanchenjunga in the backdrop.

There are happening places with boulevards and sheds for visitors, pedestrians and children to rest and enjoy the open place thronged by locals, visitors and children. Among these are Chowrasta, Mall road and Ladenla road. It is like the busy lanes that never go to sleep. These roads with their proud heritage are home to horses for riding and stray dogs.

All the four-legged run in a pack and look for some who could be nice to them by giving food and biscuits. These dogs are huge in number and spend their time following people for food, love and care. They run from Chowrasta to Ladenla road and return to their spots every day, and when they don’t get lucky, they know it is not their day for some snacks. They feel desperate and sit lazing around through the day or shelter themselves on the pavement.

There are more than fifty dogs alone living on the streets, they have been pavement dwellers for very long. But these dogs are not quiet and desperate all the time, their mood could change anytime out of the blue and they could pose threat to people walking on the bustling streets thronged by people of all age groups. These poor dogs build insecurities in them due to their tragic stories of either being abandoned by their owners or chased away which at times make them outrageous.

In order to protect locals, children and visitors from being bitten by stray dogs who have turned rabid, Darjeeling animal shelter conducts anti-rabies vaccination camp every year for the welfare of people and stray animals. This time of the year in October, Darjeeling animal shelter conducted yearly ARV camp for five days in a row and vaccinated the stray dogs belonging to the main roads of Darjeeling vibrant with locals, children and pedestrians. More than fourty dogs were vaccinated against rabies using catching nets to trap them for their yearly vaccinations. The dogs there are not very docile to all so it is not always a piece of cake to catch these dogs and vaccinate them against rabies.

The shelter boys even under harsh conditions embark on catching these stray dogs every year to help these animals live better without the fear of going rabid and also to keep the environment safe and peaceful for all.