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.

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.

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