Report by Arpan Karthak, Manager of Kalimpong Animal Shelter
Every year KAS conducts ‘camps’ in surrounding villages. Often these villages are not accessible by road, and our staff have to walk for several hours to reach the village. The villagers are notified in advance that we will be visiting: usually this happens by having contacts and volunteers in the particular villages which we visit. The volunteers explain the importance of anti-rabies vaccination for the village dogs, because rabies can be spread by wild animals such as jackals, in the surrounding forest. These animals, if rabid, may attack the village dogs, which then become a vector. Many village people have seen friends or relatives die of rabies, and so they always welcome the visits of our team.The villagers make available either a private home or hall which we can use. Instruments are sterilised by pressure cooker, which is a very effective means of sterilisation if properly implemented. The people bring their dogs both for vaccination against rabies and for spaying. They are always extremely grateful for the visit because they hardly ever receive the visit of a vet, let alone one as skilled and experienced as shelter vet, Dr. Deo Pandey. The animals are operated and returned to the owners that afternoon. The people care for the animal in their own house until she is fully recovered. If there is any problem they notify us.