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 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  
June 2018  Rambi 9 0  
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.

Camp at Santook

Camp at Santook

Every year, Anti-rabies and Animal Birth Control camps are organised by Kalimpong Animal Shelter. Such camps are carried out with the help of a village local person who further coordinates with KAS. Animal Birth Control camps play a pivotal role in the life of animals and provide a good learning experience to locals about the well-being of animals and the importance of spay-neuter programme.

KAS has so far conducted more than 300 camps in outlying villages in Kalimpong. To update yearly on rabies vaccination and also spaying on new bitches in the locality, KAS conducts camps in those previous village camp venues. Due to spay and neuter programme of Kalimpong Animal Shelter, it has become easier for people in town and village areas to neuter their pets. Not only that, KAS also provides outreach to the locals about giving first –aid to their pets at the time of emergency, keeping their dogs healthy, de-wormed and vaccinated and about being a responsible pet owner.

 On November 14th, 2018 KAS conducted its fifth camp in a far off village called, Santook in Kalimpong. The team was led by Dr. D.P.Pandey, and compounders, Lil, Mahesh and Sanjeev.  KAS was also pleased to welcome one of the Vets from the U.K. who wanted to give his spare hands to KAS at Santook camp. Dr. Mark was excellent with his sheer dexterity like the Shelter, Vet.in.charge, Dr. D.P. Pandey.  Both Vets enjoyed thoroughly and exchanged their invaluable knowledge with each other. They drove to the village carrying their autoclave, sterilised equipments and a trunk of first aid and shaving kit for the makeshift camp. Every camp in village area is a makeshift camp that is prepared by Kalimpong Animal Shelter team. And for Dr. Mark, it was a new experience to take back home. The camp gave him an insight of Village life and the people there living in solidarity with animals. The locals attended the camp with their cats and dogs for spaying and vaccinations. Many new bitches were brought for the same to camp.  On that day, Dr. D. Pandey and team spayed 14 dogs and 2 cats and vaccinated 50 dogs against rabies. All owners and dog feeders from the community were given vaccination cards for yearly record of their dogs’ vaccination. All spay and vaccinations were done taking very less from owners and totally free for community dogs.

 Dr. Mark shared his joys with KAS team on his first trial on open flank spay in Santook Village and thanked the villagers and Kalimpong Animal Shelter team for their wonderful hospitality.

Special thanks to Animal Protection Network for their generous donation that helps in successful   implementation of Village camps and Cat ABC at KAS DGAS. We at KAS & DGAS are highly indebted to you for your constant support.

Animal Birth Control Camps at Dungra, Sukhia and Takdah

Animal Birth Control Camps at Dungra, Sukhia and Takdah

 It’s that time of year where India celebrates National Animal Week all around the country. This National Week is colloquially termed as ‘Prani Saptah’. This Animal week falls on November every year and is hugely celebrated by the Govt. Veterinary Department nationally.

The purpose of this event is to mainly create awareness amongst the locals and farmers to help them generate more income by rearing livestock and poultry. In a developing country like India, where 70% of the population is still dependent on agriculture, it becomes important to educate the locals about new schemes and subsidies provided by the Govt. to farmers. Thus, the Veterinary department in kalimpong also organises such an event in villages for three days.

In this event, kalimpong Animal Shelter is requested every year by the Govt. veterinary wing for Animal Birth Control camps. Due to numerous accomplishments by Kalimpong Animal Shelter over the past years on eradicating rabies and helping with the stray dog population in this small town, KAS is honoured by the Veterinary Department to be part of this event year after year.

As KAS specialises in Animal Birth Control, KAS Vet, Dr. D. P.Pandey with the help of his team members conduct open flank spay at the event. Owners are always given prior notice to camps so that they could bring their ailing dogs for treatment or cats/dogs for spaying. Students from the village Primary School also visit during the event to learn about ‘Animal Welfare’ and ‘humane education’.

Children get excited to see the spay/neuter prorgramme conducted by Kalimpong Animal Shelter and they watch in awe. They’re even sensitised about rabies, animal birth control, adoption, etc when they visit KAS stall during such events. It becomes ideal for children to learn more along with the practical knowledge which KAS instills on them. Seeing such performance by KAS team, some children also aspire to become Veterinarians in future and thus, save lives of animals.

