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

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. When the shelter was informed of this menace; the rescue team hurried to the spot. The team then brought the dog to the Animal Shelter for some medical aid.

The dog’s ear looked half torn and deeply infested with maggots. The shelter Vet and Para vets removed the maggots and treated his wound. And they checked upon the dog every day. It took a month for his wound to heal properly.

After the wound on his ear healed, he was neutered and then released a few days later to his old spot from where he had been rescued. He was free again and happy to be released.

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

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 students/children the basic rules on how to treat a cat/dog, do’s and don’ts about dog bite wounds, dealing with aggressive dogs, loving animals and the importance of them in our lives.

As Mahatma Gandhi says,” The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Thus, it is of utmost importance to educate the youth about animal cruelty. Animals are friends after all, and they deserve to live a friendly and peaceful life, thus creating an animal and human-friendly environment. Regrettably the Shelters have to deal with a few cases where dogs have been beaten/ tortured or burnt with hot boiling water. So, it is only through awareness and humane education that the public and locals can learn and accept change. Dr. Mihir Mazagonkar, the vet at Darjeeling Goodwill Animal Shelter spoke at Loreto College in Darjeeling to talk to concerned students about safety measures when encountering a dog bite, petting a dog, socializing with a cat/dog, and about kindness through a PowerPoint presentation. The students were enthralled to be part of the programme and to know about simple tips on handling domesticated animals.

Kalimpong Animal Shelter also had two groups of foreign students who visited the Shelter with Anu Radha, a social worker/ animal lover for a tour. It was a great opportunity to interact with them and share our knowledge and also impart humane education to them.

Abandoned dog finds a home

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 mild screech after the chilly weather getting on their skin. They did not
want to get up from their bed and start their day.

On the other hand, Shelter cats were desperately
waiting for the sunrise to bask under the sun and sleep all day long after
their morning meal.  The Animal
Dispensary was open and owners were bringing their dogs for their health
check-up.  While animal attendants were
taking a round to check upon Shelter dogs, there, they saw a white dog with his
long chain tied to the pillar on the Shelter premise. It was an Apso dog,
fluffy and cuddly but he was left alone there, nobody by his side.

His eyes were a little sore from the cold and he was
stuck there chained and with bated breath. 
The dog was in need of help, somebody to free him from that chain. So we
went closer, and unchained him. He began to wag his tail and circle round us. But
his hair looked very unkempt; he had matted knots all over his body. We then decided
to trim his hair, give him a good warm bath. 
Due to fleas, his body was a little sore from allergies which was then
treated.

But back in our heads, we only had one question, why
would somebody leave a nice and friendly dog chained up at the Animal Shelter?
What could have gone wrong with the dog? Although, it wasn’t the first time a
dog was left stranded at Kalimpong Animal Shelter it was a big concern for us
seeing the dog tied up to the pillar without food nor water the night .Alas!
The world has lost compassion today and has become impetuous. Dogs are said to
be man’s best friend but this is what we do to them on many occasions. This sad
dog depicts misery and the sad fate of his thereafter when abandoned but he was
blessed to have found the Animal Shelter that helped him in his short journey
to finding him a home.

He was a friendly dog, we named him Scruffy. We gave
him a nice warm bath to help him with his allergy. He groomed him and cleared
off all his matted hair .Now that he lost most of his fluff that made him look
thin but his fleas were all gone and he was clean and free from allergies. He
ate a very good meal at the Animal Shelter and was living happily. But a nice
dog like him needed a home that could meet his requirements. Therefore, we at
Kalimpong Animal Shelter were in constant search of a loving home where he
could be rehabilitated easily.  While in
search of a loving parent, we came across many but we felt that if the dog was
kept near by the Shelter location it would be easy to treat and make a home
visit on this neglected dog by his owner.

Finally, in a week’s time, we found him the right
parent and he was all set to go home, happy and a little excited. His new
parent came to the Animal Shelter to adopt him by sundown, and spent a little
time with Scruffy then wrapped him well and took him home by his car. Scruffy
with his bulbous eyes once looked at us and bade us goodbye.

