Dog Population Census & Community Questionnaire Survey
During our annual censuses in Pokhara and Bharatpur we record various characteristics of each dog, including the sex, fertility status and location. The map here displays the type and location of the dogs counted in a section of Pokhara at the end of 2014.
In order to achieve a stable and healthy street animal population it is necessary to gauge the number of animals requiring assistance and then to repeatedly re-assess the population numbers to evaluate the effect of HART's intervention.
In both Pokhara and Bharatpur the staff have made direct counts annually of all the dogs on the streets in all the wards and collected information on their condition and health.
Mark-resight exercises are carried out to assist accurate population estimates.
In addition, a detailed survey of householders' attitudes to the animals in their midst is carried out annually. Around 600 questionnaires are completed for each town enabling HART to track the impact of its work from year to year.
This data is made available to our partner institutions.
Mass Anti-Rabies Vaccination
Our smart-phone Mass Anti-Rabies Vaccination app records numerous details about the dog, including its GPS location.
HART's target is to vaccinate over 70% of the dog population as this is the level at which currently accepted statistics determine that the rabies risk to humans becomes minimal.
This level of vaccination cover in any town is achieved by walking through each ward injecting all the un-immunised animals found.
Each jab is recorded in HART's purpose-written mobile phone app. The ward is revisited until the statistics indicate that a minimum of 70% of dogs are vaccinated.
During the programme staff disseminate information on how to avoid rabies.
Anti-rabies vaccination is repeated annually, making this an expensive and time consuming element of our range of programmes.
Our Animal Birth Control programme is focused primarily on female dogs. We employ the side-flank spaying technique as seen here
This programme is designed to restrict the number of new animals coming into the community.
The aim is to humanely enable an animal population that is acceptable to the community,is disease-free and is never subjected to culling.
HART uses a mixture of animal birth control (ABC) techniques. Some dogs are collected from the streets, evaluated, neutered and kept in kennels prior to return to their home territory. In other circumstances animals are returned immediately after neutering if responsible carers are available.
Generally only female dogs are neutered but males are castrated if owners request this.
Public Awareness & School Education Programmes
HART has run programmes in schools in Pokhara teaching basic facts about rabies and being a responsible dog owner
Many of the cruelties endured by animals in Nepal are due to lack of awareness of animalsí sentience.
HART regularly distributes leaflets on the avoidance of dog bites and rabies information at public events and exhibits posters conveying its messages wherever possible.
Our staff frequently appear at municipal events and we use local media, both radio and print, to improve public awareness regarding animals.
HART has worked hard to become an integral part of the two communities it serves and has signed Memorandums of Understanding with both local authorities.
Limited schools programmes have been run in Pokhara in 2011, 2013 and 2014 in conjunction with local authority staff.
These will be further developed when resources permit.
Rescue & Treatment
Sick and injured animals are treated as necessary. Any animals needing extra nursing or medical care are retained until well enough to be returned to their owners or a designated carer in the community. HART does not operate a sanctuary but works constantly to improve and encourage care in the community.
The clinics in Pokhara and Bharatpur charge small amounts to owners for vaccinations, medical supplies and operations in order to establish and reinforce the bond between animal and carer.
Mobile Neutering Clinics
HART vet, Dr Phuyal, operating within the tented clinic at Kopan, Kathmandu
HART uses a mobile tented clinic to carry out sterilisation and health camps in areas where suitable premises are not available.
These clinics are held at the request of local authorities, often to forestall a culling.
Mobile clinics have been held in the east (Illam and Dharan), the west (Dhanghadi), the north (Manang), the centre (Dolhaka) and the south (Biratnagar).
If at all possible, the clinics must be repeated annually in order to retain both anti-rabies immunity and to maintain animal health and sterility.
There is great demand for these clinics throughout Nepal and lack of resources restricts their further development.
Collaborative Working with Other Organisations
HART has now become an integrated part of the community of Pokhara and of Bharatpur. It is essential not to be viewed as a "parachute"
charity, dropping in and then disappearing. This type of charity is understandably viewed cynically by the local residents who have seen many 'initiatives' come and go over the years.
An excellent working relationship has been established with AFU (Agriculture and Forestry University), the major veterinary college in Nepal, and many collaborations occur - including the provision of a HART vet student bursary.
HART is an active member of AWNN (Animal Welfare Network Nepal), a coalition of most animal welfare organisations in the country.
We share some mobile clinics with Animal Nepal, based in Kathmandu.
The need for an alternative to surgical neutering has become more and more obvious as HART expands throughout Nepal and links are in place with researchers at the forefront of the development of chemical birth control for animals.
HART's data, gathered over 5 years of operation, is the topic of various student and post-doc theses and applications from interested parties are welcome.