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Strychnine poisoning

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Strychnine-laced meat was the method traditionally used by Municipal Authorities in Nepal for controlling the street dog population. We are working very hard to persuade them that our Animal Birth Control programme offers a humane, but effective, alternative. Our written agreements with both the Pokhara and Bharatpur Municipalities include undertakings that they will not employ dog poisoning.


Free spaying camp at the Pokhara DLSO

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The District Livestock Office (DLSO) in Pokhara have generously provided facilities to enable HART to hold regular free spaying camps for owned dogs
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Some early arrivals...
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The DLSO kindly made available one of their rooms for us to use as a temporary operating theatre


Pokhara Sub Metropolitan City monitoring visits

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Mr Ram Bahadur KC & Mr Khem Bhandari, senior officials from Pokhara Sub Metropolitan City (PSMC), making a monitoring visit at one of the free spaying camps
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Mr Ram Bahadur KC observing the pre-med preparation of a dog at our Lakeside Centre
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Mr Ram Bahadur KC observing a spaying operation at our Lakeside Centre


Post-Operative Follow-Up

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Community dogs are checked in the field following the spaying operation
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We employ the 'side flank' spaying technique which gives extremely reliable post-operative results
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Wherever possible, we involve the local community in monitoring the dog


Calf Rescue

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This calf had been run over by a taxi and HART were called to assist
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She was partially paralysed so a sling was rigged up to get her onto her feet
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The local community hired a tractor to transport the calf back to HART's Centre
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Her paralysis meant that she was always lying down and so getting pressure sores. This frame was fabricated so that she could spend some time standing


Rescue & Treatment

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This dog was rescued during the Dog Census earlier that day. Unable to find a caretaker in the community, HART staff brought the dog to HART
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Dr Wagle examined the patient and diagnosed severe dermatitis
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Biswabandu holds the patient while Dr Wagle administers the treatment


DOG POPULATION MANAGEMENT,
RABIES CONTROL & ERADICATION,
ANIMAL WELFARE IMPROVEMENT

Our Programmes:

  • Dog Population Census & Community Questionnaire Survey
  • Mass Anti-Rabies Vaccination
  • Sterilisation
  • Public Awareness & School Education Programmes
  • Rescue & Treatment
  • Mobile Neutering Clinics
  • Collaborative Working with Other Organisations
  • Research
Dog Population Census & Community Questionnaire Survey

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-count the population numbers to evaluate the effect of HART's intervention.

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Dogs on the street are counted and information on their health and condition recorded
In both Pokhara and Bharatpur the staff have made direct counts of all the dogs on the streets in all the wards and collected information on their condition and health. This process will be supplemented by use of mark-resight techniques in future censuses to improve our understanding of the size of the dog population.

Currently the census concentrates on the dog population as there are far fewer cats in Nepal.

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

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.

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Once vaccinated, street dogs are temporarily identified with a small patch of spray paint
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Leaflets explaining the safe and respectful handling of dogs are routinely distributed in the community
This level of vaccination is achieved through a series of vaccination days and camps.

The staff move into each ward of the cities in turn, walking through the streets and vaccinating animals whilst disseminating information on rabies avoidance.

During camps, which are held on holidays and during public events, the staff encourage any animal owner to bring their dog or cat (or fox, or monkey) for its check up and vaccination. Again on these occasions information about rabies avoidance is given out to all particpants.

Anti-rabies vaccination is repeated annually making this an expensive and time consuming element of the range of programmes.



Sterilisation

This programme is designed to humanely reduce the stray, community and owned dog and cat populations to levels that are sustainable and acceptable to the community and to therefore end the use of poison to cull animals.

HART adopts Catch-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return protocols and does not retain animals on its premises. All are returned to their community.

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Our Animal Birth Control programme is focused primarily on female dogs. We employ the side-flank spaying technique as seen here
HARTís CLO (Community Liaison Officer) contacts the Community Development Committee in each ward prior to work starting. He identifies responsible persons to care for non-owned animals after their operations.

Animals are normally monitored post operatively for 5 days by HART staff or until completely recovered.

The sterilisation operations are carried out:
  • In HARTís clinic in Pokhara or Bharatpur
  • In premises supplied by local communities
  • In our mobile tented clinic
HART concentrates on spaying bitches, working methodically through the wards of each town or area.



Public Awareness & School Education Programmes

Many of the cruelties endured by animals in Nepal are due to lack of awareness of animalsí sentience.

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HART has run programmes in schools in Pokhara teaching basic facts about rabies and being a responsible dog owner
HART ran a WSPA-designed schools programme in Pokhara in 2011 and 2013.

If resources permit, schools programmes will be run again in 2014.

HART regularly distributes leaflets on the avoidance of dog bites and rabies information at public events and exhibits posters conveying its messages wherever possible.

HART also appears at municipal events frequently and uses 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 the local authorities.



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 clinic in Pokhara charges small amounts to owners for vaccinations, medical supplies and operations in order to establish and re-inforce the bond between animal and carer.



Mobile Neutering Clinics

HART uses a mobile tented clinic to carry out sterilisation and health camps in areas where suitable premises are not available.

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HART vet, Dr Phuyal, operating within the tented clinic at Kopan, Kathmandu
A film explaining the value of these clinics has been made to show to local authorities who may be persuaded to use neutering as an alternative to poisoning.

Mobile clinics have been held in Kathmandu, Illam, Bhadrapur, Biratnagar and Dolakha. Some are now in their third year of repetition.

There is a surge of demand for these clinics from municipalities and the public and planning is underway for expanding the concept.




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.

HART also shares volunteers and programmes with AHTCS (Animal Health Training and Consultancy Services) another NGO based in Pokhara and focused on livestock health and management.

Similarly, volunteers and programmes are shared with Animal Nepal, based in Kathmandu and focused on dog and equine welfare and campaigning.

HART is an active member of AWNN (Animal Welfare Network Nepal), a coalition of most animal welfare organisations in the country.



Research

The need for an alternative to surgical neutering has become more and more obvious as HART expands its work throughout Nepal.

Collaborative work is now underway with AFU, FERA and other international partners to determine the most effective non-surgical contraceptive for dogs.