This year, Prani Saptaph was held in Pedong and Darjeeling where KAS actively participated and enlightened the crowd. On November, 17th, 2018 the first event was celebrated in Dungra, Kalimpong by the Govt. Veterinary Bloc. The event started by 9 till 5 in the evening with some refreshments and musical performance. The locals had brought in their cats and dogs for vaccination against rabies and some for spaying. On that day, Kas operated on 17 dogs and 1 cat with total vaccination on 43 cats and dogs.

Subsequently, on 18th and 19th November, Prani Sapta event was held on the outskirts of Darjeeling, Sukya and Takdah. Kalimpong Animal Shelter team then left for ABC camps in Darjeeling early in the morning. It was a cold day with a little bit of sunshine. But to help the dogs, KAS managed some heaters to keep the dogs warm during the ongoing spay thereafter, guided them about the post-operative care for their dogs. Community dogs were also caught, spayed and vaccinated. Despite the cold, KAS team operated on 14 dogs and vaccinated 10 dogs against rabies.

 On the third day mainly the last day of camp in Takdah, KAS operated on 21 owner dogs and 1 cat. Thirty five cats/dogs were also vaccinated against rabies. Altogether; it was a successful camp for KAS.  The govt. Veterinary Bloc felicitated KAS with a token of appreciation for offering help to the locals and for reconnecting the bond between humans and animals.

Camp at Sampten Gompa

Camp at Sampten Gompa

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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.

Half-Yearly Brief From Kalimpong Animal Shelter ( KAS)

Half-Yearly Brief From Kalimpong Animal Shelter ( KAS)

16th October 2009

Dog ABC programme- KAS has been carrying on the dog ABC programme on the guidelines mentioned in the HIS-ABC manual, the difference being, effortless dog catching method in Kalimpong, where dogs are friendly and are community dogs unlike Jaipur where they are more like stray dogs. Here dogs are lured with biscuits and then held under arms and gently put in the ambulance. More than often the local people do this task of catching. Every dog gets personal care while being at KAS. The number of dogs under our ABC programme from April 2007 to Sept 2007 is 284. KAS has developed expertise in conducting ABC camps in villages where operations are done in the villages. Pic a shows ABC surgery in a remote village in Hills. Pic b shows a dog and a cat being kept warm post operatively in field surgery.

Impact of dog ABC- The much talked sights of puppies running behind lactating bitches, puppies dying around, road accidents of dogs and poor general health of dogs in the streets have become a matter of the past here in Kalimpong. It is so conspicuous that few tourists did make an enquiry in the town to know if some ABC programme was going on and later visited shelter. Pic c shows visitors in shelter.

Anti rabies vaccination ( ARV)-  Unlike Jaipur, where male dogs are caught and brought to HIS for ARV and ear notching, KAS vaccinates male dogs on the streets only but we don’t ear notch them for identification. This is possible here again because dogs are friendlier and the community is more involved. In the first six months 1163 dogs have been vaccinated against rabies. Pic d shows kids bringing their community dogs for ARV.

Impact of ARV- For the consecutive fifth year there has not been an incidence of rabies outbreak in humans in our ABC zone. This has helped building a mutually respectable relationship between the dogs and humans.

Adoptions- As mentioned above, there are not many free roaming puppies around here. We have been able to get very good homes for all the puppies we ever come across. 16 dogs and 4 cats were re-homed since April this year. All the puppies are vaccinated against rabies, distemper, parvo virus and then spayed before putting for adoptions. We have people waiting for puppies. A record is maintained of people in waiting.

Village camps – Village camps differ here from HIS in the sense that we cover a series of villages once we leave shelter for camps. Such camps are held for a period of 7 to 10 days. During such camps the ambulance is parked at one village and then the team (one vet and three staff) marches on foot walking village to village and door to door, for a week or more, in the difficult terrain where there are neither jeepable roads nor electricity. Such villages are cut off from any modern flair and people sustain on bare minimum. Every domestic animal is examined, animal husbandry practices are monitored and people are explained about the mistakes in their rearing. Sometimes villagers have been observed following a practice which does not conform to the welfare of the animals but it is our observation that people do such things out of ignorance only and they are ready for change. Apart from the domestic animals all available dogs are vaccinated and the female dogs are spayed. Such camps give good platform for awareness education. Pic e shows the mighty Kanchenjungha mountains in the back while walking up and pic f shows the team walking a tough terrain. Pic g and pic h show the night life during camps. Pic i shows the team interacting with the villagers. Pic j shows the economic feature of the area.

