Dear HART Supporter,
Following completion of the first phase of our work in Pokhara Sub Metropolitan City, HART has expanded its work into Bharatpur, Chitwan. Please read on to learn about our activities and progress since the last newsletter.....
Pokhara - Dog Population Management & Rabies Eradication
'No Babies, No Rabies'
We have completed the first phase work in all 18 Wards of Pokhara Sub Metropolitan City. This first phase consisted of:-
There was no existing official data of street dog population in Pokhara so HART had to carry out a dog census in all 18 wards.
Mass Anti-rabies Vaccination
Catch Neuter Vaccinate & Return
Education & Awareness Program
In order to encourage people to spay their bitches to control unwanted puppies; to annually vaccinate pet animals against rabies; and to develop ownership responsibility, HART's Community Liaison Officer, Chandra Rai, worked with the Community Development Committees in the each Municipal Ward to arrange spaying/vaccination camps.
Six field camps were arranged and it was a welcome demonstration of the commitment of the local authorities that they allowed these to be held at Municipal Ward and school premises, as shown above.
Thanks to the close involvement of the community, and the Community Development Committees, 82 dogs were spayed at these field camps.
Our research reveals that the dog bite cases reported to Pokhara hospitals for post-exposure vaccinations has fallen to 20-25 per month. Until last year 30-35 cases were being reported. Furthermore, the Regional Veterinary Laboratory has not encountered any rabies cases from within Pokhara during the last six months.
We are delighted to inform our supporters that the Pokhara Sub Metropolitan City (PSMC) has now signed an official agreement to work with HART. This agreement includes, amongst other things, the cessation of their use of strychnine poisoning. Pictured here, our Director, Khageshwaar Sharma, and PSMC Environment Officer, Khem Bhandari, are seen exchanging documents.
HART’s participation to commemorate the World Veterinary Day
The Nepal Veterinary Association celebrated 2011 World Veterinary Day with the theme "One World One Health: Rabies Eradication Our Goal". We were given the responsibility for a sterilization camp and school education awareness programme.
To commemorate the event, HART extended its "No Babies, No Rabies'" campaign and our resident vets conducted a two day spaying camp at the District Livestock Office (DLSO) in Pokhara.
The school education awareness programme was conducted in 5 schools. Altogether 465 students and 20 teachers attended the programme.
District Livestock Office (DLSO) Collaboration
The DLSO has been referring dog owners to HART for spaying and the DLSO chief, Dr Shrestha, has now expressed an interest in holding a regular spaying camp at the DLSO every month. This will help reduce the dangerous use of progesterone (human contraceptive) injections on their female dogs.
HART has been educating dog owners about the risks for their animals in using progesterone injections and has been arranging to spay their pets at HART's clinic or during field camps. Previously, these dog owners had no alternative to using progesterone injections to prevent unwanted puppies.
A regular camp at the DLSO will encourage many owners to spay their pets and we hope that the use of progesterone injections on dogs will soon come to an end in Pokhara.
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Bharatpur, Chitwan - Dog Population Management & Rabies Eradication
'No Babies, No Rabies'
We have extended our programme to Bharatpur, the main city in Chitwan and close to the Indian border.
Rabies is a great problem there with an average of 75 people per month visiting hospital for precautionary post-exposure anti-rabies treatment following dog bites. This is three times higher than experienced in Pokhara, despite a similar population size.
The Bharatpur Municipality has signed an official agreement to enable HART to conduct our Dog Population Management & Rabies Eradication programme. This agreement confirms the Municipality's cessation of use of strychnine poisoning as a means of controlling the roaming dog population. Some of the HART staff are pictured here discussing the programme with Ram Krishna Dhakal, Bharatpur' s Community Development Officer.
Following our agreement with the Bharatpur Municipality, a dog census was conducted and this has now been completed. One of our dog handlers, Bishwabandu Tiwari, is pictured here noting the details of three roaming dogs as part of the census.
Talks are now being held with the Public Health Office, the Municipality and other stakeholders to enable the start of a systematic mass anti-rabies vaccination program in the Bharatpur Municipality. We will keep you informed of our progress and developments in our next newsletter.
Our staff are in the process of conducting a community survey based on a questionnaire devised by WSPA. The survey has a target to interview 700 people and is not yet complete, but is already showing some interesting results. For example:-
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35% of households own one or more dogs
63% of those dogs are allowed to roam
Less than 3% of owned dogs are neutered
Almost 70% of interviewees perceived the roaming dog numbers as increasing
80% saw bites and rabies as the biggest problem associated with street-dogs
HART recently conducted a two day spaying camp in collaboration with Community Dog Welfare in Kopan, on the outskirts of Kathmandu.
The household survey, dog census and advance publicity for the event were expertly undertaken by CDW. HART's role was to provide our tented field clinic and the veterinary staff.
Most of the dogs spayed were 'community dogs' - that is free roaming and un-owned, but cared for by members of the community - and so could be returned to their care immediately after recovery from the operation. After the camp, one of our vets stayed behind to monitor the condition of all the patients during the following week.
The few completely stray dogs involved were housed at CDW's facility for several days until fit enough for return back to their territorial area.
The following week a mass anti-rabies vaccination camp was held at CDW, staffed by local vets and using vaccines donated by HART and by the Himalayan College of Agricultural Sciences & Technology.
All in all a great example of how organisations and individuals can work together for the benefit of the street dogs.
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Very many thanks for your continued support
If you would like more information about our work, please visit our website or contact our Director, Mr Khageshwaar Sharma, at firstname.lastname@example.org
© Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust 2011