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Great strides for KAT


The Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre (KAT) in Nepal has made great strides ahead in the four years in which it has been open. It is now a registered Charity, both in Nepal and in the UK. Help has been forthcoming from many quarters and WSPA, especially, has been a great driving force in helping things to forge ahead.

KAT’s main aim has been to deal with the street dog population of Nepal, of which there were an estimated 25,000 when it started up in May 2004. This is done largely by an Animal Birth Control programme, primarily spaying bitches, and so far approaching 40% of the inner ring road area has been covered.


Interest shown  in KAT's anti-rabies programme

People queuing up enthusiastically for free mass anti-rabies vaccination

The Government has long had a policy of laying down strychnine poisoned meat in the streets in its endeavour to reduce the population. This is a cruel death, and when the dogs’ bodies are thrown into the rivers the contamination hardly bears thinking about, especially when one bears in mind that clothes, pots and pans, and often children are washed in the rivers.

Some of KAT's staff with the in-house dogs


Their banks are also a playground for children, many of whom live alongside them, sometimes in nothing more than shacks. The good news is that the Government has now stopped laying down strychnine in the areas in which KAT has operated, but of course it is constantly necessary to prove that the system is working, so much time has been spent carrying out surveys.

Free rabies jabs

Besides the spaying operations, many dogs and other animals come into the Centre for veterinary treatment, several of them taken in by Nepalis who feel this is the only way in which they can help these unfortunate street animals, for paying for veterinary treatment would be way beyond their means.

Lucy when she first arrived at KAT


Euthanasia is only carried out when clinically necessary, so a great many dogs are operated on and recover fully. Obviously suspected rabies cases have to be euthanized immediately, but KAT occasionally carries out free rabies vaccination programmes in the streets, when people queue up patiently with their dogs, and often with community dogs that they bring along for the treatment.

In short, everything at KAT is moving along at a speed beyond our wildest dreams, but help is still needed and at a recent UK Trustees’ Meeting I promised I would put out a plea to we British dog owners for any unused veterinary products that we may still have lying on our shelves.

Sadly there are times when our own dogs die, leaving behind medication that can only be binned. Oftentimes, a dog’s treatment is changed mid-course, again resulting in tablets going to waste.

These are veterinary products that can be put to good use in Nepal, where it is perfectly legal to use them, even if they are out of date.

Typical street dogs in Kathmandu


Several people have already let me have such things to pass on to KAT, and everything has been most gratefully received. KAT has two good vets who are always able to ask advice from others if ever they are provided with veterinary supplies with which they are unfamiliar, sometimes only in name.

So, if anyone feels they can help in this way please get in touch. I can of course accept medicines on KAT’s behalf and assure you they will arrive there safely.

Lucy stayed on at KAT following treatment


My address and contact details are below and you will find a link to KAT’s website via my web address if you would like to find out more about the Charity. And just a last thought, if you operate a web site, why not consider putting a link to KAT’s site at www.katcentre.org.np to help spread the word?

Juliette Cunliffe, Trustee KAT (UK), Humblebee House, West Felton, Oswestry, Shropshire SY11 4EN Tel: 01691 610906 Email: juliettedogs@aol.com www.juliettecunliffe.com

by
Juliette Cunliffe