Dispensary – KAS runs a dispensary/clinic for animals same as Jaipur. But it grossly differs in the number and timing of people bringing their animals. In Jaipur, people follow the timing displayed outside dispensary and the cases are concentrated during those hours only. Here at KAS, people bring their animals when “they” are free or have finished with their routine farming activities  (our shelter is set up in village area) which is generally beyond normal working hours. Again, people can bring only pets to our dispensary, not their domestic animals, as a sick large animal cannot be made to walk up and down the hill. In such cases, the vet and staff walk through the paddy fields and attend cases even at night. Pic k shows the morning dispensary in shelter.

A total of 2538 animals (pets and domestic animals) were treated in the last six months.

Cat ABC programme- We come across very beautiful cats around here in Kalimpong. They breed very fast. Majority of the kitten used to die of starvation. The remaining used to suffer in the hands of kids who used them as toys and sometimes squeezed them to death. There was a huge need of cat ABC programme in hills, one of its kinds in India as cat ABC is yet not a popular concept in India. Last year, we were fortunate to get fund from the the Marchig Trust, UK, to build a cattery, good enough to hold 10-12 cats. During my recent visit to Austin Humane Society, Texas, I was involved in Feral Cat ABC programme and benefited a lot. After return, I came to know that Animal Protection Network, Sweden is willing to sponsor a cat ABC programme for our shelter. We prepared bilingual awareness leaflets about need and effects of spay/neuter for cats. The local people were informed through leaflets, posters, local cable TV and newspapers and our first cat ABC started in the third week of June 2007. Response of people has been overwhelming so far. Our approach briefly is – we distribute suitable baskets to a section of community/volunteers on Thursday evening and collect the cats on Friday morning in baskets. Each cat is examined and operated and vaccinated on Friday. Upon recovery they are returned to the people to take care at home or kept at the shelter overnight, if needed. In the last three months 102 cats have been operated. Pic l shows cat collection in secured and safe basket and pic m shows cat ABC in progress. Pic n shows a cat recovering in the cattery.

Darjeeling infrastructure development- A new animal shelter is being built in LeBong, 10 kilometers from Darjeeling. We are involved as volunteer from HIS for the Darjeeling Goodwill Animal Shelter to ensure building the most feasible and best possible working infrastructure in one of the most difficult, both politically and geographically, part of India. One staff is stationed there to monitor and report the building process. Pic o and pic p show the building in progress at LeBong, Darjeeling.

Human Resource Management at Kalimpong- Please note, that everyone working at Kalimpong is happy and content with their respective remuneration in turn of their services for the shelter. This was revealed during a formal meeting two weeks back at the shelter. In the meeting were present Christine, Nirmalji, Chawlaji and all the employees of KAS. The staff expressed their gratitude and promised undivided loyalty and commitment to shelter’s work for animal welfare. Their dignified gesture touched Chawlaji, Nirmalji and Christine. Chawlaji was prompt in expressing his delight over the general cleanliness of the shelter and the staff. He avidly acknowledged that everything looked very orderly and professional. He proposed that there should be an exchange programme of the staff between Jaipur and Kalimpong. There exists a very healthy working ambiance at KAS. Our office manager, Arpan, is working hard and keeps pace with the increasing number of projects, thus expenses and subsequently more entries in accounts books. We have a cordial relationship with the Kalimpong Municipality, Gram Panchayats and local clubs. Rotary Club, Kalimpong collaborates with us in some of the village camps. The local print and electronic media is more than willing to cover our activities. Pic q shows staff smiling with dignity while at work.

Beautiful temptation- I cannot restrain myself from sending pic r and pic s just to illustrate that we, at Kalimpong Animal Shelter, are privileged to be working in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. The two snaps are taken from a distance which is less than ten minutes from the shelter during evening walks along the ridge.

Regards

Dr Naveen Pandey

Shelter Vet

Kalimpong Animal Shelter