PICS: GERARD TRUFFANDIER
They dodge through traffic, laze in the sun, and howl through the night: they're the street dogs of Kathmandu.
Nepal is the last country in south Asia to start controlling its population of stray canines. Even Bhutan is working on animal birth control. But the 2010 Kathmandu dog census conducted by the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre (KAT) suggests the task is a challenging one. More than 22,000 street dogs live within the Ring Road.
Thousands of mangy dogs with skin diseases and open wounds wander the streets and the Municipality has failed to put a department in place to deal with the problem. Still, the current population is a major improvement on the 30,000 plus stray dogs counted in the 2006 census, thanks in part to KAT. The animal shelter has been working with a 14-man crew to sterilise over 11,000 dogs inside the Ring Road in the last seven years.
It's a big change from the days when over 10,000 Kathmandu dogs were poisoned with strychnine to control the spread of rabies. KAT's mission is much more humane. It aims to reduce the dog population, decrease the risk of rabies, and improve the health levels of the dog community.
Salter adds that the progress of KAT is evident by the change in the way dogs are treated. "People's perceptions of dogs have changed, they're now much kinder to street dogs," she says. "There are always clusters of puppies on the streets, and people used to think Nepali people were cruel to dogs.It was just that they didn't know what to do with them."
Adopt-a-dog (or a cat)
|3 X Puppies |
KAT's latest puppies are in need of a warm home. They're all very friendly dogs hoping for a second chance to stay off the street.
Call Kathmandu Animal Treatment (KAT) Centre: 01-4373169.