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



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.

The innocent furry friend and her unknown tale

The innocent furry friend and her unknown tale

The innocent furry friend and her unknown tale

A dog is said to be man’s best friend yet they are many a times when he is abandoned, neglected and surrendered at the local animal shelter. The sad reality is when a dog realises that he/she no longer belongs there and is forced to leave home because of her gunky looks and half-shredded body with less fur shedding his back. He/she knows deep down that he/she is never coming back to his/her same old spot nor his owner is going to come and take him home, but cry in silence ,and in the hope of embracing a new family.

Last September,2017,an owner walked into the shelter with a beautiful female Labrador retriever but the dog’s coat looked almost bare with rough bald patches on its coat due to dermatitis. We at once thought the dog was brought for treatment against dermatitis, but we were wrong. The owner said that he would like to surrender his pet at the shelter and get her adopted by some human friends in due course of time. Mr. Sharma, the dog’s owner is a caterer and a priest by profession living alone far from his children. His youngest son had gifted him a Labrador puppy four years ago thinking that the pup would make a lovely family. He and his pet grew fond of each other in time and their bond was like that of a father and son. But for Mr. Sharma, things were never the same when he had to cope up with his daily chores and duty; he had no time to take care of the dog. Sometimes, he took the dog with him, but that was not the solution to it all. He wanted to give the dog away to somebody else long ago but due to fear of losing her he couldn’t do that so he waited and heard of Kalimpong Animal Shelter, and years later brought the dog to the shelter and surrendered it in good faith.

The dog waited to bid him goodbye but his owner didn’t turn back. For a moment the dog felt like he lost the whole world in the blink of an eye. His owner gave a good explanation on not keeping the dog anymore and convinced all, but there was something to it. If he really loved her, he wouldn’t have left the dog at the shelter, he wanted to get rid of her due to her hair fall and half shut eyes. Poor dog had to face the unknown. The owner with a feeling of remorse left the dog there but if he really loved her unconditionally he wouldn’t have left her at all which means that the dog altogether was not very important to him unlike the dog.

Sad for the dog who didn’t want to depart from her owner, but it was all meant to happen. The dog missed him more than ever and it was hard for her to adapt to the shelter family for days. She was such a quiet girl, and stayed isolated but the shelter family helped her overcome the loss of losing a loving owner. She would wag her tail and go back to its own spot and lie down when people walked round the run to see dogs. Being a part of shelter now, it was everyone’s duty to find her a loving home and yes! It was not easy to come across a good caretaker, it took time and finally after a span of three months, we came across the right person who could make the dog feel special so, after getting the dog spayed and treated against dermatitis, the dog was adopted by a young boy from Jhapa, Nepal and from that day onwards, she fell into the loving hands of a new foster parent that could offer her more love and care.

Today, the dog is living happily in her new home and enjoying every bit of stay and treat there. She is fortunate to find a loving home and family who at least would not leave her alone or surrender him in another shelter again.

The brave and bold woman with a humane heart

The brave and bold woman with a humane heart

                                   The brave and bold woman with a humane heart

A savior to the voiceless, a mother to the needy furry friends, she is the one who has dedicated her life endlessly to rescuing stray dogs from the narrow lanes and busy streets of Kalimpong. Living on a rented house in Kalimpong with one child, and work load on her mind, she pursues to taking care of stray animals by rescuing and giving them a shelter and food to live on. She is the one who has been doing rescue work passionately with the help of Kalimpong Animal Shelter. Wherever she finds a stray, she picks it off and gives it a home or brings it to shelter for adoption. She feels delighted seeing furry friends wagging their tails, and when she sees dogs in pain it is when she engulfs herself in grief.

A middle aged woman working in a health department raising one kid and many pups, and still sparing her valuable time for rescuing the stray puppies is incredible. In spite of nosy parkers, and spiteful comments from people for having rescued ailing dogs and giving them shelter she stands tall and faces it with all her might.

She says, “When I see animals suffering, I cannot bear it, I put them in my shoes and when I feel their pain, my heart is heavy.’’ Every time she rescues a pup or dog, she brings to Kalimpong Animal Shelter immediately for its treatment, and surrenders them at the shelter in the hope they get adopted easily with the help of Shelter staff. Without any fear of bites or infection, she picks up the dog from the road, and gives it a tight hug. And when she comes across aggressive dogs loitering around on the road, but those who are seeking help, she informs Kalimpong Animal Shelter for their rescue. She is the messiah to all these furry friends who are in need of a compassionate person like her.