Camp at Sampten Gompa

Camp at Sampten Gompa


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.

Camp Report

Camp Report

Kalimpong Animal Shelter has been the one and only organisation working for the voiceless in Kalimpong for several years with the main objective to sterilize and vaccinate street dogs in order to stabilise the stray dog population.

Henceforth, animal birth control gradually spread across small hamlets located in far-flung areas of Kalimpong where the community hardly knew about the process of sterilisation and its importance. Year after year, KAS reached out to far flung villages to sensitise the community about the dreadful disease rabies, dog bite do’s and don’ts, vaccine available to treat rabies and viral diseases in dogs, cruelty cases and neutering of dogs.

After years of outreach on the welfare of animals, people eventually realised the importance of animal birth control and supported the cause by bringing their pets to the shelter for spay. But KAS discovered that it was difficult for people to travel to the shelter so, KAS commenced village camps with the help of the community co-ordinator who organises a small place for KAS to perform open flank spay.

It has now been almost 20 years that KAS has been serving the community and animals at large backed up by locals from the community who approach KAS for yearly ABC camps.
The outlying villages where animals suffered greatly are now relieved because of KAS initiative to conduct village camps which at times are in conjunction with the govt.Veterinary Bloc II that supplies free medicine for large animals like cattle, goats, pigs, etc. When ABC camps are conducted, all those small animals such as cat and dogs are also vaccinated against rabies prior to their spay. Owners also receive vaccination record cards for yearly vaccine updates of their pets.  All vaccination and neuter of cat and dogs are done by KAS at a very minimal cost.

This year again in 2018, animal birth control camps were organised in conjunction with the govt. Vet Bloc in those outlying villages where KAS has been conducting camps yearly.

In the month of May, KAS along with the Vet Bloc covered multiple villages and conducted animal birth control camps as usual but this time on new dogs that were awaiting sterilisation and vaccination. And it was so good to hear from the community people that rabies had come to a halt there, and people were no longer hurling stones or beating dogs cruelly.

The community thanks KAS every year for their dedication towards the voiceless and in making a rabies free community for both humans and animals.

Following are the village camps conducted by KAS in 2018:


Village camp venue

No. of ABC on dogs

No. of ABC on cats


















6th Mile




Village camps by KAS

Village camps by KAS

KAS is predominantly the first shelter in the Hills to start animal birth control programme to save the lives of thousands of dogs that were previously poisoned in order to curb the stray dog population. With Dr. Christine’s vision to start a sterilisation programme in the Hill stations of West Bengal, KAS and DGAS were founded.

KAS from the very start has worked relentlessly conducting outreach programmes with respect to anti-rabies vaccination and animal birth control. In those days, when people in far off villages were battling every day against rabid dogs attacking humans, there wasn’t any safe abode for humans to live, but gradually with KAS’s journey to remote villages in order to help the community fight against rabies, KAS went door to door to vaccinate owned pets and strays. Little knowledge did people know that rabies vaccine was the only solution to it all, but with time and KAS’s services far and near, eventually, the most dreadful disease rabies started to decline. Thereafter, animal birth control was also introduced to these villages by conducting small camps where the village members would be invited for awareness. In this way, KAS was successful in their outreach making the community happy and a friendly place for both humans and animals. From then onwards, village camps were conducted every year for vaccination and neutering of cats and dogs.  People from these villages are now aware of ARV and ABC programmes of KAS and they seek out for help when such a camp has to be organised. So, KAS is approached by the local person from the community when the camp is to be held, and KAS without fail, makes it to the camp venue and performs an open flank spay and updated regularly on animals’ health check-up and vaccination.

This year again in the month of May, many ABC camps were organised in these far flung villages of Kalimpong like Sakyong (Pedong), Lolaygoan, Pudung and Dungra Busty.  KAS Vet, Dr. DP. Pandey assisted by compounders Lil, Sanjeev and Mahesh vaccinated and operated all community dogs including a fewer cats.

Sakyong was one of the worst hit villages’ years ago by rabid dogs where few people having been attacked by rabid dogs also lost their lives. The community people there used herbal medicine locally termed ‘DHATURA’ to cured rabies bite, such was the atmosphere there but, as KAS came into picture, the death ratio declined along with rabid dogs. Now, there is hardly any case of rabies in that village.

Likewise all the villages faced the same with an increase in mortality rates but with the support of KAS team, people fought against it collectively. And it is such a wonder to see those villages today that have become both human and animal friendly.

Following are the numbers of Camps held in the month of May

Village camp venue No. of cat ABC No. of dog ABC ARV
Sakyong 5 8 ü
Lolaygoan 1 22 ü
Pudung 0 12 ü
Dungra 2 16 ü