Animal Birth Control camp at Siliguri

Animal Birth Control camp at Siliguri

Whilst KAS recognizes that an Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme needs to be continually implemented over years, in order to maintain a basic 70% of dogs spayed and vaccinated, KAS has accepted the request of the Government Veterinary Block II to carry out whatever spaying and vaccination can be achieved in Siliguri where dogs are in urgent need of treatment, sterilization and vaccination, and, in particular, owners have urgently requested key-hole flank spaying and vaccination for their cats and dogs.

Kalimpong Animal Shelter has not only been providing services to the needy animals in outlying villages of Kalimpong but also in the gateway city called Siliguri where the dog population is growing large in number every day.

Every year, Kalimpong Animal shelter with the co-ordination of Siliguri Animal Helpline conducts animal birth control camps where more than 500 bitches have been spayed. The Animal Helpline from Siliguri has worked hard in helping the street four-legged live a healthy life. Siliguri is one of the fast growing cities in India though not fully developed; the modern facilities there have attracted huge number of people from nearby towns. Humans as well as animal population there are multiplying day by day making it the most migrating city, but life for the voiceless there is very challenging and every day looks like a struggle to them in this bustling city. Now that there are a few animal organizations and like-minded people serving the voiceless, it has helped animals survive in the midst of all odds.

Many dogs are usually found lying atop a pile of rubbish or drains and sometimes in dingy places searching for food and shelter. Groups of puppies with lactating mothers do not have much to depend on there yet they travel day by day to crowded lanes searching for food. These homeless animals are hardly petted by people or taken care as they are malnourished and infested with skin diseases, and people fear of them turning rabid so they stay miles away from these animals.

Sometimes, the growing number of newborn puppies survives despite the harsh warm weather conditions whilst some die prior to their adolescence. So, it becomes very crucial to take care of female dogs in and around the surrounding areas by vaccinating and spaying them. Kalimpong Animal shelter has been working very closely with the Siliguri Veterinary Department and a recently founded organisation working for animals known as Animal Helpine. For the past few years, Kalimpong Animal shelter with the support of Siliguri Animal Helpline has operated more than 500 dogs.

With effect from the 1st of January, 2018, Kalimpong Animal Shelter with the support of Siliguri Animal Helpline has been working for control and containment of rabies through ARV/ABC in Siliguri. After the meeting chaired by the Deputy Director of Animal Resource Dept with the Vet-in-charge of Kalimpong Animal shelter and a few other members of Siliguri Animal Helpline, Kalimpong Animal shelter conformed to the objectives laid out in the manual.

The objectives read as follows:

Control the street dog population as much as possible

Awareness generation in society through group discussion in both urban and rural areas about the disease.

Vaccination against rabies both in pre-bite and post-bite cases

Quarantine of the animals in rigid manner

In accordance to the project, Kalimpong Animal shelter has successfully been conducting animal birth control camps in each Municipal corporation targeting a total of 10,050 dogs. In every camp, 25 nos. of stray dogs are to be sterilised and immunised and Kalimpong Animal shelter has commenced the program by operating 50 dogs in two camps and conducting such animal birth control camps every week where two days are allotted to carry 50 animal birth control operations whereas, Siliguri Animal Helpline has been active in locating dogs and catching them thereby bringing them for operation to the Sterilisation centre erected by Siliguri Municipal Corporation. The post-operative care is important and is also taken care of by Siliguri Animal Helpline group where dogs are kept and provided with food and veterinary care until their full recovery.

Dr.D.P.Pandey, the Vet-in-charge of Kalimpong Animal Shelter has been operating these stray bitches caught from the street and corners of Siliguri. He is also assisted by one of the compunders, Lil Thapa who has nearly had an experience of more than 10 years in this field. Sanjeev and Mahesh work alongside the Vet-in-charge and help with preparing and sedating animals before their spay. Awareness camps are also generated amongst people through flex or fliers, and a march around the city for animal birth control camps.

This program will be run until mid April when it is expected ten thousand and fifty dogs are to be sterilized. Kalimpong Animal Shelter has been working relentlessly in order to reach this target.

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:

Date

Village camp venue

No. of ABC on dogs

No. of ABC on cats

ARV

8/04/18

Mungsong

22

9

ü 

9/04/18

Kaffer

10

0

ü 

23/04/18

Nimong

4

1

ü 

30/04/18

6th Mile

14

1

ü 

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

Camp

Camp

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 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.