Living as essentially an expatriate in Nepal has made my point of view a little more Kathmandu-centric than I previously thought.
In the streets of Kathmandu, on any given corner, you can find stray dogs living their lives. Their growth seems almost exponential. Moreover, the likelihood of these dogs getting starved, injured, or sick is also extremely high.
Because of this, there is the KAT Centre, the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre. While, it is a Nepal specific nonprofit organization, the dogs it helps span all across the world. In fact, a friend of mine here is actually bringing one of the pups home with her to the United States.
"Creating a Healthy Street Dog Population in Kathmandu Nepal"
The Kat Centre actively tries to improve the welfare of animals, dogs and cats alike, in Nepal's capital. It hopes to do so by birth control methods, vaccination, and rehabilitation.
In Kathmandu alone, there are upwards of twenty-two thousand street dogs. And more often than not, these dogs find themselves in quite the predicament: car accidents, starvation, mange, kennel cough, allergies, rabies, mauling, etc.
The KAT Centre is Kathmandu's humanitarian fix. It is well known throughout Kathmandu that if you injure or see a stray dog injured or in need of help, driving them to the KAT Centre is a more than viable option. KAT is an option that will not only help increase the dog's survival rate and safety but also his or her overall happiness.
How KAT Does It
The KAT Centre was opened in 2004 as a way of helping the animals of Kathmandu. It was done so around the time that the government was still poisoning animals with strychnine. Moreover, KAT opened to fill the void. Prior to KAT, there was no real organization dedicated to helping the animal populations in the area.
KAT's day-to-day operations vary but all involve animal treatment.
A couple times a week, the KAT workers will drive to regions of Kathmandu to pick up stray dogs. They will take them to the center in Budanilkantha, where the dogs will spend one to three days there. Taking these uninjured dogs to the center is not without reason though. These dogs are taken in for the sole reason of spaying and neutering. This will help curb the exorbitant population growth in Kathmandu alone.
KAT also keeps dogs with more harsh issues and stray puppies for a more semi-permanent period of time. This is to ensure that they have constant wound care, constant treatment, safety, and play all in one lovely and safe environment. These animals will be fed twice daily and will receive thorough treatment procedures on an as needed basis. As for the puppies, they are simply kept when found for no other reason than they have extremely low chances of survival on the streets when that small.
It is also important to note that the work KAT does helps the humans of Kathmandu too. There are thousands of dog bites and hundreds of diagnosed cases of rabies in the Kathmandu Valley alone. Because of this, the treatment of street dogs for rabies is crucial in prevention of rabies transmission.
After meeting the people who work at the KAT Centre, I have come to the conclusion that if they could, they would keep all the stray dogs in Kathmandu. Unfortunately that simply is not possible. The work KAT does is not funded by the government. They appear to be primarily funded by donations. Because of this every cent counts. If you want to help, the volunteering and donation link is right here
KAT has since 2004 treated 27,550 dogs (as of April 2016), a feat not easily achieved. These dogs have either gone through their Animal Birth Control Programme or their Rescue and Treatment Programme. ABC involves spaying, vaccination and release. R&T involves rescuing, treatment, and sterilization.
Moreover, the KAT Centre has made great strides in population control. The percentage of female dogs spayed is now 40 percent (much higher than its previous 15% in 2010).
KAT is hoping, thanks to its great success in Kathmandu, that it will be able to grow its facilities and expand its grasp to encompass the entire Kathmandu Valley and eventually Nepal.