Camp at Bhalukhop & Rambi

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 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 animalsare 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
June 2018  Rambi 9 0
Animal Birth Control in Kurseong ,2019

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, is another close hill station in Darjeeling district. Because of its scenic beauty, it attracts tourists every year.  And it has an average population of both humans and animals.  People there love dogs equally but mostly, the owners there do not have access to an animal shelter. Although the Govt, Veterinary Department exists there where owners take in their dogs for treatment however, due to lack of Shelter home for the treatment of animals and their birth control, many of them contact Darjeeling and Kalimpong Animal Shelter for help.

In the last four years, sister Shelters, Kalimpong and Darjeeling have travelled to Kurseong for Animal Birth Control. With the start of Darjeeling Animal Shelter by Dr. Christine in 2005, Kurseong could also benefit a little from the Shelter home in Darjeeling.  From strychnine poisoning to rabies deaths, and destabilization of dog population, Darjeeling Animal Shelter has played a role in both Darjeeling and Kurseong after the Shelter began its work. So to help Kurseong, Darjeeling Animal Shelter along with the sister shelter in Kalimpong commenced Animal Birth Control camp.  And now this is in operation where the Shelter visits twice a year and halts in kurseong for the successful birth control programme on street dogs and owners.

Such an initiative is also because of the compassionate teachers of St. Alphonsus’ School in Kurseong. The teachers there have a wing and apart from their professional career, they work in a team in raising awareness and controlling the dog population through ABC . Every year, they approach the Shelter Vet, Dr. D.P.Pandey for the camp schedule. Mr. Angad, and his team of members then organise the venue and inform the neighbourhood about the implementation of camps.

They also hire volunteers, school students who can take part in camp.  It’s usually a two day camp with large numbers of dogs. The Shelter team travels to Kurseong a day prior to the schedule camp and they catch street dogs for spaying.  The School teachers also give shelter to dogs that undergo spay and take care of them until their post-operative care. In the, some of the community members also volunteers in helping the dogs recover and relocating them from where they were caught post-surgery.

The camp mostly is conducted for street dogs but owners are also welcome and many bring for the same and vaccinations against rabies.   On 8th and 9th June this year, the ABC camp was held on the premises of St. Alphonsus’.  There were numerous dogs to be operated thus; the camp was split into two days. The Shelter Vet of Kalimpong Animal Shelter, Dr. Deo Prakash Pandey and team along with the Vet, Dr. Mihir and team of Darjeeling Goodwill Animal Shelter performed spay on 64 dogs. Most of them were female dogs and a few male dogs. Also a few owner cats were present for spay.  The two days camp was successful not just because of the Shelter team that conducted spays on big numbers but also because of those wonderful and helpful teachers from St. Alphonsus’ Kurseong. They have arranged camps in Kurseong year after year for the welfare of street dogs in which KAS and DAS have always been an integral part of such Animal Birth Control camps.

The people of Kurseong and teachers of St. Alphonsus’ were very thankful for the work of KAS and DAS thus saving lives of many street and owner dogs in the Hills.  

Chibbo camp

Chibbo camp

On 11th August, 2018 Kalimpong Animal Shelter conducted an Animal Birth Control camp at the request of a local village coordinator Nigam from Chibbo Busty. The camp was held in a community hall at Chibbo Busty where such ABC camps were held previously.  Year after year, such a camp is conducted to help worried owners about dog menace, dog fights and animal abuse in the community. Thus, ABC is an important tool to deal with such atrocities. After years of awareness generation camps owners now are aware of the need and importance of ABC and are always looking forward to such camps where they could bring their pet animals to a makeshift ABC camp in villages conducted by Kalimpong Animal Shelter and also get them vaccinated against rabies.

The main purpose of village camp is to help the community sustain well
without any fear of rabid dogs or dog menace. On the other hand, it is to help pet animals live long and a healthy life. The life in a remote village in Kalimpong is something different than usual and people there don’t have enough facilities or good roads to travel long distance to bring animals for operation. So, Kalimpong Animal Shelter travels far and wide at the request of people from villages to conduct ABC.

When conducting ABC camps, locals even bring their other domestic
animals like goats, chickens or request the shelter staff members to treat their ailing animals or do their general check-up by making home visits close by the camp venue. Therefore, by conducting Animal Birth Control camps, many lives of animals can be saved not only that, it also helps maintain a human and animal friendly society.

KAS Vet, Dr. D.P.Pandey assisted by compounders Sanjeev, and Lil
operated 8 dogs and 2 cats and vaccinated 70 dogs against rabies.