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What’s the problem?
More than 80,000 dogs live on the streets of Kathmandu, Nepal – it’s a dirty, dangerous environment and many suffer from neglect, starvation, infected wounds, skin disease, and other injuries and illnesses.
Since these dogs are not owned by one particular individual, there is no one willing to pay the bill and take them to a vet when problems arise. This leaves them incredibly vulnerable and helpless. With nobody taking responsibility and with their needs being largely ignored, their condition progressively gets worse and worse.
The Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre (KAT Centre) is a non-profit registered charity dedicated to saving the helpless street dogs of Nepal – we provide free veterinary care and do whatever it takes to nurse them back to full health. We never give up and we never put a healthy dog down.
What is the condition of street dogs in Nepal?
In many countries, stray dogs are fortunately a thing of the past, with populations being carefully managed by the government and large non-profit organisations.
In Nepal, there situation is very different – street dogs are very densely populated along all roads and you cannot walk ten meters without passing at least one.
“The life of a street dog is a precarious struggle for survival from beginning to end.”
With uncontrolled breeding of both pets and street dogs, large litters of puppies (up to 9-10 at a time) are frequently found hidden along the road, in construction sites and alleyways. Some have been abandoned there, while others are simply where the mother calls home.
Already malnourished, the effort of childbirth and the need to feed many hungry mouths places a great deal of strain on the mother, as her energy and strength is transferred to her babies. Most pups do not survive due to the presence of diseases and parasites which their immune systems simply cannot fight off.
The ones that do survive have an uncertain future and face a number of key threats:
Lack of food and the need to fight other dogs for scanty resources. Food given by well meaning passers by often takes the form of biscuits and rice which do little to boost their strength.
Perpetual outbreaks of disease such as rabies, canine distemper, canine parvovirus, transmissible venereal tumours, and so on.
Dangers from cars, bikes and trucks and the masses of traffic flowing through Kathmandu.
Acts of cruelty at the hand of humans – many people fear and detest the street dogs and throw stones or pour hot water on them to make them go away.
All of these factors lead to large numbers of street dogs being in a pitiable condition.
Life is hard and while a few find loving companions in their community who look out for their interests, many are forgotten.
Our organisation was founded to ensure that no animal’s needs are ever forgotten.
On a typical day, we receive between 10 to 20 rescue requests for injured animals. These can range from cases of skin disease and undernourishment, to infected bites, maggot infested wounds, broken bones, cancers, and contagious diseases such as canine distemper and rabies.
Due to our limited capacity and resources, and in the interest of helping the animals that need care most urgently, we prioritize the serious cases while having to deny the less serious ones.
With continued support and funding we hope to be able to increase our capacity to give even more animals the treatment that they need.
With our international connections and high standards of hygiene and animal welfare, KAT Centre provides some of the highest quality veterinary care anywhere in Nepal – and we plan to continue improving our techniques even more.
For minor conditions we are able to provide treatments to dogs directly on the street without admitting them to our centre, saving time and money and minimizing stress to the animal. We also offer free medicines for minor conditions and instruct locals on how to administer them themselves if follow up doses are required.
According to research conducted in partnership with other organisations and funded by World Animal Protection (WSPA), dogs in areas where KAT operates are in a significantly better condition as measured by a number of different criteria, including:
Body condition – dogs were statistically less likely to be underweight.
Skin condition – dogs were statistically less likely to have visible skin problems.
Birth Control – a higher percentage of street dogs were found to be spayed.
“These findings demonstrate that KAT interventions have greatly helped in improving the health status of street dogs.”
Make a donation
As a non-profit organisation and charity, everything that we do is free of charge. For treatments and surgeries that would normally cost tens of thousands of Nepali rupees (upwards of $100 USD) from private vets, we ask nothing. Instead of seeking profit we endeavour to help the animals most in need and will give them shelter at KAT Centre as long as it takes for them to recover to full health.
Nonetheless, our work necessarily entails a number of considerable costs. From fuel to run our ambulance to food and cleaning products and medicines, everything that we do as a charity is dependent on the generous support of those who believe in our cause and want to make Kathmandu a more compassionate place for animals.
Please consider donating to support our work. Every little helps and your donation will go a long way to treat animals in need. If you would like to specify how you would like your money to be spent, we can provide receipts and photos to show you exactly how your contribution is helping us.