Camp at Takvar

Camp at Takvar


Situated in the lowlands of the beautiful hill station commonly called Lebong in Darjeeling is the shelter for animals founded by an Australian animal activist, Christine Townend. Since its foundation, Darjeeling animal shelter holds its name and fame for the deep love and respect the shelter has borne towards the stray animals living on the streets and surrounding areas.

In a place like Darjeeling when it was felt that a shelter should start for animals, Christine dedicated her life serving the homeless animals and erected a peaceful and quiet haven for these unloved animals. Darjeeling animal shelter over the years has achieved a lot and has brought a positive outcome into the lives of animals and people.

Darjeeling Animal Shelter, a sister organisation to KAS has been equally playing a pivotal role in saving the lives of thousand animals. Animal birth control and anti-rabies vaccination camps being the first and foremost priority of both shelters,such camps hold great importance in both Hill stations.Through such out-reach programmes,both DGAS and KAS help animals live a healthy life and develop that sense of understanding on the community about the welfare of animals.

On the 12th of January,2018, DGAS conducted an ABC camp in a low-lying village, called Takvar far from town with the initiative of a village co-ordinator, Deepesh Dorjee.In the past even,DGAS had successfully operated many cats and dogs and vaccinated them in the same area.In this outlying village,animals are considered to be less important,they face atrocities every day,they are beaten up cruelly or tortured for running from one place to another in search of food and shelter. DGAS has always taken the lead when such practices have risen in saving those animals,but due to harsh behavior of people there,it took years for them to understand animals and their feelings.

Today,the community has developed a sense of understanding towards animals through human education imparted by Darjeeling shelter on behalf of animals,and people are gradually learning to protect animals.Although a handful of people take the initiative there to hold camps,some are even there as the sole protectors to animals.And with their idea and consideration,DGAS with their support conducted a successful camp in the beginning of this year. The previous shelter Vet,Dr.Sameer Chhetri now working as the Govt. Veterinary officer has been volunteering at the shelter during his leisure time by operating  and treating animals. This year too,Dr. Sameer Chhetri,a resident of Darjeeling operated 15 dogs including three cats at camp in Takvar,Darjeeling assisted by compounders, Saila,Wongel and Raju. The team is very skilled in handling animals and sedating animals prior to spay and neuter of animals. DGAS team after the prior approval of the community stalled the camp in an open ground at Takvar,there were many children eager to see and learn the methods of open-flank surgery conducted by Dr. Sameer Chhetri.People of all age groups were also sensitised about animal health and well-being,treatment and cruelty,and mainly about the importance of animal birth control and rabies vaccination.

The community was relieved when DGAS operated dogs that desperately needed to undergo sterilisation and to bring their number under control for a healthy environment for both humans and animals.



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 village camps are very interesting as they attract a lot of children and youths from the villages who are keen to watching the operation being conducted on cat and dogs. This at times becomes the ideal spot for awareness on animal cruelty, rabies and the importance of animal birth control. Other than this, KAS is also approached by the locals to treat their cow and goats if they are ailing. So the experienced paravets after the camp make home visits along with the Vet. The livestock wing also reaches out to these villages for treating large animals but when they are not available, KAS does the needful.

Although the main purpose of KAS is ABC yet they work even beyond that to ensure all animals are kept safe and treated timely.  From small to large animals, KAS leaves no stone unturned to meet the needs of owners and their pets.

Basically, when village camps are carried out, the community is very welcoming to KAS because of their dedication towards the voiceless. KAS team travels far leaving very early in the morning to conduct an ABC camp thereby giving the whole day to operations and general treatment of large animals. When there are cases of milk fever and prolapsed on cows, KAS after operation stays back to treat those cows and contacts the village livestock official for the follow-up. The community is always pleased with KAS team for helping them create a dog and human friendly environment thus, stabilising the dog population and making the community rabies free.

In the month of June again, KAS covered many villages by performing ABC and also updated on villages falling under the other Bloc where ABC was yet to happen. Therefore, in the last week of May, KAS conducted four ABC camps along with Anti-rabies vaccination and operated and vaccinated ten dogs per camp.

Following are the camp details:

Month Camp venue No. of dogs operated No. of cats operated ARV vaccination
June 2018  Bhalukhop 17 1 ü
June 2018  Rambi 9 0 ü

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 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.

The rescued and his rescuer

The rescued and his rescuer

  The rescued and his rescuer

Animals are less in comparison to humans in number yet they are not given the right kind of living. They are the voiceless, but they could sense and feel everything around them. There are ample dogs living on the streets that are either abandoned owners or chased by their owners. In this way, the dogs’ population keeps multiplying and when they don’t have a place to stay, the last resort is to make streets their home and depend on a few passersby who could give them a hand. The sight of strays being poisoned or hurt by their human friends while on the road deeply saddens a man who has always taken dogs as his best friend but to all it is never the same.

While Darjeeling animal shelter emerged as a new organisation solely for animals, it was a respite for the strays of Darjeeling. The strays at main town areas and even far are thus checked from time to time and vaccinated against rabies making it a safe environment for pedestrians and locals to pass by.

It was in mid October, 2017 when a rescue operation had to be undertaken   by Darjeeling animal shelter team after Darjeeling, the Queen of hills woke  up from its deep slumber due to long indefinite strike. The rescue team  then got the opportunity to spot a few dogs that were ailing from various  diseases and fungal infections. There they found a dog about four year old  ;  he was shy in nature with a little erratic behavior. He was infested with   mange; his coat had lost enough hair to shed his skin again. His eyes were  completely shut and his patches on his body made him look like a dog  without a coat. He couldn’t even walk nor his body could muster up some  energy left in him, and it was found out that he was also suffering from dehydration and malnutrion. The staff approached the dog and treated him well and fed him some goodies and slowly they caught him and brought him by animal ambulance to the shelter for the much needed veterinary care and treatment for all his ailments. The saline was administered on him for dehydration with multivitamins, and after a span of three days of saline, his treatment for mange started.

When he first got his meal at the shelter he was tempted to eat, but he had to stay away from his temptations because of his poor health. In days’ time when he recovered from dehydration he wanted his meal so bad that he was ready to   snatch away the other furry friend’s meal too, and then he got the smell of   dry food that he had never tasted his entire life but, it was lip smacking to   him and he couldn’t wait to grab the bowl and finish it .His treatment   against mange followed on a weekly basis and in just three weeks, his fully   shut eyes opened up and he could clearly view the world. His coat began   to   shed fur in between those big patches and it was a sign of recovery   which made the rescue team happy. He still got about a few more courses   of antibiotics and shots till he fully recovers and walks with pride in his  new  avatar with his well grown fur.