By Christine Townend
This is the first e-newsletter from Working For Animals and I want to say thank you for all your support. Because of you we have been able to save the lives of thousands of animals in the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas, in the towns of Kalimpong and Darjeeling, and in the remote villages, tea gardens, and hamlets of Darjeeling District.
I am writing this newsletter from Kalimpong Animal Shelter where I have been staying for the past month. I am so proud to see the way this shelter has grown. Checking the summaries of reports, I see that since its inception in 1995 the shelter has spayed about 7000 dogs, vaccinated 25,000 animals against rabies and given over 61,000 treatments, mostly to dogs and cats, but also to goats, pigs, rabbits, cattle, horses, hens and even monkeys and donkeys. In the past year, the Darjeeling Shelter has carried out a total of 687 dog spays and 129 animal rescues… In total KAS (a bigger shelter) gave 8054 treatments in the last year, and DAS treated 4813 animals: all this despite numerous political strikes and closures, long distances to travel to distant villages, and the rising cost of fuel to conduct the camps.
At KAS, there are almost two acres of gardens in which the kennels, dog-runs, operating theatre, office, dispensary, vet’s house, volunteer’s hut, manager’s house, and kitchen are located, as separate buildings. There is enough room for many of the healthy dogs to be free during the day, although ABC (animal birth control) dogs are kept kennelled before and after the key-hole flank spay, and anti-rabies vaccination. When recovered, they are put back on the street in the place they were caught.
A HAPPY ENDING
Among the many cases which I saw treated, one in particular stands out. A small brown dog, named Bhuti, was brought to the shelter by two Buddhist monks from Pedong, a journey of at least a couple of hours. ‘We accidentally ran over this dog’, they said, ‘Do anything, but please save her life’….
Dr. Deo Pandey, and volunteer vet from Sweden, Dr. Christoffer Westin, examined the dog.
Christoffer and Deo together carried out the long and difficult operation. A follow-up operation of a skin graft was also required. After a month, the monks came to collect Bhuti. She was completely recovered, and was managing well on one back leg.
For more information on the work of the shelters, click here.
Photos: Courtesy of Working for Animals